A baby's first birthday is a momentous occasion and so a wise parent will know how to throw a great first birthday. Your child has gone from not being able to hold up their own heads to a curious, smiling, chattering, crawling ball of energy in only one short year! Celebrate this wonderful day in style with these handy tips and party ideas.
- Keep in mind that this party is really for the grownups. Your baby will certainly have fun and enjoy the attention, but they really have no idea what's going on. Invite family and close friends, because an intimate party with those who love your child will be more meaningful to you as parents.
- One thing you need to have plenty of is film for your camera! Make sure your camera, video camera, and/or digital camera are all in good working order, and recharged or equipped with fresh batteries. Everyone will want to have their picture taken with baby.
- Plan a theme, such as the number one, Sesame Street or other favorite characters, or something like teddy bears or dolls. Send out invitations that reflect the theme, and plan your party decorations and cake around the theme as well. Don't stress if everything doesn't match or fit with your theme, however!
- Pick up a blank notebook or small journal and record all of the gifts your child receives at their 1st birthday party and who they are from. Then you can send out personalized thank you cards, with a photo of the gift giver and your child, after the party. Save a copy of each picture in the notebook as well, and tuck it away with the birthday cards as a nice little keepsake when your child is older.
- Keep the 1st birthday party short; no more than two hours long. Your baby will be overwhelmed by all of the happy faces and people singing "Happy Birthday" to them, so in this case, less is more. If your child gets stressed by the gathering and all of the extra fuss, take her outside or to her bedroom for a few minutes to relax a bit and calm down.
- Make sure the decorations are touchable for your child's 1st birthday party. Balloons and streamers are great fun to play with, but beware of long strings, ribbons, or any small plastic pieces that baby could put in her mouth and choke on.
- If you have other small children attending the first birthday party, make sure there is an area where they can all play. Set aside some toys and some open space to keep these children occupied, and give them age-appropriate snacks to munch on.
- It's fine to let your newly minted one-year-old enjoy some of their birthday cake and ice cream, even if you don't normally allow them to eat sugar-laden treats. Just cut a tiny piece and let them go to town with it. You'll get some excellent pictures from this new experience, and a little bit of sugar isn't going to hurt the child.
Years from now, your child will look at all of the pictures you took of their first birthday party, and you'll be able to tell them all about it. Oh--and don't forget to enjoy yourself and make sure the stories will be full of fun experiences!