So one day you have a cute, adorable, little baby and in a blink of an eye that cute, adorable, little baby isn’t so much a baby anymore. In fact, they are about to enter the dreaded toddler years! But first you have to deal with the first birthday hoopla. I think every mother has asked themselves this question… Do I throw a big birthday bash for my baby when he or she won’t even remember it?! I asked myself this very question when my little boy’s birthday was coming up. I wanted it to be memorable, but I didn’t want it to cost much because I’m sure the parties only get more expensive from here. As I pondered the whole birthday idea I faced a couple of problems. First, none of my friends have kids. Second, I am horrible at making decisions. In the end my son’s first birthday turned out to be amazing and I am so grateful I put in the work and effort I did! So I would like to share with you my tips on throwing an easy, memorable, and fun first birthday party.
Tip # 1 – Start a month or two in advance
For me the earlier I can hash out the general details the less stressed I am. Low stress = more fun. Pick a theme, start browsing Pinterest or whatever else gets those creative juices flowing, and plan out the date, time, and invite list.
Tip # 2 – Pick a theme that is easy to find matching decorations for
One of the most stressful things about planning a themed party is finding out there are no convenient decorations to go with the theme you picked out! Remember, that this might be the only time you get to pick your child’s birthday theme so make sure you pick something you love. Do a little bit of research and find out what is available in nearby party stores or online. Oriental Trading has some great party packs! If you are super crafty and want to make all your own decorations I say go for it, but please do yourself a favor and do it in advance so you aren’t stressed the day of! For me I chose to do a Cookie Monster theme! We are always calling our little boy a monster so it just fit! It was easy to find brown and blue decorations and my talented sister, Rebecca, made his birthday party invitation.
Tip # 3 – When it comes to the cake or cupcakes just make your life easier and order them
Okay, this is a tip I did not follow for myself. I decided to make a 5” round, 4” tall smash cake that looked like cookie monster, and 12 white cupcakes that look like chocolate chip cookies and 12 chocolate cupcakes that look like cookie monsters, and I made 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies. I spent one whole day baking and several hours frosting and decorating the cake and cupcakes. Even though they turned out adorable and I was super proud of myself, if I could go back in time and order them I probably would have. I was still frosting the cake an hour before guests were scheduled to arrive. Save yourself the time and stress and just fill out an order form. If you do want to save money and do it yourself don’t try to do too much in one day.
Tip #4 – Make sure you have his birthday outfit picked out and ordered in advance
You will want that outfit for pictures and you don’t want to risk it not arriving on time. If you are buying at a store then do it at least a week ahead of time. I ordered Lucas’ outfit on Etsy a month in advance. It didn’t make it in time for his scheduled pictures, but at least he had it for the party.
Tip #5 – Don’t get caught up in making it Pinterest worthy
Yes, I did say browse Pinterest, but don’t get to the point that you depress yourself for not being that creative or being super mom. Have fun with it!!!!!!!!! Pick a fun theme and just roll with it. Remember, we do it for the memories, the pictures, and an excuse to show off our baby to our friends. Your guests should be the people that know you and your child the best and if that is the case they won’t care about every little detail. They will be happy to just be there celebrating that special day with you!
So remember, don’t stress, plan ahead, take lots of pictures, and have fun!!! First birthdays are the best.
P.S. Don’t buy your kid any presents. They will get plenty from friends and family! Okay… maybe just one.