Celebrating Baby’s First Birthday!
10 Ways to Make the 1st Birthday it’s Best!
Celebrating your little one’s first birthday is BIG milestone; not only for baby, but for you too! You made it a year…through all of the amazing “firsts” as a newborn, sleepless nights, and hopefully life is continuing to bring more and more adventure as your birthday kiddo gets ready for year number two! Whether you are planning a small get together or a bigger festivity, here are some tips to help make it the best day for all!
Decide on When to Spend and When to Save
You don’t have to spend a bundle to celebrate your little one. Go simple on decorations and keep the theme to what your kiddo likes. Decide early what you want to spend money on and then stick to your plan. It can be very tempting to grab extras once you’re at the party store and it can add up quick.
Thinking about goody bags for guests? Keep it SIMPLE! Finger Flashlights, Little Bubbles, Mini Beach Balls, and Play-doh all make great party favors. Or, consider having the guests make a craft at the party – this can take the place of games that can be overwhelming for baby, and they get to take home a creation that they’ve done!
Keep the Guest List Limited
Wanting to invite all of your friends and their families is understandable!! This is afterall a celebration! But it can be overwhelming for the Birthday baby. Keep the guest list limited to who your child knows. This helps to cut down on being shy, scared, or wanting to be up in your arms for the entire party. As guests arrive have your baby help greet them at the door, then they will get a feel for everyone at the party.
Don’t mess with Naptime
Many one-year olds are taking 1-2 naps during the day so this can be tricky to schedule a birthday party around…but OH, SO important! Scheduling a morning before a nap, or later afternoon party after naptime works well! You know your kiddo best, so base the start and length of the party around what works best. A good rule of thumb is 1 1/2-2 hours for the party.
Another option that works well is to serve a meal during the party so that you can get the most out of your time together. In the past I have done self-serve pizzas (This keeps the bigger kids busy during the party too!), taco salad, or any meal that can be made ahead of time in a crock pot and then served up at the party. Here are some our best Crock Pot Recipes!
Make a Smash Cake
It’s pretty traditional to have a little cake on the side for baby. You can make it the same as what everyone else will eat…I personally love this Made from Scratch Chocolate Cake that Cathy introduced me to! There are also some great recipes with less sugar and more filling if that’s your preference. I like to use this Zucchini Orange Cake but make it with half of the sugar and just leave the glaze off. The kids have all loved it when I served it to them! Another thing to think of is staying away from fondant in this first year celebration and go with a buttercream frosting instead so your little one can take an easy bite.
Put down a Plastic Table Cloth During Cake Time
This makes for a quick clean up after your little one has finished playing with/smashing/eating their cake. You can pick one up from the Dollar Store, or you can add this Blue Table Cover to your next Amazon order for $0.97!
Open Gifts After the Party on Baby’s Timing
Opening gifts for a 1-year old can be tough. (I learned this one the hard way.) If your guests bring a gift check to see if they prefer to have their gift opened at the party, or if afterwards is okay. As excited as your kiddo is for each present it is hard to set it aside and move on the next gift. So, if it works to open the gifts after the party at your child’s pace it might be more enjoyable. There will be guests that love to watch baby open their gift, so be sensitive to this and consider opening the gift as you sit next to the person in a more relaxed setting during the party.
Make sure Someone is Taking Pictures
While you might not have a chance to get all of the events in the party on camera since you’ll be in all of the action, so ask someone ahead of time to help out with this. Consider making a list of photo shots that you would like to get: Baby with family, Baby with Grandparents, etc so you can capture all of the precious moments during your celebration. I have also seen a photo booth set up with Photo Props and Silly Hats to have guests take pictures as a keepsake for later!
Have guests make a Keepsake
Have a Birthday Girl? This Homemade Headband Craft is a perfect activity to keep guests busy! I saw a friend do this for her Baby Shower, but it’s also a fun way to give your little lady some new headbands to wear throughout the year. Set up the materials at a table and have guests create a headband at their convenience.
Keep the Bigger Kids busy with crafts and projects for the Baby’s next year. Make and create calendar pages, then assemble the calendar to hang in the nursery! Color pages and hang along a string with clothespins at party. This is a fun way to create the decorations for the party as you go. the They can also assemble photo booth props for taking pictures with the Birthday Baby!
Make a Slideshow of Baby’s First Year
The past year has been full of BIG moments! Pick out your favorite pictures from each month and make a slide show of the Birthday Baby! This is a fun keepsake that we have made for each of our children and it is fun to go back and look at it each year. You can purchase an HDMI Cable and easy display your slideshow on the TV (Please make sure you verify which one will support your devices.)
Make Handmade Thank You Notes
Make a Thank You card for your guests. Use an ink pad to make a handprint on a blank card and then write your thank you note on the inside of the card. You can also grab a piece of cardstock paper and make this DIY craft on card with this message saying, “I loved seeing you at my party!” Don’t want to make the thank you cards? Grab these Thank You Cards while they’re on sale, and have them shipped to you!
Overall, Once the preparation is done and the party has started, take time to step back, relax, and enjoy the celebration of your little one — You all deserve it!
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