Your baby’s first birthday is absolutely special. Although they may not realize it, it marks a huge milestone for you and your family, and also serves as the perfect excuse for the other kids in his life to have some fun and eat cake. So whether you are planning an intimate gathering of friends and family or planning to go all out on a huge bash, the most important thing is to make it as memorable as possible for everyone involved.
In truth, the first birthday is really for the parents and their friends. Your baby will not remember anything about it, and it is quite likely that they will feel pretty overwhelmed as it happens. All you can do is make sure your baby has a great time, but it’s still perfectly alright if they sleep through it. Here is how to celebrate your child’s first birthday.
Who to Invite
During the planning phase of the birthday, you need to keep in mind that your one-year-old would be a little fearful of strangers and new places. Plus, although they may like other babies, they still do not understand how to play with them yet. Also, at this age, they love all kinds of individual attention.
So what does this tell you about who to invite? Well, it means that the perfect option for a one-year-old’s birthday is a small intimate low budget gathering of close friends, relatives, fellow parents, and neighbors who actually know the child. However, if you are planning to go big, you need to keep in mind that your baby may feel a little overstimulated by large crowds, so she needs to get lots of undiluted attention from everyone.
Tips for a Successful First Birthday Party
- As has already been mentioned, small gatherings at this age will be a lot less overwhelming. 5 to 10 adults and their kids is a perfect size.
- Keep it short. Your baby’s attention span is still pretty limited, so a 60 to a 90-minute event for a first birthday is totally fine.
- Set up a diaper changing station if you are going to be having guests with young children.
- Try to plan the party around nap time to avoid messing with the baby’s routine.
- Get a small cake just for baby and let them smash it however they want.
Other important factors to consider:
- Budget: The budget for a first birthday entirely depends on the kind of party you want to have. Food will be the main thing that will drive costs up. Decorations are relatively cheap unless you want to have a fairly large party. The most important thing to keep in mind at this age is not to spend more than you can afford. Small is beautiful!
- Location: Home is the easiest place to host the party, but if it is too small for the number of guests you want, consider a social hall, community center, kid’s museum, restaurant, a relative’s house, or a park or zoo if the weather is nice.
- Theme: For a one-year-old’s birthday, a theme is not as important as most parents think. As long as you pick out matching party hats, plates, and perhaps napkins with their favorite cartoon character, you should be good to go. Remember, at this age, it is more about you as the parent and less about the baby.
- Food: Go for finger foods as much as you can. Know that most of it will end up on the floor. Cater to both toothless babies and babies with a few teeth. Aim for a variety of tastes, textures, and colors for your small guests. Finally, avoid serving foods that may pose choking hazards.
- If you are going to have breastfeeding moms on your guest list, provide a nice private place for them to nurse.
- Childproof your home for your crawling, walking, climbing guests. If you have any precious ornaments and breakables, store them away. Also, keep your pets well out of the way, because babies can be vicious sometimes.
- Have a volunteer around to take lots of photos. You will be too busy to capture these precious moments. Plus, you probably want to be in the shot with baby smashing her first cake!