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Pro Tips For A First Birthday Made Easy!

Planning a first birthday party can sometimes seem overwhelming, especially if it’s for your first child. This may even be the first children’s party you’ve ever planned but that doesn’t mean it has to be draining. Follow these pro tips to make the occasion stress free and full of fun.

Smaller is better

You don’t have to invite everyone you know. From my experience as a party girl and mom of 2 myself, I would definitely say that a lengthy guest list is the number one mistake I see when it comes to first birthday parties. I’ve done it also! Having too many people at the party isn’t just overwhelming for you, but also to the baby that will be the center of all that attention. Consider inviting family only or just a few friends that also have younger kids. You don’t need to invite all of your aunts and uncles and your neighbor with the 9-year-old son.

Consider nap time

When planning your child’s first birthday party, make sure you consider the time frame before you order those cute invitations online. Avoid your baby’s nap time or any “witching hour” they may have. Try to select a time when they are happiest to avoid a meltdown from over-stimulation.

Keep it short and sweet

Speaking of over-stimulation, try to keep your party on the shorter side. Two hours seems to be the sweet spot for events like this. Add an end time to your invitation so that your guests know what to expect.

Activities

If you are inviting other babies to your bash, here are some age-appropriate activity ideas to keep the little ones happy. You can keep it really simple but still fun by laying out a bunch of your babe’s favorite toys on a playmat for the kids to enjoy. Ball pits and bubbles are also a big hit at this age. If you want to really go all out, some more extravagant ideas include petting zoos, music classes, or a party at a splash pad; but I’ve seen my kids have just as much fun playing with cardboard boxes at that age.

Cake smash

If you’re wanting to keep it small and simple, it’s totally ok if the main attraction is just a cake smash, especially if it’s just a family affair. A cake smash is a 1st birthday trend where a small cake is served to the birthday baby to dig right into with their hands. It’s messy, adorable and quite the crowd-pleaser. A store-bought cake will be just as fun for the birthday babe and save you lots of time over making on your own. No matter your choice, just make sure to have your camera ready.

Food for the littles

You can’t have a party without food, that’s for sure. You’ve probably already thought about the adults, but it’s a great idea to have some baby food pouches and puffs around for your littlest guests. I definitely recommend going the store-bought or delivery route for party food too. Cooking for a big group of people is a lot of work and can cause a lot of stress on a day that you should enjoy.

Decorations

You don’t have to go crazy over decor for a first birthday party. You can save the Pinterest worthy parties for when your littles are old enough to remember and are, hopefully, sleeping through the night. A cake, banner, and cute onesie might just be all you need for a perfect party. Of course, you can go all out if you want to, but I’m here to give you permission not to if you find it more overwhelming than enjoyable.

Theme

For starters, you will need to pick a theme. Since your little won’t have much say this time around, the choice is all yours. Some fun ideas include animals, rainbows, bubbles, “one is fun” or “wild one”. A quick Pinterest search will yield plenty of unique ideas. If you want something even easier, you can select a few colors to be your theme.

Supplies

My favorite place to buy party supplies, even as a professional, has always been Party City. A festive cake table, followed by the dining tables, are the best places to focus your decorating efforts. It’s better to have one big “WOW” area than lots of little “cute” areas. For a cake table, at minimum, you’ll need a backdrop, a cake stand, a banner, and of course, a cake. Then you can fill in the space on the sides with favors, sweets, or decorations.

Party favors

If you're going to give party favors at the end your party, these are some ideas that won’t be headed straight for the trash: bubbles, sidewalk chalk, coloring books with crayons, and bath toys are all great party favors for this age group that also work for big kids. Individually wrapped cookies that compliment your theme also make a perfect party favor for anyone. Personalized water bottles are another idea that works for all ages.

A baby’s first birthday party is really more for the parents. It’s sort of a celebration for making it through your first year. Your tiny guest of honor won’t really know what’s going on yet so the pressure is off for a Pinterest worthy party.

Celebrate as big or as little as you want, but my advice is this - don’t do so much that it’s not fun anymore.

If you enjoying staying up all hours of the night crafting, go for it, but if that’s not your jam, it’s totally ok to skip it. Your day will still be just as special.