1st Birthday Party

Congratulations! Your baby has survived the risky first year of life. Not too long ago, infant mortality was high. Thanks to improved health care and medical technology, many more babies reach the important milestone of their first birthday. Celebrate with parents, family and friends.

Step 1. INVITATIONS. Decide who to invite. Babies are fascinated with other babies and children. Since she is too young for play dates, I hope you have a cousin or friend’s baby that is close to one year old. It makes the party that much more interesting. Once you have the guest list, you know how much room you need and how much food you need to prepare.

Step 2. LOCATION. Babies are easier to handle at home. Babies who are not used to crowds may be overwhelmed by the people and noise of her first birthday party. Be sensitive to her feelings. This is her day and her party. Make her happy.

Step 3. THEME. At this age, the theme is more for the adults and older children. The baby won’t know what you are doing. Themes do make for good pictures and memories. There are several themes promoted by the party supply stores. It is convenient to find all your supplies in one place and coordinated around one theme. Some suggestions for babies are: Teddy bear picnic, Safari Animals, Little Prince, Little Princess. Keep it soft and keep it safe. No need for clowns or balloon animal creators at this first birthday.

Step 4. FOOD. Any food will do for the adults and older kids. Pizza or hamburgers are always fun. Baby still eats baby food, so don’t fret over the food. But, you must have a beautiful Birthday Cake. Top the birthday cake with something that matches the theme, and be quick to remove it before baby puts it in her mouth. Write Happy Birthday in icing on top of the birthday cake. Be sure to include one candle. AND DON’T FORGET THE ICE CREAM!

Step 5. DECORATIONS. Try to match the theme with banners saying Happy Birthday, balloons, streamers, paper plates, cups and napkins. No need for flowers and candles like an adult party. Remember to keep it soft and safe.

Step 6. ENTERTAINMENT. Babies like to watch and play with other kids. Be sure to supervise them and just let them have fun. Don’t go to the expense of hiring entertainment until she is a little older. Keep the party short -about 1 ½ hours. All little ones will be over stimulated if it goes much longer. Make sure someone is assigned to take lots of photos and that they are well supplied with freshly charged batteries and empty photo card if the camera is digital. Or, if your camera uses film, be sure to have plenty of film rolls. Set up a video camera to capture the entire party or assign one person to carry it around to record the memories.

Step 7. GIFTS. Everyone will bring the baby a gift-stuffed animals, cloth books, clothes, games, toys. But, don’t be surprised if she is more interested in the bows and wrapping. And, everything will go straight into her mouth. Keep an eye on these wrapping and bows since you may have to retrieve one that you suspect is toxic. Also watch out for small parts of games. Babies can choke easily. Remember. This is the most important birthday of our lives! Treat it as such and enjoy your little one the whole day.