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10 Tips To Throwing A Fabulous First Birthday Party

One of the greatest joys of parenthood is all the awesome memories you get to create with your kids. One such special moment is your baby’s first birthday. Whether, you are on a budget, or throwing a full-on baby bash, here are some fun birthday ideas to mark your baby’s first birthday party.

Have A Celebration

birthday party

Believe it or not, some parents actually entertain the idea of skipping that first birthday all together. I mean, the kid’s turning one, what’s he going to remember, right? Wrong! If this describes you, then you need to rethink some things before you have any serious regrets. They only turn one once, don’t miss this opportunity to indulge in birthday celebration ideas. Whether you go big or small, make sure to do something to commemorate this big milestone.

To Theme Or Not To Theme?

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It’s tempting and so much fun to throw a themed first birthday party. If you plan on having a party theme, it’s always a good idea to pull themed party ideas from what your little one is interested in. This includes any characters they really enjoy or hobbies they might have.

If they seem to be all over the place and not drawn to any specific character, then a first birthday theme works just as well if it’s centered around a favorite book or story they may have a connection to. Popular party themes that are a classic hit include party themes centered around popular storybooks like Where The Wild Things Are and Dr. Suess. And of course, you can never go wrong with anything Disney related. Of course, if all else fails, objects like basketballs and ballet slippers work just as well as anchors for party themes if your little one is more into activities rather than specific characters.

Cake Smash

birthday party

A staple of every 1st birthday is a cake smash. The beauty is that you can fit it in with any party theme that you pick for your baby’s first birthday. The trick is to have a cake big enough that your child can go wild on, but small enough that it doesn’t overwhelm him. I like to opt for the two-tiered cakes. They offer more smashability. Of course, it may not be in the best interest of your guests to serve this cake after your kiddo is done with it, so be sure to have another cake available for your guests.

Color, Color, Everywhere!

birthday party

Another fun birthday idea for your baby’s first birthday involves lots of colors. Skip the subtle pastels and shabby chics and aim straight for the bold and loud colors. Babies at this age love reacting to anything that might look interesting to them. So be sure your birthday decorations include lots of brightly colored streamers and balloons. Quick tip, opt for foil and mylar balloons instead of latex to avoid sudden loud pops and choking hazards. You can find plenty of these at any local dollar store or grocery store.


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No first birthday is complete without photos of the past year to remind you and your guests of how far your little one has come. Some of my favorite birthday decoration ideas include framed photos of the guest of honor propped on display tables. Another cute birthday decoration idea is to have a time-lapsed photo garland as a backdrop. Photo garlands work especially well if you are sticking to a party theme and need more party theme ideas.

Skip The DJ

birthday party

It’s her first birthday, not her sweet 16. Instead of hiring a DJ, flip on the television set to her favorite music video. (Yes, she has one at this age. And yes, it’s probably the wheels on the bus go round and round). Your one year old won’t care where the music is coming from. As long as she hears her favorite melody playing, you are going to have a hit first birthday party.

Don’t Skip Out On The Photographer

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For his 1st birthday, you want to be sure that every moment is captured because the celebration is going to be over before you know it. If you plan on being the photographer for the event, then you might need to rethink that. I spent most of my time on my daughter’s first birthday photographing and videographing every moment. Unfortunately, this meant that I was not as present and enjoying the festivities as much as I would have liked to. Plus, I wasn’t in nearly as many photos as I would have liked to be in. Avoid this feeling of missing out by hiring a professional photographer or passing on the camera to a friend or family member who can do that job for you instead.

Can’t hire a professional, or don’t have a fancy camera? No problem. Pull out a cell phone and use that instead. Whatever you choose, be sure that there’s someone to capture the fleeting moments. After all, you will need the photos when you are creating the photo album of his first year.

Timing Is Everything

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If it’s their first birthday, then you have got to be a bit strategic when it comes to planning. To avoid restlessness, you want to plan the party shortly after your little one has had their naptime. There is nothing worse than trying to party with a cranky baby. Consider your guests as well. It’s not a bad idea to get a sense of when a majority of the babies at your event have naptime. Work around that and baby’s first birthday should go off without a hitch.

Keep It Safe

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A good majority of your guest will still be crawling around or learning how to take their first steps. A quick way to ruin a birthday celebration is by having someone get hurt. Make sure that wherever you have your little one’s first birthday, it’s fully baby proofed. This is especially true if you are hosting it at your house. It’s not a bad idea to have a designated, closed off play area with age appropriate toys to keep little ones occupied when need be.

Snack Healthy While You Still Can

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When it comes to the food, you have the advantage. Your little one is still too little to demand what sweets they’d like at their party, so use this opportunity to serve up yummy, healthy treats that will impress all the moms. Any cold veggie finger foods like celery and cucumber will be fun for little ones to chew on. It doesn’t hurt that they make great teethers as well. Be sure to include an assortment of fresh fruit like watermelon triangle bites and sliced strawberries.  Just make sure to keep them high enough that the little ones can’t grab them without a parent’s help.

For an extra dose of sweetness, it’s always fun to include cookies or rice crispy treats that are iced and decorated with googly eyes. These can especially be a hit if you have a specific party theme in mind that you are sticking to. The little kiddos will surely get a kick out of that. Before you lay out any foods, it’s not a bad idea to know your guests and what types of allergies they may have. If you really want to play it safe, try and avoid having any food items with nuts or peanut butter on your menu.                                      

Final Thoughts

However you plan your kiddo’s first birthday, remember, the day is about celebrating your little one. Try to keep stress at bay by reminding yourself that at the end of the day, you are dealing with little kids. Whatever plan you have for the day is bound to be interrupted at some point or another, so be prepared for that. Enjoy this special moment with your little one, friends, and family. It’s a moment that is all too fleeting, so remember to enjoy the moment and celebrate!

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