Forget swanky restaurants and weekends away – the chances are since becoming a parent Valentine’s Day means a date night in rather than a romantic evening out (yet another thing they fail to tell you about being a parent).

Which is easier said than done with kids in the house.

5 ways to childproof Valentine's Day

Sod’s law dictates there’ll be some sort of interruption – a leaky nappy that requires total bed stripping, a sneeze that results in a snot fest, a troll under the bed.

So what can you do to (try) and ensure a successful evening, other than just not bothering?

5 ways to childproof Valentine’s Day

1. Tire them out during the day. Whether it’s swimming, skipping a nap or a trip to the dreaded soft play, tire them out as much as possible during the day in a bid to ensure a peaceful night’s sleep.

2. Plan an early night (for them, not you!) Assuming you’ve managed to knacker them out as much as possible during the day, get them to bed as early as possible to ensure you get the maximum time together during the evening.

3. Plan a cold meal. Spending hours in the kitchen whipping up a hot three course meal involving time sensitive dishes like steak and soufflé is asking for trouble if you get interrupted by a waking child. Think sushi platter, charcuterie board and cheese which can’t get ruined.

4. Bribe them. This one’s age dependent, but if they’re old enough to be bribed, do it. For example, Valentine’s Day falls in half term this year so set aside some time to do something special with the kids during the day – making heart shaped cookies or a cake is always a hit – and in return agree that the evening is grown-up time and they must be ‘good’.

5 ways to childproof Valentine's Day

5. If you can’t beat them, join them. Or rather let them join you. If planning a night à deux is simply too stressful or unlikely to happen, plan a night for the whole family. Think movie night with popcorn and a family film.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day and do you have a plans this year? Do you have any top tips for managing the kids?

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