It’s amazing to look back over your baby’s first year of life and marvel at how much has changed. I remember bringing home my daughter from the hospital that first night, overwhelmed by dirty diapers and newborn cries and the fact that my “perfectly prepared nursery” wasn’t as perfectly prepared as I thought. But just 12 months later, the milestones and magic of my baby’s life was enough to make my mother’s heart pause. So much growth and change — for my baby and for me.
I’ve always thought that a first birthday party celebrates two things: Your baby’s first year, full of unbelievable growth, and the fact that you, as parents, have made it. You did it! One year under your belts. It’s definitely something to celebrate. So when planning a first birthday party, I always love incorporating fun ideas that are special for your child, as well as sentimental touches that celebrate what a big year it’s been.
Here are a few of my favorite ideas for putting together an uncomplicated but special get-together to celebrate the bigness of your baby’s first year.
1. Keep it simple. Yes, you may have mastered outings with your baby and making dinner one-handed, but let’s face it: You’ve still got a 12-month-old in the house. Save your sanity and keep things simple — whether that means making the cupcakes yourself, or outsourcing it to a local bakery, sending out handmade invitations or an e-invite to friends and family. The best part of the day is going to be getting together with people you love to celebrate your baby’s first year.
2. Incorporate your child’s toys and favorite things. This is one of my go-tos for any child’s party — I visit their nursery or bedroom and grab several things that are uniquely them. Maybe it’s a few favorite stuffed animals that sit on the rocker in the corner, the plastic animals that are favorites from the toy basket, or a set of wooden blocks. These items are a fun way to add some meaningful decoration to your party table.
3. Keep the snacks and foods simple and kid-friendly. Mott’s Unsweetened Applesauce pouches are the perfect easy-to-grab and mess-free snack for the kids’ table. Simple snack foods and this bowl of cute penguin-shaped animal crackers were perfect for our animal theme. To drink, Mott’s for Tots — a fruit juice plus purified water and essential vitamins– is perfect for the small set. And of course, you can’t forget the cupcakes.
4. Add a few personalized, sentimental touches. One of my favorite things to do at a first year birthday party is to set out a journal and pen and ask guests to leave a special message for the birthday baby. Whether it’s a mini love note or a few words of advice for when they are older, it becomes a keepsake you and your baby will cherish. It’s also a great activity for guests to work on as they arrive at the party and wait for the festivities to begin.
5. Use decorations that have life after the party. Most of the decorations that I used for this fun animal-themed party are things that could go straight from the party to any child’s room. The fun pink tassel garland and felted pom-poms mix in perfectly with wall decor or can decoratively line a shelf. The bird and fox tabletop piñatas empty with a pull-string — you don’t smash them to get them open, so you can use them in your child’s room after the party is over. And that handmade invitation would be perfect framed and hung on the wall to remember the special day.
As you look forward to planning your baby’s first birthday, hopefully some of these ideas will help inspire your party prep. Above all else, keep things simple and remember, there is much to celebrate no matter how big or small your gathering.
Less sugar, more goodness! When you think your little one’s ready for juice, fill that sippy cup with a juice made specifically for them. One that cuts down on the sugar while adding essential vitamins. Find your tot’s flavor!
Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Mott’s for Tots. All opinions are truthful and my own.
What are your favorite ideas for planning a first birthday party?