Monday, December 31, 2007

Helpful Hints: A first-time parents' guide to New Year's Eve with a baby

New Year's Eve has come. Traditionally, this night has been one of my favorite nights of the year; however; this is the one holiday that does not seem as exciting when you are a first-time mama to a tiny little baby and the first out of most of your friends to hold this glorious title. While all of the other holidays are fun and exciting to share with your new addition, New Year's Eve does not seem to fit into this catergory. In fact, at first glance it fits into the unexciting and uninteresting realm when compared with what New Year's Eve festivities used to be like. (Don't worry - there's hope!) Why? The reason is threefold:
1. Most of us new mamas are up almost every night around midnight feeding the baby and waiting for the clock to tick over so we can reenter the precious state of sleep. Kind of takes the excitement out of the holiday when you "celebrate" the same way nightly. ;)
2. Childless friends often do not want to celebrate New Year's Eve with you if you are, indeed, bound to the house with your newborn. Though we (and many of you first-time 'rents) probably could throw a pretty good shindig with great food and drinks, my husband and I have come to face the facts: When you are childless, young and single, going out to party is way more exciting than celebrating while there is a baby asleep in the next room. There's something about a baby that makes young singles feel old or uneasy about attending a party that doesn't center around a birthday cake with candles for said little one.
3. Finding a babysitter on New Year's Eve is like trying to find a polar bear in a blizzard; it's nearly impossible

So what's a mom and pop to do if they want to have a bit of New Year's Eve fun and keep the baby within earshot? Here are a few of the ideas that came to our head while we were discussing our New Year's Eve plans:
1. Celebrate with your family members or kid-welcoming friends at their home. Luckily, I've got pretty cool in-laws who throw some fun parties. They, of course, welcome us to bring the baby along and put the baby to sleep in one of their bedrooms as to keep with baby's sleeping schedule. After baby is asleep, we're welcome return to the downstairs shin dig. Not too shabby if you ask me. Plus, we like board games, and they welcome such additions to the party. My hubby's best friend and his girlfriend also made the same offer; they invited all three of us to their pad and offered up their bed for G's sleeping pleasures. We opted to go to the closer of the two parties.
2. Host your own get together and invite family and friends with babies and small children. Often time parents of small children would love to go somewhere kid-friendly AND adult-interesting. If that's your pad, then invite away and watch the RSVPs come flying in! We might have done this had we completed our child/older-infant-house-proofing duties. However, this year our glass and iron-rod coffee tables are still out in the open with no padding, which might prove disastrous and necessitate a trip to the ER.
3. Make the night a night for two at home. Put the baby to bed early that evening and have a late special dinner with fabulous wine and yummy dessert. Perhaps you and your spouse would enjoy a special dinner you prepared together. Go out to the store and buy some yummy treats, dinner ingredients and tasty beverages New Year's Eve during the day; this might help you get excited about your evening together. Help the baby wind down around 7 p.m. or so and then when baby goes off to sleep begin your party for two. Make dinner, talk, sip on wine, listen to some music, watch a movie, laugh -- do all of the things you normally are too tired to do any other night you or your spouse might have to wake up early the next morning. Take advantage of the next day being a work-free holiday and catch up on your sleep when the baby naps. This might be one of the only New Year's Eves when you and your spouse can this!

Happy New Year's!

Got another suggestion for New Year's Eve plans for first-time moms and pops? Leave it as a comment!

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