The first birthday of your child is the first milestones in his/her life.
You can have the option of throwing a cute party or just letting it bass without being celebrated.
Of course, you would not want the latter! The first birthday of your baby is an achievement for you as well! Here are the basic things to consider when planning out a first birthday party for your precious one:
It is best to keep in mind that your baby only wants your undivided attention. Sure, your baby will play alongside with other babies, but your baby will not know how to play with them yet. Your baby will be scared of strangers, for sure. Therefore, it is ideal to invite only the closest friends and relatives to the party.
The cash you need to shelve out for your baby’s first birthday party does not need to go over $500. Since you are only inviting the few closets people to the party, you only have to spend the minimum amount on food, party favours and decorations. It is up to you if you want to splurge more on the party theme and food.
The best time to throw your baby’s first birthday party is around the afternoon nap time. You wouldn’t want sleepy and cranky crying babies during the party, right? Remember, it’s a domino effect. Once a baby starts to cry, the others will follow suit. Also, it is best to keep the party short. An hour long party is long enough for the babies, as well as the adults, to have fun and interact with each other.
Food and Drinks
Keep it effortless! Simple and easy eats are best served for babies, while the adults can have separate food for themselves. Simple cheese sandwich, cheesy macaroni or spirals, diced fruits of variety of colours, pizza topped with pineapple and ham, Spanish rice and crackers are good choices since these are simple for babies to chew on. Avoid foods that can cause possible choking like popcorns, nuts and raisins. The toddlers can have a separate cake for themselves to mash on to their heart’s content, while the adults can have cupcakes or a delicious cake to feast on. Remember to keep your baby away from the candle; otherwise he/she will end up grabbing it, instead of blowing it.
Like the food, keep the drinks simple as well. Milk, diluted juices and water are the best option for drinks. Adults can have a separate non-alcoholic fruit cocktail for themselves.
The ideal place for your baby’s first birthday party is at home. It is where baby feels most secured and you have access to everything he/she needs. If your house is too small for the event, you can opt for the social hall around your village or a restaurant that caters to kiddie parties.
Games and crafts
1 year-olds are too young to understand the mechanics of the game. The best fun activity that your baby will love is singing and dancing along to his/her favourite nursery rhyme. You can also play peek-a-boo, bean bag toss, read a story book and most of all, your baby will love to help you unwrap his/her presents.
To make the party memorable for every toddler attending the party, you can make a collection of their paint handprints in a white board. You can construct it into a pattern of a tree or flower; just make sure that the paint you will use is non-toxic and easy to remove. You can also pass around a cute sign book or board around the adults joining the party to make the event even more unforgettable.
Make the cards as personalized as possible. A picture of your baby, the theme of the party and the important details should be printed in your invitation. Make it as colourful and as cute as you can, just like your baby! You can distribute electronic invitations, but it won’t be as gush-worthy as receiving an actual invitation.
Things to remember
Delegate a clean and well-equipped place for diaper changing and also a place where breastfeeding moms can have some quiet and privacy.
As much as possible, avoid balloons and candies as give-aways for other babies. These items are dangerous for babies. Loot bags are not necessary for 1st birthday parties. You can opt for a safe and soft toy as party treats instead.
Equip your house with childproofing devices to ensure the safety of other babies. Watch out for sharp edges and objects such as forks and toothpicks; stow away small objects that can cause choking; and don’t forget to keep away the breakable and fragile items around the house. It is best to keep pets out of the line of attack from babies as well.
Provide a spacious floor space with safe and soft toys for babies to play around. Let your baby and his/her relax.
It is a good idea to have a designated photographer for the event. You can have a relative to capture the memories of the event or you can hire a professional. For certain, you will be too busy watching after your baby and talking with the guests.
Party ideas and themes
A first birthday party without a theme is a boring one! Parents these days are very creative and unique in formulating themes and ideas for parties. The sky is the limit! You can opt for anything you have in mind, just be sure to match it with your baby’s personality. When you have decided on the theme, the decoration, invitations and costumes (this is optional) will follow suit:
A sophisticated baby needs a theme as chic as she is! Fill the room with dream catchers and bohemian streamers and bring out the spirit of the bohemian into the party.
Your Royal Highness.
Every little girl dreams of growing up into a lovely princess one day. Let your baby experience the life of a Disney princess for her birthday! Adorn her with a crown and a cute gown and don’t forget to give other princess babies their own tiara too!
Somewhere over the Rainbow.
Let the room radiate with the colours of the rainbow. Hang strips of different hues around the room and embellish the walls with balloons of rainbow colours.
Need for speed.
Boys love cars and drive them in breathtaking speed. Your baby boy will love the chequered flag of black and white and the cupcake shaped cars for his party.
Parents who love to travel can instil their spirit of wanderlust in their child at an early age. Start him/her early with a vintage traveller theme. Decorate the room with balloons and streamers of solid colours, make invitations reminiscent to a passport, and embellish the cake with an airplane topper.
Kids love carnivals. One of the classic favourites is the merry-go-around. Order a carousel topper for the cake, have a ferry’s wheel as a centrepiece and line the room with colourful carnival streamers.
Pirates of the Caribbean.
If Jack Sparrow is your thing, then take that pirate spirit into your son’s 1st birthday party. Dress him in an eye patch and a cool pirate outfit. Place a treasure chest filled with soft and chewable toys as centrepiece and line up the room with pirate flags. Remember to keep the swords and hooks away!
Nautical baby boy.
This is the perfect classic and effortless theme for your baby boy’s first birthday party. Simply top the cake with an anchor, order it in stripes of blue and white and you are ready to go! Bring in the character of a sailor by putting up a boat’s wheel and sail as party streamers around your house.
Into the woods.
Wouldn’t it be fun to hold a summer camping in your house? Sans the wildlife and the camp fire, make a memorable first birthday for your little man with a camping themed party. Dress him up in a rangers outfit and build a little tent where the little ones can play.
This theme is a wonderful for gender neutral parties. Just embellish the room with snowflakes, a lot of shimmer and snow and you’re good to go!
Pastel and Chic.
The ruffles, laces, and the pastel coloured flowers perfectly spell CHIC!
Old Macdonald had a farm eya-eya-ow! There’s nothing like a fun barnyard theme for your toddler. Serve crackers in various animal shapes, decorate the cake in a cute cow print and play the old barnyard nursery theme during the party!
Coffee Shop Love.
There is one thing in common that all coffee shops share – the vintage feel! Fill the plates with cakes of various flavours and design, serve chocolate drink to the kids (tea and lattes for the adults) and cover the table with fancy and laced table cloth.
Musical Rock Star.
If your baby is musically inclined an early age, bring out that inner rock star with a musical themed party. Bake biscuits of different colours in a shape of a xylophone key and top that cake with a cute and cool guitar or drum set.
Up, up and away.
This is another effortless birthday party idea for your 1-year old. Decorate the cupcakes with air balloon toppers, line your walls with more air balloon cardboards and let the party go up, up and away with fun!
Mickey and Minnie.
Perfect for your baby boy or baby girl. Decorate the house with Minnie’s cute red and white ribbon if the party is for a baby girl. Embellish the room with Mickey’s signature gloves if the party is for your little man. Don’t forget to don on the Mickey or Minnie ears and make sure that the guests have their own!
Alice in Wonderland.
The Cheshire Cat, the Rabbit with a watch, The Mad Hatter, The Invisible Caterpillar and the Queen – so many interesting characters! This theme is not only visually appealing as decorations; it is also an interesting topper for the cake or cupcakes. You can dress your baby girl as Alice or put on the Mad Hatter costume for your baby boy. Don’t forget to decorate the room that is reminiscent to the world that Alice fell into!