Today’s Hint: How to Celebrate New Year’s Eve with a Baby & No Babysitter

Tonight, we’re going to be ringing in the New Year without paying a babysitter. Instead of going out, we’re having friends and family over to our place, with most of the festivities planned for after our daughter goes to bed.

My sister and brother-in-law, who also have a toddler, will be attending the party. However, they didn’t pay for a babysitter either. How is that possible? No, my niece is not going to be staying up to midnight. Rather, all three of them are going to be sleeping over at our place, with my daughter and her cousin both set to go to sleep by 8 p.m.

Still looking for a New Year’s Eve babysitter or haven’t finalized your plans yet? Finding someone to babysit on New Year’s Eve can be difficult and expensive, costing 1.5 to 2 times the normal babysitting rate, according to Lynn Perkins, UrbanSitter’s chief executive officer, as quoted in a Today Moms piece.

So today’s hint is to consider celebrating with a family sleepover instead. In other words, host family or friends with little ones at your place, and let them stay the night if you have room, or plan to bring your little one on an overnight trip to someone else’s home.

Besides saving on babysitting costs while still getting to celebrate the ball drop, you’ll be able to enjoy a drink or two without having to worry about driving home.

To be sure, this sleepover approach will probably only work if your baby or tot is generally sleeping through the night. And of course, I’m not the first one to come up with it.

As Tracee M. Herbaugh wrote on She Knows last December, there’s no better time than New Year’s Eve to “have some close friends and their babies over for a classic slumber party.” Elsewhere, Melissa Willets, who blogs at Spit Up in the Suburbs, recently shared this tip over at What to Expect: “Throw your own NYE party (and a kid’s party before),” noting that with this “group sleepover” strategy, “the adults can usher in the New Year together as the kids snooze in the next room.”

The Rookie Moms, meanwhile, suggest the idea of half-sleepovers, where the little ones stay in portable cribs during the party and then leave with you when you go after the party is over (a strategy that works great if you’re having a champagne free celebration). And my clever friend who hired a TaskRabbit to help at her son’s first birthday is ringing in the New Year with a sleepover plan similar to mine.

What are your tips for mixing New Year’s Eve celebrations with little ones?

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