By Heather Burdo

There’s nothing like the anticipation of your baby’s first birthday party. You want it to be perfect, but it can be overwhelming because there is only so much you can do for a baby. We’re going to break it down for you so you can stress less. Here is how to celebrate your baby’s first birthday.

  1. Always keep nap time in mind

It may be your little one’s birthday, but you don’t want to mess with nap time if you want your baby to enjoy their day. The best time to plan a birthday party is shortly after they normally wake up from their nap. There’s nothing like a happy, well-rested baby.

  1. Hire or designate a photographer

If you’re someone who likes professional photos, book a photographer in advance. You will want to capture that first moment where they dive into their cake and those big cheeky smiles from ear to ear. If you don’t care who takes the photos (you just want photos, period) then designate a family member or friend to be the photographer of the day.

  1. Keep it simple with the theme

It’s incredibly easy to get carried away. Your baby is turning one! But, instead of thinking you have to plan everything according to a post on Pinterest, save yourself the stress and stick to a simple theme. Plus, your baby might feel overwhelmed with all the extra stuff. What color does your baby seem drawn to most? Maybe you could do that color and another one that matches it well. Even if you do something simple like just giraffes or unicorns (if you’re not a solid color type of mom.)

  1. If possible, opt for an outdoor venue

We get it - not everyone’s birthday is during the sunshine months. However, if possible try to opt for a park or playground. The mess you will have to pick up will be minimal for this type of party. Don’t forget the cake, snacks, favors, and balloons for this to be a blast. If there are no picnic tables, you may want to bring your own table. Also, be sure to arrive area to choose an area out of the sun.

  1. Don’t worry, you can have fun during winter

Winter-month babies can have just as much fun! Opt for a bouncy house if possible. Just be sure they have a designated area for toddlers, so they won’t get hurt with the older kids. This is always a win-win choice if you have family and friends with older kids. Whether your baby can stand and jump yet or not, he or she will still have a blast.

  1. Are you up for some cake smashing fun?

Smash cakes are quite the hit for 1-year-olds. Then again, who wouldn’t like diving into some cake, right? You could even opt for a large cupcake for this one if you didn’t want to give your baby a small cake. If you do this, though, don’t forget to pack an extra set of clothes because it’s bound to get messy. You could also have a designated cake smashing outfit just for this event and then give yourself time to change your little one back into their birthday outfit. This My First Birthday bodysuit makes the perfect, easy cake smashing outfit! 

  1. Time capsule fun

All you need is paper, pens, and a box for this fun activity. Ask guests to write the birthday boy or girl a short letter that they will read years from now. You could ask them to write advice or even a memory from the party. Once your guests write their letters, put them in the box and write on the outside of the box “ Do not open until you are 18” or whichever age you want to add.

  • First birthdays can be loads of fun, but more so when you’re not stressed about all the details. If you have anything else to add to help our mamas and dads out, please share. Happy birthday from all of us to all the little ones turning one!

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Heather is a freelance writer from New York. When she isn't writing about parenting, she is tending to her own two handsome boys. She enjoys all things related to motivation and mindset. All work aside, she enjoys activities outdoors and being with her family. 

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