In my mind, a first birthday is a special occasion worthy of celebration. But I’m also keenly aware that the days leading up to it can be emotional for many moms, and also fraught with pressure to throw an extravagant, and sometimes expensive, soiree. Most babies won’t even notice or appreciate the effort, so go ahead and keep things small and simple at this age.
Here’s how I planned for my son’s milestone party:
Know Your Baby
As soon as I began thinking about what I wanted to do for Matthew’s birthday, I also started giving some serious consideration to what would work well for him. He’s much happier during the day than he is in the early evening, so I immediately decided that a lunch event would be more enjoyable for all than a dinnertime party, which is what I usually do when celebrating one of my kids’ birthdays.
Timing is Key
Now that I’ve decided on a midday meal, I’ve been sure to structure it around naptime so we’ll actually start the festivities around 11am, and end before 2pm when I know he’ll be ready for some well earned R&R. Also, if you will have other babies in attendance, you may want to check in with their parents to see what other naptime needs might need to be considered.
Who to Invite
Social networks are small at this age, so keep the guest list to family and close friends, if possible. Many babies are shy around the one-year mark, so they aren’t likely to give a warm welcome a house full of strangers.
Kids of this age eat very little so there’s no need to provide a lot of food for this age group; a few bites per child should be enough. Add some milk, water, and 100% fruit juices, and a birthday cake (of course!) and you’ll be set for some pint-size partying. For more menu planning tips we have a list of 9 excellent finger foods for a baby’s first birthday party.
Lastly, a few other things you may want to consider if you have a lot of little ones coming to the party:
- This is the age where kids are climbing, crawling and walking ‘ if you have stairs a gate is essential for safety.
- Tuck away any breakables.
- Designate someone to be your party photographer. You’ll have too much to do and won’t be able to capture the precious moments you’ll want to remember.