First Birthday: dos & don’ts

Written by    Last updated: March 26, 2007

The first birthday of your baby is a time to gather close family and friends together to celebrate this important milestone. We’ve put together some ideas to help make your happy event fuss-free and memorable…

baby first birthday


  • Go overboard with the food, the décor or goodie bags. Being organised and looking out for small details is more important.
  • Have too many guests, unless you’re having the event away from home or have a lot of help in putting it together. A small intimate gathering of close family and friends works just as well.
  • Buy a fancy birthday cake; instead decorate a plain frosted cake using chocolate buttons to create a shape that your one year old is likely to recognise. Another idea is to arrange a row of brightly decorated cupcakes on a tray in the shape of the number one.
  • Ignore older siblings as it could lead to feelings of jealousy. Include them in the organising like setting-up play activities or decorating cupcakes.
  • Open all the presents at the party as it can lead to demands by other small children. Leave it until later when only the immediate family is present.


  • Make a recording/playlist of your baby’s favourite music that is soothing and calming.
  • Keep a children’s DVD video handy just in case any restless children need distracting.
  • Make a note of health and safety by keeping a look out for elastic bands on children’s hats and any foods or deflated balloons that could be a choking hazard.
  • Keep goodie bags inexpensive, simple and fun. Coordinate them with the party theme and fill with items that fit the age. Some ideas to consider are bath toys, books, mini puzzles, play-doh and using beach buckets instead of bags to put them in. Another great idea is to borrow a Polaroid camera and give each child a picture of themselves in an inexpensive frame as a memorable reminder of the party.
  • Try to keep older children entertained by organising fun stuff for them to do. Physical activities like bash the piñata and twister will help to use some of that extra energy!

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