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Sweet ideas for a 1-year-old’s birthday

Celebrating your baby’s first birthday is a time to rejoice and recognize all the wonderful things that occurred in your child’s first year on the Earth — and should be celebrated as such. Don’t let the “growing-up” blues get to you and don’t stress the planning of your little one’s special day. We’re here to help ease the worry and tension around your precious one’s day without additional pressure or strain.

Before we dive into pointers, tricks, and tips on planning your baby’s big day, a few things to keep in the back of your mind are:

  • Time of year – The time of year your baby turns 1 will greatly influence the venue, theme, attire, and decorations. Just about all aspects of the party will can be affected by the season your little has their first circle around the sun, making it a large factor in the planning process.
  • The time of the event – What time of day you are wanting to assist your baby in blowing out their candle will impact the decision-making process, as well. Many pediatricians, therapists, and experts urge parents to stick to their child’s regular schedule when planning their first birthday party. By not wavering in their normal routine, including naps, parents will ensure a smooth party experience for everyone.
  • The guest list – This can sometimes cause undo anxiety for parent’s when brainstorming their baby’s big blowout. It’s important to remember that just because someone is related to the child does not mean they must be invited to their birthday party. Keeping guest lists smaller not only makes things easier on the parents, but it also makes the experience easier on their little one, as well. Overstimulation, unfamiliar faces, their first real experience with sugary foods, the excitement, and buildup of the day can really get to children sometimes.
Little girl in red and yellow theme with smash cake
Anna Kolosiuk/Shutterstock

Location, location, location

If you’ve started thinking about your baby’s quickly approaching birthday, then you have likely gone over this hurdle in your mind — and it was likely the first or second thought that went through it: “Where to have a first-birthday party?” While the answer may seem plain to some parents, to others, the options are little overwhelming. When you get down to it and have considered the tips mentioned above, the location of your baby’s party will depend on the time of year, where it will take place, and the amount of people that you plan to invite. The important thing to remember is, don’t go broke trying to create the most perfect party ever. Can’t afford a big venue? Not really feeling large crowds? Is your baby fussy around nap time? There is absolutely nothing wrong with having their party at your home — in fact, your home is likely the best place to hold a party of this nature. Having your little one in their own familiar space can help soften the blow of seeing a lot of different faces and give them a sense of comfort during a bustling and energetic day.

Little boy with his blue smash cake
Filimonova Liliia/Shutterstock

Keep on smiling, baby

When it comes to first-birthday party entertainment ideas, there are usually some cliched ones that are floated — such as magicians, balloon artists, and face painters. However, a 1-year-old’s party shouldn’t need the extra fuss. One of our favorite entertainment suggestions for kids under 2 is an inventive DIY ball pit. It is extremely simple to put together and requires very little expense and prep. Simply purchase an inflatable swimming pool, something you would use for your child in your front yard — not too big or crazy expensive. Next, fill the pool with colorful plastic balls, like these, and let the babies go to town. These pits are great sensory tools and provide confined entertainment, helping ease the minds of worried moms and dads who might be having to watch their little escape artist more closely these days. You could take this idea one step further and color coordinate the ball pit balls’ colors to match your child’s theme or gender. (As always, please keep a close eye on your children when playing in this kind of setup.)

From venues to themes and everything in between, a baby’s birthday can feel exhausting. It can sometimes cause so much stress that parents don’t have the opportunity to enjoy it with their little one, and that is something we can’t stand to see. We hope you will take some of our tips and apply it to your own child’s upcoming celebration with less stress and worry. Enjoying this milestone with your baby is a wonderful thing and should be enjoyed with minimal hassles and headaches. Now, more than ever, we are seeing a growing trend of “less is more.” We hope you will be able to apply this to your own party planning and are able to sit back and relax, while seeing the birthday magic come alive through your child’s eyes. Celebrate, moms and dads — you’ve done a lot in a year. May it be the first of many more to come.

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