10 First Birthday Party Ideas!
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post meaning I did receive some form of compensation. I am not the author of this post.
It can be highly exciting to celebrate your baby’s first birthday. While it may seem as though no time has passed at all, your little bundle of joy has now been with you for one whole year and the time has come to mark the occasion. However, naturally, the logistics surrounding a first birthday party will differ quite a great deal from birthday parties held for older children. After all, your baby probably still isn’t able to hit a piñata or drink copious amounts of lemonade as a seven or eleven-year-old might.
Coming up with suitable ideas for the first birthday is thus something of a challenge for parents, and a very fun one too!
Your child is still small, and this is probably their first party period, never mind their first birthday. So in the interests of keeping things from being too overwhelming, it may be an idea first of all to keep things small and relatively simple. Invite only a few friends and family to the occasion, and keep the occasion to a small part of the afternoon. Anything larger and more elaborate is both going to be more intimidating than entertaining for the baby, and is also something of a waste as well.
Does anyone really remember their first birthday? Then why place so much effort and money into something your child won’t even remember? You can afford to be understated for the first few years.
- Keep it in the Home
As we mentioned before, a large party is really undesirable for a first birthday, so you can save some hassle and expense by keeping the party within the home. Your child is not going to be especially mobile at this age either, so you won’t need much space. It’s also familiar to them, so they’ll be more comfortable and able to enjoy themselves. If the weather’s fine, you can even have it in the garden.
- Select a Theme
At one year of age, your child is slowly starting to develop a personality, as well as recognize and appreciate patterns. Use this as an opportunity to select a theme that your child might enjoy, and center the part around it a little. For example if they like animals, wrap presents up in paper with animals on it and bake cakes into animal shapes.
- Go Out Somewhere Nice
There’s nothing to stop you from going out for your child’s first birthday either. While some one- year-olds may prefer to stay at home, others may derive excitement from being somewhere new and different. As such, taking them to a restaurant with friends and family is a perfectly viable idea. It also gives the adults a chance to relax and enjoy themselves as well.
- Find Some Fun Games to Play
Naturally, as a small baby, you can’t expect them to take part in more traditional party games. Loud pops and bangs will frighten and upset them while other activities may involve dangerous choking hazards. However, that does not mean games are out of the question. There are a myriad of games you can play intended specifically for babies and toddlers, and it’s not impossible to alter the usual party fare so they’re more age appropriate.
Pin the tail on the donkey can easily be adjusted for a one-year-old. Simply remove the pin with an ordinary sticker, and place the donkey as a mat directly in front of the child. Their motor skills will probably as such that they’d still find it something of a challenge!
- Set Finger Food By the Play Area
Keep the food simple and easily chewed, and avoid potential choking hazards such as hard candy, nuts or marshmallows. As your kids still won’t really have a concept of designated eating time as such, it’s often easier just to set a plate of food down on a mat near the play area. The children will eat as they play whenever it most conveniences them, and that’s all you really want.
Good food ideas include small-cut sandwiches with soft cheese and meat paste, small pieces of fruit and carrot sticks, yogurts, cubes of cheese, and potato chips. Remember that the smaller guests will probably not have all their teeth, so prepare accordingly.
- Avoid Sugary Drinks
It’s a very bad idea to give toddlers soda and other fizzy drinks. The sugar will damage their growing teeth, and the chemicals may make them cranky. Instead, opt for water, fruit juice and milk. Make sure any fruit juice is diluted, again to protect teeth. Otherwise you may well be celebrating baby’s first cavities too!
- Baby’s First Cake
The cake is the center of any birthday party, and a first birthday party is no exception. It’s popular amongst some to have a smaller, separate birthday cake specifically for the baby, as they’ll be more inclined to mash it than eat it. For this reason, use a cake with soft sponge and natural ingredients.
When lighting a candle, keep it a distance away from the baby when it’s time to blow it out. Be careful that they don’t grab the candle – coach them to blow instead, and keep a gentle but firm hold of their hands.
- Have a Volunteer Take Photos and Video
With the excitement of the party, you may well be too busy to record the event yourself, especially as baby will want your full attention during the occasion. As such, make sure you have someone on hand to make sure that their first birthday party does not go unrecorded. The usual suspects include grandparents, the father, or a family friend.
Key events include, opening the presents, blowing out the candle, and eating (or smashing) the cake.
Also, with it being their first, you could capture a few photos of them in customized 1st Birthday shirts, such as the ones offered at lil threadz. So that years later, when going through photos it’ll be easy to distinguish which birthday was being celebrated.
- Opt for Long Lasting Presents
If your baby is already not lacking for toys and games, then try to find a present that’s particularly useful and long-lasting. Something like a new buggy will find lots of use outside the playpen, and of course a baby can never have too many new clothes.
Especially useful gifts are those that will aid in their development and early learning. Walk-along toys will help them grow more confident with moving around, and it’s never too early to give kids (age appropriate) books. They’ll be doing a lot more growing over the next year, so make sure they’re prepared for it!
- Let Your Baby Set the Pace
Remember: it’s their first birthday party, so by rights it’s theirs to enjoy. Arrange the party to fit in with their daily routine. If they nap in the afternoon and the morning, try holding it around lunch time. Make sure that the party does not last too long, after more than an hour and your baby may get bored or tired. Above all else, relax. Your child will probably be entertained enough on their own with just the presents, the food, and the attention. Just take the time to enjoy it and remember the day for the both of you.
Christian Mills is a freelance writer and father who enjoys sharing articles and insights into raising children. If you would like to learn more about Christian, you can checkout his google+ profile.
What did you do for your child's 1st Birthday? Or what are you planning on doing for their 1st Birthday?