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10 Tips for Baby's 1st Birthday Celebration


You only get one chance at throwing your baby’s first birthday party, so we know you’re going to do everything you can to make it amazing. If you’re not sure where to start, or you want to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything, this list of tips is for you!

  1. Pick a Theme
  2. a family celebrating baby's first birthday

    Theme is everything when it comes to first birthdays. Whether you decide to go cutesy with bunnies and bears, or totally upscale with black-tie and formal wear, you’re setting the tone for the entire event. Choose carefully based on the venue, the guests, and your pocketbook.

  3. Invite the Right Guests
  4. a lot of people celebrating a baby's birthday

    It’s your baby’s big day, so don’t feel like you have to invite anyone you don’t want to. Invite people who love your baby, and the people your baby loves. If Great-Uncle Al is a pain in the butt, don’t feel bad about not inviting him. Feel free to tell anyone you don’t want at the party that you’re keeping things small, or you’re focusing on guests around your baby’s age instead.

  5. Choose Your Location Carefully
  6. a beautiful outdoor setting for a birthday party

    When considering the party’s location, don’t forget to look for an easy option. It might seem like you’ll save money having the party at home, but when you factor in the time, effort, and expense of making and serving all of the food and cake, you might find that renting a catered hall isn’t a bad idea after all.

    If you’re planning on having the party in your home, make sure you have enough seating for everyone, and enlist help to clean up after the affair.

  7. Don’t Forget the Photographer
  8. a photographer taking a photo

    You’re going to want every moment of your baby’s first birthday documented, so don’t scrimp on the photographer. If you don’t want to hire a professional photographer, ask one of your trusted friends to be in charge of taking pictures with a real camera. These days everyone has a camera on their cellphone, but there’s a chance every hand movement will turn into a blur if you rely on your phone to do all of the work.

  9. Pick the Perfect Outfit
  10. a baby dressed in a purple outfit

    Not for you—for your baby, of course!

    Your baby is going to be the center of attention, so make sure the outfit adds to the theme of the party. If you have a fairy theme, make sure your little girl has sparkly wings and a tutu. A train theme definitely means engineer overalls and a red bandanna. Of course you can never go wrong with a fancy dress or a little suit, so fancy clothes are a great choice, too.

  11. Bake a Smash Cake
  12. a baby smashing a birthday cake

    Everyone knows the best part of a first birthday bash is watching the little prince or princess going to town on their first piece of cake. While there’s nothing wrong with giving your little one a piece of the same cake everyone is having, consider baking a small personal cake just for baby. Smash cakes make for hilarious photos.

    We know babies are messy—and babies with cake are even messier, so make sure you get as many pictures of your little one in their fancy outfit as possible before you serve up the cake.

  13. Plan Entertainment for Younger Guests
  14. a brightly colored pinata

    Your baby is the star of the day, but don’t forget the other little ones at the party. Even though your baby can’t play Pin the Tail on the Donkey yet, set up a few games to keep your youngest guests entertained. Depending on how adventurous you’re feeling you can do something as simple as having blocks and toys in the corner to something more exciting like having a piñata.

  15. Choose Your Booze
  16. a group of people holding wine glasses

    It’s up to you whether you want your baby’s first birthday to be a dry event. Consider such things as what time of day the party is, how many guests you’re having, and whether or not some of your guests have a history of going overboard when alcohol is involved. As long as you know everyone will behave appropriately, there’s nothing wrong with serving up some of the good stuff to the adults at your party.

  17. Start Planning Now
  18. a calendar with a date circled

    Don’t wait until the last minute to start planning your baby’s big day. Venues, caterers, and even party supply stores don’t always run on your schedule. By giving yourself plenty of time to get everything in order you’ll save yourself loads of last-minute stress.

  19. Don’t Forget to Have Fun!
  20. a mom holding her baby in front of a birthday cake

    Don’t get too caught up in small details. Celebrations are supposed to be fun. Remember the reason you’re having a party is because the most amazing person in your life is turning 1—so even if everything goes wrong, you can still have a great time if you make the day all about your awesome 1-year-old.

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