Who’s your baby’s birthday party really celebrating? We asked our parent community, and the overwhelming majority felt that first birthday parties are for parents (and grandparents!). Of course you want your baby to enjoy the festivities, but themes, games, or exciting locations are lost on young toddlers. For best results, plan a simple party for yourself and a few friends, and make it as baby-friendly as possible.
KEEP IT SMALL.
When composing a guest list for a children’s party, the standard rule is “one child guest per year of age.” You probably won’t want to ban your friends and relatives’ older children from the festivities. But as cute as it sounds, inviting your baby’s whole peer group is sure to backfire—entertaining a room full of one-year-olds is an exercise in futility. It’s best to involve as few babies as possible. Keep the focus on the guest of honor!
KEEP IT SHORT.
Even two hours is a long time for a one-year-old! Just playing with loved ones and having cake will probably be exhausting. Consider opening presents after the party, or after your baby’s gone down for a nap. Make sure to include start and end times on the invitation, especially if you’re entertaining at home. That encourages guests to leave promptly, so you can return to your child’s regular schedule as soon as possible.
Your baby doesn’t understand the concept of a “special day.” Instead, the party day will be full of unfamiliar experiences and even strange faces. This can rattle even the most even-tempered toddler! Keeping your baby’s normal routine intact as much as possible will help stave off meltdown. Still, your baby may need regular breaks from all the action. Don’t take it personally. Your toddler’s only one year old!
Photo credit: rharrison on Flickr.