Who to invite?
Do you want to party with all your extended family and friends? Would you prefer inviting other children to entertain yours or are you more the type to have a small intimate gathering with carefully selected guests? No matter what kind of party you choose to hold, you should always consider your baby’s personality so you can plan accordingly. Baby won’t remember the amount of people that attended his first birthday, but will probably be more accommodating if we respect his rhythm as mentioned by Michele:
« It’s not always easy going out with a young baby so I decided to hold an intimate dinner at home with the close family. With my experience, I now know that a one year old does not pay attention to the number of guests, decorations or invitations!»
Where to party?
Many parents are now choosing to go to a restaurant or to book a reception hall for birthday parties, thereby allowing them to avoid all the logistics of having to organize the event and the cleaning afterwards. Whether you decide to celebrate at home or not, your choice will indicate the kind of activities you can plan, the appropriate menu and theme if you wish to add a cute little touch to his birthday.
The duration and the perfect time to celebrate
Is your baby more alert and cheerful in the morning? You should perhaps consider a brunch so he can enjoy himself better. The important thing to remember is that you should try to follow his schedule so he can be at his best on his birthday.
You will also need to consider the duration of the event since young babies often get tired more quickly when there is a lot of stimulation and can become slightly difficult as I experienced myself during my daughter’s first birthday, which ended with her in tears because she was over stimulated by the guests who wanted to continue the celebrations.
Obviously, boasting about your baby amongst adults is a must during his first birthday! But if you have other children present, or even if you just want your child to be entertained with activities suited to his needs, we advise you to focus on games he will enjoy like finger paint, blowing soap bubbles, a dance between parents and children or inflating colorful balloons. Don’t forget to let him play with the wrapping paper after opening presents, which actually might interest him more than the gifts themselves!
Here is a recipe for nontoxic finger paint which will amaze your child and is edible! All you need to do is install a big cut up box or some paper on the floor and let his imagination flow (while taking lots of pictures of course!)
- ½ cup of cornstarch
- ½ cup cold water
- 1 ½ cups boiling water
- A few drops of natural dye
Mix cornstarch and cold water until completely dissolved. Stir boiling water and simmer until the pain boils and becomes thicker. Divide the paint into different jars and add drops of natural dye in different colors.
What should we eat?
Younger children usually prefer soft foods that are quick and easy to eat like no-crust sandwiches, stuffed eggs, appetizers and anything they can eat with their little hands without interrupting play time. Remember to check with your guests to make sure there are no food allergies so you can avoid unpleasant surprises during the party.
When we think of the first birthday cake, most parents imagine the famous chocolate cake that our baby will devour with excitement, joy and a lot of messiness to the delight of their parents!
We must advise you to be careful with extremely rich cakes, especially if your child has never tasted sugar before. While we all want THE classic picture as a parent, it might be best to choose a slightly less rich cake to mark his first birthday in order to avoid the sugar rush that could ensue as evidenced by Sonia.
« I made a beautiful cake for my daughter’s first birthday, but she had never had sugar before! She immediately went into a sugar high and ran around in circles for 45 minutes without stopping! I was afraid she would get hurt! »
You want to give your child a gift he will love? Try to put yourself in his shoes. At this age, they generally tend to like colors and noises, so stimulation games are always an excellent choice. You can also purchase a big gift that will be useful for a longer period like a swing set for the backyard, an inflatable toy or a giant stuffed animal. The parents will also love to get larger sized clothes which will be very useful.