Between a new baby and COVID-19, your plans for New Year’s Eve are going to be a little different this year. You won’t be taking a trip to Las Vegas with your girls. You won’t be wearing your sparkly champagne-colored dress toasting with a glass of champagne at midnight. You probably won’t even be going out for a nice sit-down dinner with your partner. And that’s OK.
You don’t have to cancel New Year’s Eve just because you have a baby. You just have to make some changes. And I know that we’ve all experienced a lot of changes this year, but a slower-paced New Year’s Eve celebration may be just what you and your little family need.
Here are seven fun ways to ring in the new year as a new mom, whether or not you actually stay awake to see the ball drop.
1. Celebrate Noon Year’s Eve
Partying until 2 a.m. isn’t ideal when you’ll be up for a 4 a.m. feeding. Your baby’s first New Year’s Eve is special, but what’s even more special as a new mom is getting sleep. So rather than staying up until midnight, have a lunchtime celebration. This way everyone gets to take part in the festivities and get a good night’s sleep.
2. Create a family vision board
A vision board, or a dream board as some call it, isn’t just something for individuals to make. Yes, it’s good to have personal goals, but it’s also good to have family and parenting goals, as well as experiences and adventures you want to have this coming year. And what better time to create a family vision board than Dec. 31? Your baby won’t be much help with this one, but they will as they get older. I know some families who make what they call a promise board when their kids are little. They cut out and paste pictures of things they promise to do with their baby during the next year.
3. Make New Year’s artwork with your baby
Since we’re all feeling crafty now, here’s another fun way to ring in the new year. Get some paint, paper and whatever other arts and crafts supplies you want and create New Year’s artwork with your baby’s handprints and footprints. It’s an adorably easy keepsake you’ll have for years, and your baby should quite enjoy it too. Hang them up for everyone to see or add them to your baby’s scrapbook.
4. Host a virtual game night
At this point in the year, we’re all Zoom wizards. So even if you can’t physically get together with your family and friends to eat and play games, you can do it virtually with others you know who are also staying in this New Year’s Eve. Skype, Google Hangouts and Houseparty are other online services you can use besides Zoom. From trivia games to well-loved board games, there are numerous virtual game night ideas you can plan and host for a safe and fun night at home with loved ones.
5. Have a New Year’s Eve photoshoot
I’m sure your phone’s camera roll looks like mine – hundreds of pictures of your cute baby. So do what you do best and set up a festive New Year’s Eve photoshoot for your baby. You can go all out with the backdrop and props or make it simple by hanging a white sheet up over the wall and taking a picture of your baby with a balloon. You can turn it into a yearly tradition where you add a balloon each year to match how old your baby is. I can’t promise your child will happily want to keep doing this until they’re 18 years old, though.
6. Embrace your date night in
Date nights at home have become the norm this year, and they’ll become the norm even more for you now with a newborn. There’s nothing wrong with staying in; just make it different from every other night of the week. After you put your baby down for the night, dress up like you were going out, order takeout from your favorite restaurant and watch a movie you’ve never seen before.
7. Make fun plans for New Year’s Day
Instead of staying up until midnight, and then waking up super early with a newborn, put yourself to bed when your baby goes down so you’re well-rested for a New Year’s Day outing.
You can start the new year off the way most of us want to: waking up refreshed and hangover-free, going on a family walk and then going out for a rewarding brunch after.
This New Year’s Eve may not be as fancy or wild as last year, but I bet you’ll enjoy this year’s celebrations even more.