Top Tips for your baby’s first birthday celebration

Written by    Last updated: March 26, 2007

A first birthday is likely to be a more memorable milestone for the parents than the child, but that’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a party to mark the event. Follow our handy hints and create a birthday celebration to remember.

Time of the day

Pick a time when your child is likely to be well-rested and cheerful. This could be after a nap, perhaps mid-morning or early afternoon.

Short and sweet

Babies and young children tire more easily than older ones, so it’s best to keep the event down to an hour and a half. That should still give you plenty of time to cover arrival, a few play activities, food and cutting the cake.

Keep it simple

Simple snacks and finger foods that are not messy to eat are best when you have a gathering of small children and mums holding babies. Snack ideas include small bite size portions of pizza, pretzels and fruit cut into interesting shapes.  Make sure that there are no food items like peanuts, which a small child could possibly choke on. Have some sandwiches and doughnuts, served with coffee, for grown-ups.

Fun activities

Keep small children busy with something creative and playful.  You could have a pile of clay or play-doh on a children’s play table, or an outdoor activity with a ball or blowing bubbles.

Get physical

To stop small children feeling restless, organise physical activities. Bash the piñata, dancing, musical chairs and the twister are great for getting them to use some of that extra energy!

Preparation is key

Laying out the snacks and play activities in advance will give you more time to spend with guests and to just enjoy the day.

Asking for help

Grandparents, older siblings and friends can help with the setting up and clearing afterwards. Just remember to work out who will do what in advance.

Shop online

Save yourself time and money by shopping for party accessories online.  There are some fantastic themed party supplies including coordinated balloons, decorations, paper plates, cups, party hats and goodie bags.

Planning checklist

  • Invitations
  • Decorations and balloons
  • Disposable plates, cups and napkins
  • Snacks and finger foods
  • Birthday cake and one candle
  • Camera: still and/or movie
  • Favourite baby songs or music
  • Brightly wrapped present for baby
  • Presents for older siblings
  • Prizes for game activities
  • Goodie bags or favours

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