When it comes to birthday party planning there are always lots of immediate questions that spring to mind, particularly if this is your first time.
Whilst this page is not intended as a definitive 1st birthday planning "How To" guide, we hope it offers some help, particularly to new moms and dads by addressing many of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ´s) about 1st birthday parties that arise during the planning stage.
We hope you find this page helpful and we welcome your feedback, suggestions and recommendations so that we can keep updating and improving the information presented here and in turn provide better help where needed :-).
1st Birthday Party Planning FAQ's
Where should I plan to hold my baby's 1st Birthday Party?
It's generally recommended that you host the party either at your own home or in an environment that your baby is comfortable and familiar with. This will help your baby to feel more relaxed and reduce the risk of them getting upset or distressed by being in unfamiliar surroundings.
What time of day is best for a 1st birthday party?
We all know that little munchkins can get a little 'cranky' if they've not had their daytime nap (especially if they've had a stimulating morning playing with their favourite toys!), so plan to hold your infant´s party just after nap-time (or in the morning if that is not possible) and aim to keep the party fairly short (less than 2 hours).
What 1st birthday party theme should I have?
At such a young age, your baby will have no real understanding of the occasion and no expectations of their special day, so there's no need to make it too elaborate - keep it simple is the motto!
You'll find some 1st birthday party theme suggestions here which you can make as elaborate or keep as simple (and stress-free) as you chose.
When it comes to 1st birthday party planning, remember that the party is really an opportunity for close family and friends to "OO" and "AHH" over your little bundle of joy and for you to show off how much they've grown over the last 12 months.
It's also an important day for you to celebrate a year since giving birth to your little munchkin, so choose a party theme that excites you, that you will enjoy planning for and enjoy and that will encourage the rest of the grown-ups to get involved in!
Who should I invite to my baby's 1st birthday party and how many should I invite?
To keep the party atmosphere fun and happy (and under control), it's best to invite 'familiar faces' - close family and friends and to keep the number of young children to 5 or less.
What 1st birthday games and party activities should we have?
At such a young age it's best with your birthday party planning to keep first birthday party games simple and involve lots of colors and shapes to stimulate the party guests. It's always helpful to have a few parent-child activities to hand, particularly at beginning of the party, as these will make good icebreakers and will encourage the grown-ups to get actively involved in the party.
Having a few activites and games to hand can also be good if there are a few older siblings at the party. Having some coloring sheets or simple games to hand, will keep them happy while the babies are having their own fun.
You don't need to worry too much about the grown-ups though. Once they've all been introduced to one another, they'll mingle and chat and the children's antics will keep them entertained!
You'll find details for themed party games and activities for each of our 1st birthday party themes.
What Party food, drinks and 1st birthday cakes are
Planning the food and drinks for a one year old's birthday party can often appear at first to be a little 'tricky', not least because not all the children will have a full set of teeth!
First birthday parties will often have children of almost all ages there - anything from 10 months to 13 years old, as well as parents - so how do you make sure that the food you provide will meet the tastes of your little party guests as well as their older siblings and parents?
Catering for such a large age range can seem a daunting and expensive proposition and the last thing you'll feel like doing is spending a lot of time, effort and money buying and preparing lots of food that doesn't get eaten because it's either too 'different' for the little kids, or too much like bland baby-food for the older kids and parents.
The 'secret' to 1st birthday party planning and catering is to aim at providing a selection of simple, fun, nibbles, snacks and drinks that are regular favorites with all kids, and that take little time to prepare either before the party, or (especially) during the party.
So what are these simple and fun foods that all the kids love to eat?
You'll find lots of fun 'party theme' food ideas in the food and drink section in each of our birthday party themes, but here's a few ideas for easy and tasty party bites that you won't go far wrong with:
- 'Finger' sandwiches with fillings such as cheese, cream cheese, ham, peanut butter and Jell-O, chocolate spread, honey, fruit jams and so on. As a quick and easy option, mini 'party packs' of finger food from the local supermarket are always very popular with the kids, along with cheese cubes, cherry tomatoes, carrot and celery sticks and fruit bowls with apple, strawberry , banana slices, grapes and so on.
- Great savory bites that are simple to make or inexpensive to buy and that always work well at parties, include pizza slices, mini sausage rolls , savoury veggie rolls, chicken nuggets and dippers, savory indian, thai, mexican and chinese style snacks (for the older kids and parents), together with a variety of chips and dip.
- For the sweet tooth (and for kids who are 'allegic' to healthy fruit ;-), there's always marshmallows, mini chocolate fingers, ice cream, mini muffins and cupcakes, together with a slice of birthday cake of course!
- When it comes to party drinks, diluted fruit juices and little individual cartons of orange juice with a fun sticker on always go down well and are a healthier option than cans or bottles of soda.
As a final thought...Remember that hosting a party can always get a little stressful at times, so you don't want add to the stress by having to spend a lot of time running to and from the kitchen having to heat up or prepare yet another elaborate platter of food during the party. Keep the food simple and spend the time enjoying yourself instead.
What 1st birthday decorations are appropriate?
Remember that all the attention (‘oooing’ and ‘aahhing’) will be on your baby and not on the decorations or the children’s food, so don't feel you need to go all-out to make them too elaborate.
However, if you have the time and offers of help from friends or family, then colourful decorations and a wonderful party theme will really bring the party to life and will make those photos and memories that much more vivid.
Each of our birthday party themes are packed with ideas and free printable birthday decorations to make things a little easier for you :-)
Birthday Party Planning Safety Tips
What birthday party would be complete without party balloons? Balloons are such an accepted part of almost every birthday party that we give little thought to any risks that they may impose. With older kids balloons this is far less of an issue, but for babies and young toddlers who are immensely inquisitive and will put just about anything in their mouths, these 'funny, bouncy, floaty things' are a potential choking hazard.
So, if you're planning on having balloons at your party, make sure you throw away any broken balloons immediately and keep uninflated balloons out of the reach of the little ones ;-)
Keep it simple
Keep it safe
Your 1st Birthday Party Planning Ideas & Tips
Sharing your birthday party planning ideas and tips is a great way to help other parents
make their baby's 1st birthday party even more special and memorable.
It's also a great way to encourage them to share their birthday planning ideas...which in turn may help you with your next birthday party ;-)
Take a moment to share your 1st birthday party planning idea or tip.