Baby’s First Birthday!
For those who have children, we have all watched our babies hit those milestones. First time rolling over, first time sitting up and walking, first time saying “mama” or “dada”. It all makes our hearts flutter when these things occur, but let’s not forget we get to plan a first birthday! To tell you the truth, I think we as parents get a lot more enjoyment out of it than our children do. They usually have no clue what is going on, except when they take a bite into cake for the first time, then they dig in!
When it comes to planning a first birthday, sometimes it is hard because your child hasn’t been around long enough to really make friends, so inviting people you know with babies is a little easier, I know with me it was.
When to throw it
You want your friends and family to be able to attend the party, so if baby’s first birthday falls on a weekday, the weekend before or after is a good bet. Plan the party for after naptime, so he or she’s well rested, because having a screaming over tired baby will not be a great party, I promise you. Limit the bash to a couple of hours rather than an all-day affair. Hold the party in a venue that has a private quiet space, so if baby needs a breather or gets fussy, you can take him or her there.
How many to invite
If it’s going to be intimate, the party might include grandparents, aunts and uncles, and a few baby friends from your play groups or classes. If you want to go all out and have a huge bash, invite extended family, and friends. The size of your party ultimately depends on your own preferences, as well as your budget—obviously the more people you have, the more food, beverages and space you’re going to need. Begin with your must-invite list: those that mean the most to you. If you can add to your head count, keep going.
Where to have it
If you have a big enough home and want to save some cash, throwing the party at your house could be a good option. Hosting the event at home means guests can hang out longer and baby has a place to nap if he or she gets tired. Plus, baby might be more comfortable in familiar surroundings. Booking a restaurant or even a children’s play space could be costly, but the big advantage is that you won’t get stuck with cleanup. You don’t have to do anything at all.
Otherwise, why not head to your favorite park? You can set up food and decorations at a picnic table (and some parks have barbecue grills). Plus, there’s already a play structure there to occupy the kids—just make sure that you have enough adults to keep an eye on them. Check with the local parks department to see if you need a permit or have to make a reservation for the space. Of course prepare for bad weather with it being outside, maybe have a back-up plan?
How to choose a theme
Does baby have a beloved elephant toy he or she sleeps with every night? Try zoo animals as a birthday theme. There are so many to choose from: Circus, Farm, Dr. Seus, Hot Wheels, etc… Or you can take inspiration from the season whether you’re having an indoor or outdoor party.
How to budget and DIY
If you don’t want to spend a fortune on baby’s birthday party, DIY is your best bet. Bake your own cake, have the party at home and shop at closeout stores (they often have great toys and stuffed animals for low prices). If you’re making your own cupcakes or treats, you can turn decorating them into an activity for guests. For invites, have Invitations Box do them for you!
What to serve
When planning the menu, take into consideration whether the party is going to be mostly adults or if there are going to be kids of all ages coming too. Definitely have baby’s favorite food on hand. Foods and snacks that are healthy and can be eaten on the go are also good choices. Be sure to note on the invitation whether you’ll be serving a full meal or just snacks and birthday cake, so guests know whether to eat before they get there. Double-check if anyone has eating restrictions or food allergies.
What to give as party favors
At the end of the day, it’s customary to send kids home with favors. You can give away fancy swag bags or keep it small with little harmonicas or a bath toy. Want to set up your own photo booth? When it’s time to hand out the favors, give the goodies to parents first just in case they want to remove a few items or candies.