First Birthdays are a milestone that NEED to be celebrated! There are so many firsts in those short twelve months. I was recently blessed to help celebrate with dear friends for their son’s first birthday party and thought a blog on the subject might be helpful for others looking at what to do for this huge event!
First, you need to realize the party is for the guests and the parents more than the child. He will look back at the pictures and enjoy what you did for him years from now, but he is really too young to care at the time of the party. Consider who will be there. What type of event do you need to create? If it is going to be mostly adults, a more sophisticated theme with a casual atmosphere can be very rewarding. Pass the baby around and enjoy the company of friends and family.
If there are older children in the family or you will be having children as guests, consider the ages and make sure you have enough to entertain them. Games, crafts, or other age appropriate activities will keep you younger guests from feeling bored or left out.
Next, time frame is very important. You want your little one to be fresh and happy for his first birthday so it is best to plan the party for after his naptime. Nothing stresses a parent out more than a cranky baby in front of a room full of people.
Decorating for a first birthday is again dependent on who is in attendance. Bright colors are perfect if you have younger children, while older guests can appreciate a more muted palette. Be sure to decorate around the high chair area where the child will spend most of his time. Several places sell high chair decorating kits. Placing the high chair in front of a backdrop with a banner will also make for great pictures!! No matter what décor you choose, remember the pictures. The birthday child will only know about this through the snapshots taken at the party so make the most of your photo opportunities!!
Try not to make the party last too long. Little ones don’t have a very long attention spans, obviously, so a fast paced event is best. Consider having an activity for the children to do alone while everyone is arriving and then go into a game. After one game, consider allowing the birthday boy (girl) to open gifts before serving the cake. I know this is a bit out of tradition but a cake covered baby doesn’t lend to easy opening!
Enjoy the day. Again, the child will not remember the party except through photographs so don’t stress too much. Allow yourself time to enjoy this momentous occasion, there will be time for more amazing parties in the future with a lot of input from your child!