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The first birthday is such an exciting time. It means that your adorable, snuggly little baby is now a toddler, and it means you have successfully been a parent for an entire year. This means it’s time for a celebration!
Now the question, “How Do You Plan a First Birthday Party”?
First, let’s address who this party is for. Yes, the party is a first birthday party for your child. However, your child isn’t going to remember the party and doesn’t care one way or another if you throw a big party. The first birthday is really for the parents, and that’s perfectly okay.
I had no shame planning an elaborate first birthday party for my son. It’s one of the few times I will get to throw him a birthday without him caring what the theme is and what we eat. Keep reading for my tips on how to make the first birthday party a success.
1. Decide on a Theme
You can go with anything because your baby is too little to care. Pick something age-appropriate that you enjoy. Some theme ideas include the number one, books, movies, Disney, trains, unicorns, and many others. We went with a storybook theme.
2. Choose an Ideal Time
Think about what time of day your baby is happiest. Is it in the morning? If so, a breakfast party might be best. Is it after the midday nap? Then go for a late afternoon party. You want the time of day where your baby is most likely to be well-rested, well-fed and happy.
3. Pick a Date
If your baby’s actual birthday is mid-week, consider having the party on a weekend to allow more people to attend.
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4. Determine What You Will Do With Cards and Gifts
When people come to a birthday party, they plan to bring a card and a gift. This will result in a stack of toys and clothes and cards. If you need those things for your baby, then that’s great. If not, consider alternative options, and make your wishes clear on the invites. For example, I really didn’t want a stack of cards, so I requested that in lieu of cards people bring a book with a note to my son written inside. This built his library substantially and won’t just get tossed or thrown in a box like cards would.
If you don’t have space for a lot of gifts, suggest that people make a donation to your baby’s college fund instead of bringing a gift. These donations are tax deductible and won’t add to the huge number of baby items you
5. Choose Food That Works for Adults and Your Baby
The party will likely consist of a lot of adults, but you want food that your baby can eat as well. You could even add some foods that fit your theme. We tied all the food into
6. Keep the Smash Cake Basic
The pictures of a baby covered in cake are absolutely adorable, so it stands to reason that you want to provide a cute smash cake that fits with the theme of your party. This is fine but know that traditional frosting is a lot better for smashing than fondant. My son had an adorable, themed smash cake with a fondant design. The only problem was when he went to smash it, it just bounced because the fondant didn’t smash. He grabbed a piece of fondant and chewed on the sugar and no interest in the rest of the cake. At his second first birthday party, his cake had basic frosting and he had a lot for fun smashing it and making a mess.
7. Keep Your Expectations In Line
Baby is likely not going to get all that excited about opening presents. Toys may result in some excitement, but if you open a toy for baby to play with right away, he likely won’t want to pay attention to any other presents.
8. Keep the Party Short
A lot of people, food, decorations and gifts can be overly stimulating. Even if well-rested, your baby will likely only be in the mood for a big party for an hour or two.
There you have my tips for planning a first birthday party. These are all things I learned from experience, so I wanted to share them with you to help you avoid the same issues.
Your turn – have you planned a first birthday party? If so, what tips do you have?
Mom, wife, veterinary pharmacist, equestrian, ice cream lover and occasional hot mess