Your infant’s 1st birthday party is a major milestone—and a critical photo op. You’ll want to dress your baby in a fancy new birthday outfit and show him or her off to all your family and friends! After all, your child won’t remember the event, but it is a great time for those who love him or her to celebrate.
1st birthday parties, from simple to extravagant, take some planning and it is an important event that you’ll want to get just right. So, here’s your step-by-step guide for planning the perfect 1st birthday party for your little one.
Location and time
It’s always best to plan around the birthday child’s naptime. Try to pick a time of the day when he or she is usually the most social. Having the party at your home can be a great way to keep things familiar. You’ll also have your child’s favorite toys and diaper changing supplies handy. When you choose how many guests to invite keep in mind your child’s temperament. You want him or her to be comfortable at the party, not overwhelmed.
Choose a theme
Choose a theme based on one of your child’s favorite toys or books. For example, you might have a farm animal theme or teddy bear theme. Be sure to pick up 1st birthday party supplies like a table cloth, plates, napkins, a banner and other decorations to match your theme. Be sure to choose child-safe decorations like mylar balloons instead of latex ones.
Have the birthday boy or girl’s favorite snacks on hand like animal crackers or dry cereal. If you’ve invited other small children offer healthy finger foods that are of course peanut free. Often simple snacks like crackers and cheese, small finger sandwiches and juice boxes are best. Of course, you’ll want to cater to your adult guests so offer party foods like fruit platters, cheese and meat trays, chips and dip and other favorites.
Games and Activities
Set aside a safe, child-proof area for your baby to play in along with any young friends that may be at the party. Even your adult guests will have fun playing a few classic party games like musical chairs. However, you’ll want to keep the party fairly calm and soothing for the baby. Play soft background music and encourage your guests socialize and look through your photo albums of baby’s first year.
For your younger guests offer goodie bags with a child-safe toy or a board book, and a package of goldfish crackers or cookies. Be sure to put these in a goodie bag that matches your party theme. For adults consider a personalized memento with a picture of the birthday child such as a laminated bookmark or small framed picture.
Thank you cards
Be sure to take lots of pictures at the party of your child and the guests with the Birthday boy or girl. Upload these pictures to any local photo processor and print out custom thank you cards or postcards to send to your guests. This is a wonderful keepsake way to say thank you for sharing your child’s 1st birthday with them.