You made it through the ups and downs of baby’s first year. Now it’s time to celebrate!
Some parents choose to keep the baby’s first birthday simple and small – just the immediate family and a few baby gifts. After all, baby is far too young to appreciate a big bash. But others just can’t resist and they spend months planning a lavish affair, complete with catered food, entertainment and a lengthy guest list.
Most parents opt for something in the middle: A party for family and friends, a few decorations, traditional birthday cake and gifts for the birthday boy or girl.
Whatever the choice, baby’s one-year birthday is a real milestone. Before you know it, your child will be a full-fledged toddler, so take the time to remember the last 12 months. Acknowledge your accomplishments as a parent and everything that baby has learned in the first year of life.
So, how do you plan a party that is right for you? Here are some helpful tips for creating a memorable celebration.
Location, Location, Location. Most baby experts agree that your home is the best location since this is where baby is most comfortable. However, using a relative’s or a close friend’s home – especially if baby is very familiar with the surroundings will also work. Even if money is no object, remember that you want your child to enjoy the birthday experience. Therefore, renting a restaurant, community center or going to a kid-themed pizza parlor is probably just too much sensory overload for a one-year-old.
Short and Sweet. Although it is tempting to invite guests for an entire afternoon and evening, it works best to keep the party fairly short. This is especially important if you have a number of children invited to the party. Kids and babies can reach overload pretty quickly, so plan on about two to three hours maximum. That will give everyone the chance to mingle, hold the birthday baby, take plenty of photos, have some food and enjoy the presents.
Baby’s Schedule. You know your little one best, so plan the party during a time your baby is usually awake and in the best humor. A birthday party will work during the day, so you shouldn’t have to miss a nap to make the party a success.
Get Older Kids Involved. Older kids can be enlisted to help you during the party. Ask them to help serve snacks, open gifts and serve the cake. They will love you for it. As a small reward, give the helpers a goody bag to show your appreciation.
Watch Those Little Hands. If toddlers are attending the party, then you will want to move breakables out of the way. Their parents may be distracted, and you don’t want to have accidents. Also, family pets can sometimes be aggressive when there is a lot of commotion and noise. So, it may be best to keep your dogs and cats away.
Make it Manageable. Keep things simple so you can enjoy the party. Remember that you will also be responsible for the birthday boy or girl – which normally is a full-time job!
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