Throwing a birthday party for your 1-year-old is really more for you and your family and friends than it is for your baby. Your baby is too young to remember the event, and she may not even like the disruption of her routine or the overwhelming nature of a party. Regardless of that, however, you can still have fun with your baby’s first birthday.
Consider Your Baby
With a party going on, it’s natural that you might get wrapped up in the festivities and not give the guest of honor the attention she needs. Your 1-year-old isn’t old enough to play with other babies yet and still needs individual attention. If you are going to be too busy, make sure you have someone who is giving your baby undivided attention. You might want to have a small, intimate gathering with family members instead of a big party, especially if your baby is shy around strangers.
Timing is important when planning a party for a 1-year-old who still naps. A tired baby is a cranky and fussy one. Try to plan the party in-between nap times. You might want to keep the party short, especially if other babies are going to be there. If one baby starts crying, it could start a chain reaction, according to the Baby Center website. Some parents limit a first birthday to one to two hours.
Decorating with solid primary colors or using an alphabet block theme is pleasing for babies and toddlers. You could also have a zoo theme and decorate with stuffed animals and pictures of animals. Nursery rhymes make a good theme for a baby’s party. All the guests can dress up as a nursery rhyme character.
Place a photo of your baby in a cardboard mat and ask your guests to write a message to your baby on the cardboard. Provide an acid-free marker or gel pen, suggests the Amazing Moms website. Frame this after the party for a special keepsake.
You might want to sing and dance to children’s songs with your baby and any young guests. Babies also enjoy peek-a-boo games and finding toys that you hide under a blanket.
The Baby Center website warns against using balloons for a 1-year-old party. If they pop, they could frighten a baby and could become a choking hazard.
The birthday cake becomes a milestone event for a first birthday, according to the Celebrations website. Some babies dig into the cake, getting it all over their face. This makes for a cute photo and a reason some parents opt to have a special small cake for the birthday child. You also might want to serve finger foods during the party for your guests, such as cheese and crackers or small sandwiches.