New Years Celebrations With a Newbornby Jodie Keith
Ahh… New Year’s Eve: a seemingly normal day of the year that holds the weight of hope, new beginnings and fresh starts. Everyone has different New Years celebrations and traditions: for some people, partying until 6am and walking around, heels in hand, waiting for the Uber surcharge to drop is the norm. For others, it’s a quiet night in with a movie and a bottle of prosecco to seal the deal. Live in London? Watching the fireworks might be your thing. Or maybe you’re like me, and never make it until 12 no matter how hard you try! Whatever your plans, one thing’s for sure: New Years celebrations with a newborn will probably be considerably different to what you’re used to! Being a mum of two, here’s some tips I’ve learnt along the way, as well as some ideas, so you can have the best New Years celebrations with your newborn this New Year’s Eve!
Don’t be afraid to say no
Saying no is something I wish I did more of when my eldest was little. You’re navigating a newborn baby, possibly even navigating becoming a mum for the first time, and yet everyone else seems to hold so many opinions and expectations of what you should be doing and how you should be doing it. This is true for practically every single element of parenting and life (WHY does everyone have so many opinions about absolutely everything when it comes to babies and parenting?!), but considerably true for holidays and events, like New Years Eve.
It’s simple, really: if you want to go out for New Year’s Eve – go out. If you want to stay in as a family - stay in! Surviving the newborn days is hard enough as it is, so don’t be afraid to say no. Say no to your friends trying to peer pressure you to go out drinking. Say no to your parents trying to pressure you into spending NYE at theirs. Say no to that colleague making you feel guilty for going out partying for the first time post birth. Say no to standing in the freezing cold to watch fireworks that will be too loud for your baby’s ears anyway. Say no to the annual New Year’s Day lunch in a crowded pub that has the awkward baby change in the dirty toilet out back.
Do what YOU want to do, end of. Don’t be afraid to say no.
Heading outside for fireworks?
If you decide to head outside to watch fireworks for your New Years celebrations with your newborn, whether at an organised event or at home, here are a few tips;
- Wrap up warm. It can be deceivingly cold when you’re stood still and not walking around, so be sure to pack extra layers.
- Face baby away from the fireworks. An older baby might love looking at the fireworks, but lets face it: your newborn baby probably can’t see them anyway, as their eyesight won’t be fully developed yet. That, on top of the fact that any flashes of light they can see will become very over stimulating very quickly, it’s probably your best bet to face them away from the fireworks.
- Get ear protectors for your baby. A generally safe level of noise for your baby is thought to be around 50-60 decibels, however fireworks can sometimes be upwards of 120 decibels. Even for adults, standing too close to fireworks for even just a few seconds could potentially cause permanent hearing damage. Whilst this risk isn’t thought to be common, it’s a risk nonetheless, so protect your baby and buy ear protectors if you’re planning to take your baby to fireworks.
- Wear baby in a carrier. This one’s a personal preference, but if you haven’t yet tried a baby carrier, this could be the perfect opportunity. Baby will be warm on your chest and nice and close so you can keep an eye on them. Plus, unlimited snuggles… and both hands free to take photos or hold a nice warm cuppa (or a beer- cheers!).
Staying indoors? Start some traditions!
New Years celebrations with a newborn doesn’t mean you have to feel like you’re trapped inside whilst everyone else is partying – make a fun night of it! You could start by making keepsake cards or mementos (footprints are always a favourite of mine!), followed by an at home photo shoot in front of the Christmas tree (I’m not the only one who keeps the tree up for NYE, right?!).
In between the 2-3 hourly feeds, endless nappy changes and ‘could you grab me a muslin cloth?’, why not open a bottle of prosecco, play a board game and order pizza? Maybe bringing the duvet onto the sofa for a movie, popcorn and tea is more your jam, or you’re a charcuterie board and wine tasting kind of parent. Whatever you do: make it special and start a tradition! Light those candles! Put on those fairy lights! Heck, do party poppers in your sparkliest dress if you want to.
If you manage to stay up to watch the fireworks on the television, well done, but lower your expectations: you’re probably running on about 4 hour’s sleep every night already, so whatever sleep you can get is precious, and absolutely no-one will judge you if you’re all asleep by 9pm!
Just remember, whatever you decide to do for your New Years celebrations, they’re not a newborn for long: next year will be a little bit easier. I promise!