Whether it’s an intimate gathering, or an all-out bash, your baby’s first birthday is extremely important. Your baby might forget it without some sort of memory trigger, but you never will. So although you want your baby to enjoy his or herself, and as much as we might not like to admit it, baby’s first birthday is ultimately for mommy. It’s a chance for mommies to celebrate the first joyous, tough year of motherhood. There’s nothing wrong with a little celebration for that. You want this birthday party to be one that not only you can remember, but one that you can capture in memory through film so your baby can appreciate it when they are old enough.
Party Guests: A one year old child may be fearful of strangers, so have a lot of people outside of the immediate family unit at the party is not a good idea. If there are other babies there, he or she might not yet understand how to play with them. A one year old baby will enjoy the individual attention that they get from immediate family members, whose sights, smells and sounds the baby will already be familiar with. Always keep in mind that no matter how many party guests are there, your baby will still want a lot of your undivided attention. Make sure that you’re not too busy with other tasks at the party that you cannot provide this attention.
Timing Suggestions: It’s best to plan a party around nap times – you do not want your baby falling asleep in the middle of the cake, though it might make for a very amusing photo. Due to short attention spans, it’s best to limit the party to an hour and a half; if not, the situation could become chaotic beyond your means of control. Late morning or early afternoon tend to be popular times for parties. You might want to consider hiring your usual babysitter or find a friend to help with the party activities so you can spend more one-on-one time with your child during the festivities. After all, you only have your baby’s first birthday once.
Food considerations: Other than the obvious cake, you should serve food that is easy to clean up and requires little to no pots and pans or other serving utensils. This includes finger foods, preferably healthy items like carrot and celery sticks. Have some natural peanut butter and low fat ranch dressing available for dipping purposes. Chopped fruit that isn’t incredibly sticky also works well. Try pairing fruit with graham crackers or a plate of cheese and crackers. Whatever you serve must be soft, easily chew-able and easily broken into pieces. Babies at the party won’t be able to chew anything substantial, and anything else that is hard to chew represents a choking hazard. Avoid nuts, popcorn and hard candies – things that do not dissolve easily – for fear of choking.
Games and decorations: Avoid anything that has the potential of harsh sounds, such as party poppers and bursting balloons. With their incredibly unpredictable, harsh sounds, these items have the potential to become traumatic experiences in your child’s life. Balloons also carry a severe choking risk for anyone under the age of 3. Opt for party decorations made of paper, such as homemade origami or paper airplanes. Instead, use games that involve musical fun. Dance with your baby or put on a tape with fun nursery rhymes. Plays games like row-row-row-your-boat and peek-a-boo. If you have toys available for kids to play, make sure none of the toys carry a choking hazard; instead, make a game of hiding toys under soft cloth or behind nearby furniture that doesn’t carry a risk of injury.
Gift Ideas: At this age, you might want to consider gifts that are an investment, such as a swing in the backyard, or a small playhouse – something that will be available to them in many years to come. Another gift idea is something personalized – personalized items are gifts that leave a lasting memory. We have a selection of personalized baby blankets, personalized lamps, and monogrammed wall hangings. The possibilities are endless.
Whatever you do, do not stress too much about your baby’s first birthday. Enjoyment is what it’s all about, because you only go through this with your baby once. Contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org for more gift ideas for baby’s first birthday.
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