Keep reading for a few tips to help you plan a great First Birthday Party!
There are no set guidelines for the number of friends to invite to Baby’s very first party, because the event is really for the grown-ups celebrating this very special person! One-year-olds don’t care whether there’s a big bash or a cupcake after dinner, so prioritize staying inside your child’s comfort zone. Consider Baby’s tolerance for groups and chaos, and invite accordingly. And definitely put the extravaganza party ideas on hold for a future celebration when pony rides or organized games will be enjoyed and remembered. An hour to an hour-and-a-half is the timeframe most recommended for a one-year-old’s celebration.
The guest of honor will enjoy elements of this special occasion, but photos are the memories Baby will have of this birthday. A First Birthday doesn’t require documentation by a pro, but having a designated photographer is a good idea. You’re sure to be busy when you most want a photo, so ask a friend or relative who’s good with a camera to be mindful about snapping those iconic moments.
If your child has expressed a definite preference for a toy or character or color, you have your theme! But it’s okay if your strategy is choosing a color that’s easy to find in the party section. At this stage of the birthday game, one or two key decorations plus balloons will carry the day. Mylar is generally considered safer for this age, as latex balloons can pose a choking hazard when the inevitable pop occurs. Even with mylars, be aware of the potential hazards posed by the attached ribbons.
For a First Birthday, the Cake Event is the highlight! Will there be a smash cake? A cupcake? A cake alternative? One-year-olds are more likely to grab a burning candle than blow it out, so plan ahead how you’ll handle the singing-wishing-blowing-out moment.
Create a defined space for Baby’s reaction to Birthday Cake #1 that also provides a good angle for the photographer. An inexpensive vinyl tablecloth will protect the floor. Think about the backdrop, but in simple terms. Add a few balloons or streamers and a birthday sign to blank wall space, and you’ll keep the focus on Baby’s Big Moment. If your child will be in a high chair, attach a bit of crepe paper, party garland, or a small sign to the front of the chair where the camera will see it - and Baby can’t reach! Get into your photographer stance, and do a final check of decoration placement. You might avert an orange balloon halo in the scrapbook!
Above all, plan the kind of First Birthday Party you and your one-year-old can both enjoy. It’s a milestone day for Baby and a victory lap for you!