First Birthday Party Ideas

Most parents realize that their child won’t get too much out of their first birthday party and may even feel overwhelmed. Because of that, their first birthday party is more for the parents, friends and family than for your baby yourself. Just because your child won’t remember their first party doesn’t mean that you don’t want to make it special for them however. There are some great ideas that can ensure that your child, his or her friends and the older guests all have a great time.

First Birthday Party Ideas

1. Who to Invite

Most of the time if you are having a birthday party for your one year old, it is ideal to have a smaller gathering that just includes family, friends and other people that your baby knows. That is because many small children are afraid of strangers and new places. They tend to like other babies but not necessarily know how to play with them. Most important of all, they like to get a lot of attention so you should be ready to make them the center of attention, but not too such an extent that overwhelms them.

2. How Much to Spend

When it comes to how much to spend on your child’s first birthday party, it can vary greatly from person to person. It truly depends on you and your tastes, but remember that your child isn’t likely to remember this birthday, except in pictures and videos. In a survey of 5,000 parents, around 61% of them spent under $200 on their child’s first birthday with 25% spending $200 to $500 and 11% spending over $500.

When figuring out how much many you want to spend, it is important to remember that the most expensive thing is usually food and then decorations followed by the cake. Since your child is small, there is nothing wrong with having a smaller party if you want.

3. The Right Time

When it comes to choosing a time for your baby’s first birthday party, you want to make sure that it doesn’t interfere with their naps. Most of the time one year olds still take a nap in the morning and another in the afternoon, so plan accordingly to ensure your baby is awake and alert and doesn’t get grumpy. If you plan on inviting other small children, try not to schedule the part at their naptimes if possible as well; this will prevent them from starting to cry and triggering everyone else’s tears as well.

4. The Right Place

The ideal location for your baby’s first birthday party is your home because it is familiar and your child feels secure there. If you want a bigger party that won’t fit in the home, however, then you can try local community centers, the home of a family or friend, a zoo, a park or a kids’ themed restaurant.

5. Theme

The best idea is to try to go with matching colors or find plates and napkins with one of your kid’s favorite characters. Despite your child not noticing, a theme can bring a bit of harmony to the party’s atmosphere. If you are sticking to colored themes, you can go with the traditional pink or blue. Other great theme ideas that would make great pictures include a favorite character, trains, animals, pirates, princesses, safari or jungle themes.

6. Foods

When planning a first birthday party, you shouldn’t make the food too fancy as your child and their guests are likely to play with it. It is ideal to stick to finger foods as these are good for both babies and grown-ups. Keep in mind that some children will have enough teeth to bite into foods while others will still need softer foods so you should have a variety of options.

Some good options for your baby and their guests include cheese cubes, fruit that is cut, mini yogurts, broken up animal crackers or small sandwiches made with cheese spread. You should also make it a point to avoid choking hazards such as raisins, popcorn and marshmallows.

In terms of drinks, try to have milk, diluted fruit juice and water for the kids and sodas or mineral water for the adults.

When it comes to the birthday cake, a popular option is to get a smaller one for the birthday girl or boy so they can make a mess with it. Another option is to give every guest cupcakes. Depending on how creative you are, you can either buy the cake or make it yourself.

7. Decorations

You will want the typical decorations such as plates, napkins and silverware, but you should also think of other ideas. Here are some good ideas:

  • Make a personalized banner and let guests leave your child notes
  • Decorate your child’s high chair
  • You can make a height chart for the guests
  • You can make a timeline showing what has happened in your child’s life so far (complete with pictures)
  • Set up your favorite photos of your baby
  • Try showing one of your child’s current outfits and a newborn outfit to show the guests how much they’ve grown
  • Try spelling out your baby’s name with building blocks

8. Games and Activities

  • Games. You can play a game to see how well your guests know your baby. To do this, have a timeline on the wall with your child’s milestones and a set of pictures to match with them. You can also ask trivia questions about your baby such as what time they were born at. You can also try making a list of things your baby can do and things they can’t and have guests guess which ones belong in which list.
  • Activities. A great idea is to have your guests help you make a time capsule for your baby for their 21st birthday. Have everyone bring a special momento such as a poem, toy, memory or photo and put them all together in a container. You can also do a similar thing but ask the guests to write down a memory or message to your baby then take photos of each of them at the party and make a memory book.

9. General Tips

  • Have a convenient area to change diapers
  • Have a private area to nurse
  • Child proof the area
  • Put away breakables
  • Put pets in another room
  • Put a lot of toys in a play area so the babies can play next to each other
  • Have someone ready to take pictures and videos

Here is a video that can help you come up with some more great first birthday party ideas for your baby:

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