Throwing a first birthday party can seem like an overwhelming endeavour but with a little planning and preparation, everything can go smoothly for a fun, memorable day.
Many parents choose to have a large celebration for their babies first birthday as it feels like a celebration for them for making it through the first year.
There's a lot to juggle - the unpredictable mood and schedule of a toddler, appropriate themes and snacks, even the number of guests.
Here are six simple tips for planning your child's first birthday party.
1) Watch the clock.
Plan the party to last an hour to an hour-and-a-half. Babies have short attention spans and run out of energy and interest quickly. Plan the party for late morning or late afternoon – pre or post-nap - when baby isn't tired.
2) VIPs only.
Scale back the guest list to avoid overwhelming your little one and keep costs down.
3) Ask for help.
This is a great time to call in favours from godparents, uncles and aunties. The idea is that they help with things like setting up the decorations and occupying bub while you greet the guests. Another idea for making them useful is to get them to write down the names of who gave you what gift so that you can thank them later.
4) Create a play place.
Many of the babies in this age range are still on all fours, so a baby proof tiny tot’s zone with soft play toys is ideal. Set chairs around the zone for parents to relax and watch.
5) Record it.
The party will be over before you know it, so you’ll want plenty of pictures and videos taken (preferably by someone else, so you can enjoy the event in real time). And speaking of enjoying it - make sure you do. Another perk of a smaller, more casual party? You’re less likely to stress, more likely to have fun — which, in turn, will mean more fun all around.
6) The most important tip is don’t stress!
Drinks will spill, accidents will happen and kids will cry, but you shouldn't sweat the small stuff. Relax and enjoy yourself with your baby and your guests. Birthday parties are meant to be fun and sometimes we get too caught up in all the details. Put on some music, break out the bubbles and just have some fun with your little one. Your one-year-old will be a teenager before you know it.