Most parents can’t wait to celebrate their child’s first birthday. There is something special about the completion of the first year of a baby’s life. While you may feel like inviting the entire neighborhood to an all-out birthday bash, it’s a smarter idea to sit back and consider what is best for your family and your son. Careful planning will make it more likely that you, and your baby, will truly enjoy his first birthday.
Keep it small, recommends Parenting. One-year-olds are usually frightened of a great deal of noise and activity, especially if there are strangers around. Do not plan for more than five other children, and it’s best to keep the party even smaller than that. Make your son truly happy at his party by inviting just a few close friends and family members that he already knows and loves.
Plan the party for a time when you know your son will be most alert and active. Work around nap times, and if he nods off, be flexible, put off gift time until later, and enjoy your adult guests until he awakens. Consider also where you will hold the party. It’s best to keep the location familiar to your son, such as your own home or grandma’s yard. Many 1-year-olds may already be walking, so give him space to show off his new skill to your guests. Finally, consider the food you will be serving. Avoid serving anything that may be a choking hazard to little ones, such as hard nuts and candy, suggests Amazing Moms. While you may want a traditional “first birthday” cake, cupcakes are a good way to control sugary portions and may present less mess. Try having a cake for the adults, and serve cupcakes to your smaller guests.
Most 1-year-olds do not have the patience to sit and open presents. Ask guests to wrap things simply, or place them in gift bags so that your son can easily reach them. Or, open the gifts for your son. Many babies will want to play with the gifts immediately, which can greatly slow down the process. In that case, try opening a few gifts, serving cake, and then opening a few more. Or, ask the guests if it is OK to put some of the gifts away to open on a later date.
Babies are too young to play games, but there are some games you can play with your adult guests. Fill a jar full of your son’s favorite dry food, such as Cheerios, and have the guests guess how many pieces are in the jar. Or, make a list of things that your baby can and can’t do, such walk, crawl backward, say certain words, eat with a spoon, throw with one hand, etc. Then, ask the guests to guess which thing your baby can indeed do, and which ones he has not yet mastered.
It’s common to have a theme at the first birthday party. Popular themes for boys include transportation themes, such as cars, trucks, trains or airplanes, or farm themes, such as animals, tractors, or both. Also popular are themes that revolve around objects, such as the number “1,” or something the baby loves, such as balloons or teddy bears. Finally, many parents of sons love to use a sports theme for the first birthday party.
- baby boy image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com