Your baby’s first birthday is probably one of the most significant events because it marks a milestone for you and your child. It is something definitely worth celebrating. You are excited to host a big party and make your baby’s first birthday as memorable as it can be. Here are the 4 Ws guide to make your little one’s first birthday party extra special without going over the top.
Before making your list, take note of these two facts about your child’s socio-emotional condition at this age. First, this is the time when your baby is closely attached to you. Second, your child is not yet very comfortable with unfamiliar people around. It is best to limit your list to closest family and friends. Moreover, include the small social network of your child such as the children she frequently interacts at the park or in the neighborhood. Give your child your undivided attention without worrying so much on entertaining your guests. With familiar guests around, you can prevent your child shying away and feeling uncomfortable.
When deciding what is the best time for your baby’s party, primarily consider her nap time. Most children at this age take a nap in the morning and in the afternoon. The highly suggested time is after your baby’s afternoon nap to ensure that he or she is more energized and less cranky for her big event. Also limit your party to an hour or two. Any party longer than this may leave your child over stimulated, cranky and tired.
Your baby is most secured at home, which makes your place the best location for your youngsters’ first birthday party. But, if you do not have enough space to host a party this big, you can always look for other venues such as a community hall, a club house, or a restaurant. Other fun choices are the park or the zoo for as long as the weather on that day is nice.
This aspect of your party planning consists of several components such as the menu, invitations, decorations, activities, theme and party favors. All these may require more time to put together because you have to give each of these a careful thought. Here are some tips you can follow:
Theme: The benefit of having a theme is that all the other aspects of the party will be easier to coordinate. Plus, the photos will look great! When choosing a theme, draw inspiration from the favorite colors or cartoon character of your little one.
Invitations: You can buy ready-made invites that match your theme. But, you can opt to make your own invites especially if you have very few invited guests. You can find an inspiration on the Internet or some specialized books that you can find in almost every bookstore.
Decorations: Do not over decorate! You can simply add some balloons to bring color to your place, stickers for wall or simply use color-coordinated tablecloth and utensils. You can always make your own decoration instead of using the generic ones. Get creative and make a collage out of your little one’s photograph for each month leading to her 1st birthday. You may also use your baby’s clothes that she has grown out of and hang them all over the place to serve as your decorations.
Activities: Some simple and common games you can prepare for your baby’s 1st birthday include treasure hunt, crawl and chase, dress up, emptying or filling buckets and bean bag toss. If your space permits, you can hire a small party train where children can ride with their mothers. You can also have inflatable jumpies and baby ball pool for the little ones to play on. Moreover, you can set-up an interactive puppet show.
Menu: Include food for the children and adults. Finger foods such as are sandwiches, noodles, bread rolls, pasta, burgers and pizza are great choices because they are suitable for both types of guests. Mini crackers, pretzels, bread sticks and bite-size cakes are some baby-friendly choices you can include in your menu. Also prepare some beverages like juice, coffee, tea, milkshake and water. Make sure to include the cake in your menu. You can bake your own or order from a cake shop.
Party Favors: You do not really need to prepare any party bag for children at this age. However, if you really want to give your guests something to take along with them, choose a safe toy, board book or useful feeding accessories instead of goodies that can pose choking hazards to the little ones. For older kids, the safest party favors that they will surely love are coloring books and chocolates.