The entrainment has been booked, caterer has the menu set and guests are on their way. Everything is ready for baby’s first birthday party.
Hold it a minute, you say. Did she just say baby’s first birthday party? Unfortunately, I did.
There is a frightening trend among new parents to put on a first birthday extravaganza for their children. They plan a party fit for a teenager for their one-year-old without a second thought to reasonableness or cost. It is to the point where some parents are spending thousands for their child’s first party.
A child’s birthday party does not have to be a huge event; a small gathering with family and close friends is enough. Especially in the early years. Keep in mind most children will not remember their early years, so the first birthday is mostly for the adults in your child’s life.
When planning a first birthday party remember simplicity is best. Young children will not care about a dancing clown or goose pate. They will care about seeing their favorite people and having fun.
Take your child’s personality and energy into account when planning the party. Planning a long party for a child that gets cranky after a short time is not a wise decision. A good length for a first birthday party is about an hour to an hour and a half. A shorter time is not worth the effort and a longer time could leave you an over stimulated child. Scheduling the part after a naptime so your child is ready to have a good time.
When making your guest list, keep in mind the more people you invite, the more stimulation your child will have. Also remember, you will have to take care of your child while the party is going on. Diaper changes, boo-boos, and sudden crying spurts will happen.
If you want to invite friends of your child from day care invite no more than five toddlers with one to three being the best number. Do not forget to have a changing table handy and some extra wipes and diapers in case someone forgets theirs. Have plenty of toys for them to play with and several activities planned that are age-appropriate.
When deciding on what foods to serve be sure to pick finger foods that are easy for children to eat, as well as tasty to adults. Always check with parents regarding food allergies. Even childhood favorites, like peanut butter, can be dangerous to a child with an allergy.
Remember things can and will go wrong. Children are unpredictable and will not always be willing to go along with the party games. If you have scheduled a game and the children are not interested, do not get upset. Just relax and go with the flow.
One final thought is to remember this is your child’s first birthday, so plan some special mommy, daddy and baby alone time for afterwards.
Planning your child’s first birthday party should be a fun thing, not a hard involved process. Plan for fun and your child will have a truly enjoyable day.