When your children are first born, it is hard to think about them growing up. When my son was born, I wished that he would stay a little baby forever. Most women I know hope the same thing. But, before we know it, out babies are crawling, sitting up, talking, and walking. And then, right before out eyes, they turn into toddlers. Although it is kind of sad, it is a great thing to see your baby hitting all of his milestones, and watching him grow. My favorite thing about my son growing from a baby to a toddler was his first birthday. A first birthday is the most special birthday of all, I think. It is a time to celebrate the first year of your baby's precious life, all of his milestones, and especially a time to celebrate that your family has gotten through the time alive! When you are planning the party, there are a lot of small preparations to make, and the planning may get overwhelming, but all you have to do is take a deep breath and finish with your plans. This is a once in a lifetime party, and you will want to make it as great as you can, not only for your child, but for your whole family.
The first thing you should do when you are planning your baby's first birthday party is make a guest list. When you are making your guest list, there are a few things to think about. The first is the location that you are hosting your party. Make sure that there is enough room to fit all of your guests that you want to invite. If your party is in the summer, you may want to think about having the party somewhere outside. If you do have an outside party, there will be a lot of room for children to run around, and if they spill anything, it will not stain the grass! If you do have an inside party, make sure that the area you have will not be crowded and also make sure that there is enough seating for everybody to sit if you have food at the party. Nobody likes to stand and eat.
After you have made your guest list and decided where you are going to have the party, it is time to send out the invitations. On the invitations, write the time the party begins and ends, and if you are going to have food, write it on the invite as well. Some parents like to open presents with their child after all of the guests have left, and if you are going to do that, write that on the invitation as well. Parents do this sometimes because a young child can get overwhelmed with so many people looking at him, and then he might just scream and cry. Other people do this so that the other children at the party do not feel left out. If you decide to let your child open his presents and there are a lot of other children at the party, you might want to think about having little gift bags for the other children. You do not have to spend a lot of money on them, dollar store gifts will do. Children will be happy with any small toy. This will ease the tension for the small children and you.
A lot of people decide to have a cake for their guests, but also a small cake for their child. It is a tradition for a baby to eat their first birthday cake with their hands, and they usually make a huge mess. If you let your baby do this, take a lot of pictures! I remember when my son had his own first birthday cake; he smashed the cake with his hands and then set the whole cake on the ground next to him, and placed the empty plate on top of his head. We have a great picture of him in his birthday outfit wearing the empty plate on his head!
If you want to make your child's first birthday party special, you might want to think about hiring something like a clown, a pony, or someone who puts on a magic show or a puppet show. If your child is scared of something, make sure you do not hire it for his party! But, if you do hire entertainment, not only will your child have fun, but all of the children at the party will remember it for a long time. If you are having a big party, you might also want to think about hiring a caterer for the food. You can also recruit a teenager to help you stay and clean up after the party.
Since your child's first birthday is a very special and important day, make sure to take a lot of pictures. It is a time that you will want to remember for the rest of your life. With the pictures you can make scrapbook pages, put them in a picture album, or turn them into your Christmas cards. Remember to save a few for your child's baby book.
Share your child's first birthday with family and friends who you love and people that are an important part of your baby's life. Have a great time and if the party does not turn out exactly the way you planned, do not worry about it. Just have as much fun as you can!