New Year’s Eve is known as a party holiday, and after the stresses of finishing up another year, it’s a great excuse to kick up your heels and unwind. But if you plan to spend the entire evening partying your face off — or just having a nice dinner — you’ll need somewhere to park the kids first. And unfortunately, finding a babysitter for New Year’s Eve can turn into a nightmare. Your go-to people might get booked weeks in advance, and the huge rise in demand can send babysitter rates sky-high. It’s enough to make you want to give up and watch the ball drop on TV instead.

But don’t forego your dreams of midnight champagne toasts just yet. If you’re a little aggressive with your search, a NYE babysitter can be obtained. You might need to shell out some extra cash or try out an online sitter service, but chances are you can find a great child care provider for the evening. Everyone needs a break from reality now and then, and getting someone else to watch your kids can give you the peace of mind to let loose for a night. So go ahead and make those December 31 dinner reservations. With these tips, you’ll have a sitter in no time.

1. Start Searching Now

According to UrbanSitter’s survey of 1,500 parents and child care providers, 68 percent of parents book a sitter one month in advance of New Year’s Eve. If you plan on ringing in the new year sans kids, try to lock in that sitter now, before other clients fill the schedule.

2. Team Up With Friends

You may be able to go in with some of your friends to find a sitter who will watch all of your kids. Or you may luck out and find someone in your playgroup willing to watch everyone’s kids for the evening.

3. Ask Family Members

Are your parents in town for the holidays? Would an aunt or cousin be willing to watch the kids for a night? Close family members — especially those who planned on staying in anyway — might be happy to watch your kids for a few hours.

4. Search Online

Sittercity,, and UrbanSitter all offer services to connect babysitters with parents who can give them a job. You can even search for child care providers with first aid training, positive background checks, and household skills.

5. Ask Around

Start asking everyone — friends, family, colleagues, or the barista at your favorite coffee shop — for trusted baby sitter recommendations. There are some great sitters who just operate by word-of-mouth, so reaching out to your entire network might prove helpful.

6. Be Prepared to Pay Double

The UrbanSitter survey found that 41 percent of sitters charge twice their normal rate for New Year’s Eve. It’s just a case of supply and demand. Be mindful of your sitter’s valuable service and time, and get ready to pay more than usual.

7. Tip Like A Big Shot

Again following the UrbanSitter survey, 43 percent of sitters and nannies expect a holiday tip. This is a nice gesture, and it also ensures your sitter will be happy to work with your family in the future.

Furthermore, if your friends or family members watched the kids and you’d feel weird about giving them cash, consider taking them to dinner or sending a thank-you gift basket. And above all, have a happy new year with your family!

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