Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Plan a Blissful First Birthday

Your child's firsts are the most exciting and important milestones in your life. From baby's first steps to his or her first day of school, the first moments in your child's life are special events and should be celebrated as such. Besides your baby's first steps and words, the first birthday is one of the key occasions in your little one's development and marking this day is significant for your child, you, and your family. Creating a successful birthday party is essential to making your baby's initial birthday memorable.

Organising a first birthday party can be a breeze if planned correctly. Although some families go to extraordinary lengths to construct the perfect celebration, you don't have to go to such extremes to throw a great first birthday bash. Although we went to several where they had hired a hall and brought in entertainment, ours was quite a simple affair, at home with family and friends.

I spent a lot of time thinking about how I wanted birthdays to be for us. It's not my scene to hire a hall, a disco, a magician and a clown, but I did want a way to make birthdays special, to establish our own traditions, without being caught up in consumerism.

Eventually I decided that our tradition would be the 3 B's of Birthdays: Bunting, Balloons and Birthday Cake!

Birthday Bunting
The bunting I purchased was quite expensive, but seeing as I plan to get it out for every birthday (adults included) for the next 18+ years, I needed something that would last. I also figure that the £25 I spent will work out to really quite a small amount per birthday, so I considered it an investment!

Balloons too are a good investment right now. We buy the sort that you blow up yourself at home and the cost is minimal. They last for quite a long time too (we still have some from my birthday last November!)  BB plays with them for weeks after, and its always special when someone has a birthday and we can blow up  some more.

Birthday cake is of course an essential centrepiece of any birthday, and in my opinion it should both look and taste great!

You might not choose bunting and balloons, but you can easily make your child's first birthday a delightful occasion with an awesome and appropriate birthday theme, tasty food, and some special touches for the wee guest of honor. Here are a few tips on how to plan the best first birthday celebration.


Establish a Theme

My personal attempt at a monkey cake.
That's a candle in his mouth not a cigarette,
and yes, he does appear to have acne on his
 chin - it got stuck to the table when I was
rolling out the fondant icing!
Having a theme may be a good way to start thinking about party planning. As you may already know, children's parties almost always have a theme these days. While it's hard to determine what your baby's interests are at this stage in life, choose a theme that fits his or her personality (thus far) or is something that your child likes, such as a certain type of food or a favourite toy.

For BB's first birthday I chose a Monkey theme for several reasons. Firstly he was a little monkey, he loved bananas, was not walking yet but a brilliant climber, and cheeky with it too. Secondly, he had a monkey lunch bag which had become quite attached to, and thirdly I thought I stood half a chance at making a cake that looked a little bit like his monkey lunch bag! We already have The Hungry Caterpillar in mind as a theme for his second birthday.

If you can't come up with anything specific to your baby, go with a popular children's toy, game, or show. You can include your theme in the invitations, decorations, menu, music, activities, and birthday cake, which, after seeing my poor attempt, you may decide to order in a far more attractive and personalised one from M&S!


Choose Your Guest List


The average one-year old doesn't have a lengthy list of friends, so most of the guests attending your child's first birthday will be close friends and family members. If your baby is in daycare or in a play group, invite the children he or she interacts with. You may be tempted to invite everyone you know to celebrate your child's special day, but you should keep the party small as babies are often overwhelmed by crowds and a lot of noise or may be fearful of strangers. Remember that your little one won't even remember this bash, so anything extra will only be for you. With BB, on his birthday he was actually the only child here - he was fine with that as he was the centre of attention. We did have a Christening a couple of weeks later that his friends came to though, so in a way, he had the best of both worlds.



Plan Accordingly

Naturally, you'll want your baby's first birthday to go off perfectly, however, keep in mind that children, particularly one-year olds, are unpredictable. It's important that your baby is well-rested for his or her party, so avoid scheduling your celebration around nap time. We also tried to have a beginning and end time, hoping the guests would leave before his nap time, but they didn't! I might be more explicit about that next year.

Above all else, remember to relax, have fun, and relish the joy of this monumental day.

Disclaimer: Financial compensation was received for this post. 

1 comment:

  1. Great post!! some really good tips...& cute monkey!! I plan to use balloons & bunting for each of Elena's birthdays too. I hadn't thought of purchasing reusable bunting!

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