We're ringing in the New Year with ten tips for a child-friendly New Year's Eve party
Let's face it, New Year's Eve before and after children is likely to be very, very different. During previous years, your pre-child self might have spent the time at a party, out watching the fireworks or dancing till dawn at a packed bar or club.
Once you have children it changes dramatically. But, it doesn't have to be any less fun. Here are ten tips for a child-friendly New Year's Eve to help you party like a parent:
If you're pregnant or breastfeeding, read our tips for surviving the Christmas party season when pregnant
Have a party at your house: While it's unlikely you'll be out out - unless you've booked the holy grail, a babysitter - then host a party at your home and invite friends with children round instead. You could always make it an annual event, where the venue changes between houses each year.
Or host a sleepover: If you have the space, host a sleepover for children and adults, which means no-one has to drive home that evening (if not, celebrate early to make sure everyone's back for bedtime).
Watch the fireworks: If your children are older - or will sleep in a pushchair - you could stay up late and venture out to see the fireworks (here's a list of New Year's Eve fireworks around the UK).
Celebrate throughout the day: Don't just celebrate at 12 midnight UK time - watch the fireworks on the news around the world, and cheer each one.
Decide on the big question - will they stay up, or not? If yes, and it's their first time, then make a big fuss - they're bound to remember it. Decorate the house and get all their favourite food in. Let everyone get as dressed up as they like (with as many sparkles as possible).
If they're too little to stay up: Or you just want to avoid the 1st January grumps, then have a mini midnight celebration, early. Have a pretend countdown, sing Auld Lang Syne whenever you feel like it. If they're old enough to tell the time and know the difference, you could always sneakily adjust the clock. Netflix usually has a variety of different countdown programmes, which you can play whenever you want.
Have a games or movie night: To kill the time till midnight, watch your favourite film of the year, or have a family games-fest. Remember everyone's likely to be excited so it might all quickly descend into chaos. Then switch over to the fireworks at 11.50pm.
Let everyone toast the new year: While it's only the adults who'll be tucking in to the fizzy wine, make the children a special drink to have whenever you celebrate midnight. Use fruit-flavoured fizzy water, or a fruit-juice based non-alcoholic cocktail for them, in a special grown-up glass.
Embrace it: If you're pregnant and not in the mood for partying, or in the house with a newborn who's waking every hour, or cooped up with small, over-excited children then embrace the positives - no queue at the bar, no overpriced drinks, no 1am hunt for a taxi in shoes that hurt you.
And finally, for parents: A final tip for how to have a child friendly New Year's Eve, for parents who might be a little tired and weary the next day: try to pace yourself and drink a lot of water the night before the morning after and most importantly, don't feel bad about letting them watch iPad or TV in your bed while you snooze a while longer.
Happy New Year! We hope you find our tips for a child friendly New Year's Eve useful. Have a great holiday; we'll be back in 2019