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1st Birthday Party Ideas

6 First Birthday Traditions

one year baby birthday party

You may be thinking, “Isn’t starting a tradition during the first year a bit early?” On the contrary, your baby may not remember being a part of these traditions, but the photographic evidence is something you will ooh and ahh over for decades to come. I mean, let’s face it – nothing is more adorable than a baby’s first time doing just about anything, and what better occasion to start new traditions than their first birthday? Unfortunately, with all of the charm and attention being poured into decorations, food, party favors and phone calls, we often forget to relax and enjoy a few firsts with our little ones.  Here are a few traditions new and old to help you make this day special for years to come.


Baby’s Turning One!

baby having her first birthday,  blurred background

Let’s just start by admitting something that we all know is true- first birthday parties are for mommy and daddy and their guests. But, just because your baby won’t remember the party doesn’t mean you can’t make it special! After all, this is a big day for you, too, and you will always have the photos to show them later!


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It seems just like yesterday when your almost one-year-old was just a lil' bun in the oven, doesn't it? Now they're learnin' how to talk, how to walk, and how to be the cutest little thing in the world. Now it's time to invite your friends, family, and other little ones to celebrate your son or daughter's big first birthday! Here's some tips on how to make it special.
The first of many birthdays to come!

This is the first birthday party your child will experience...and if it's your first child, it's also the first young child's birthday party you've ever planned. Lucky for you, it can be a pretty simple one to plan. At this age, your child does not yet really understand the concept of a birthday party so you will not have to worry about meeting their demands or disappointing them by not meeting their expectations. But due to the age, you do have the challenge of keeping your little one and the other young guests thoroughly entertained. There are several things to think about when planning a child's milestone first birthday party and GigSalad is here to help you every step of the way.

What kind of party would be perfect for your little one?

Before planning the details of what will actually take place at your child's first birthday, you need to figure out the basics. Who is invited? If your child attends a daycare, you should invite the other children from the class. You should invite your family members and friends especially those with children that they can bring along. If your child is shy, you might want to avoid bringing in too many people that they are not familiar with. You do not want them spending the day being scared and uncomfortable. Next you should decide on a decorating theme. What cartoons or toys is your child into? All major cartoon characters are now plastered all over tableware, balloons and party favors. You can also go with a more generic theme such as animals or sports. Or perhaps a princess party, pirate party, or super hero party.

Once you decide on a theme, it should be easy to come across the appropriate party decor and most kids party decorations are also pretty inexpensive. The last two pieces are when and where! You know better than anyone that one year old babies get cranky when sleepy, so do not plan the party around regular nap times. And you will want to keep the party fairly short so that they don't lose interest and get restless. As for the location, the most popular choice is usually your own home. Of course, the number of people invited will factor into your decision. If the party is taking place on a warm, sunny day you might want to have the party in your backyard. Or go to a local park. There may also be a local venue or play place you could hold the party if you do not wish to have it in your home. Once you've put all the basic information together you will want to get the invitations out.

Entertainment is very important at a party packed with young kids!

There aren't a lot of things that your child can do at this age, so if you are planning a party for family only, you may not need to bring in entertainment. However if your party is going to be packed with other children, especially older children, then you will definitely want to consider how you'll keep them entertained and busy at the party. There are several options you can choose when coming up with the activities and entertainment for your child's first birthday. You may choose to plan games or activities and then conduct them on your own, or you can hire a professional to come in and entertain the children. Hiring an entertainer to perform for the children or mingle in the crowd can be affordable; it's not (always) as expensive as you might think. For example, consider hiring a clown or a magician to entertain the crowd. If the theme you've chosen includes a popular cartoon character or super hero, it would be a great idea to have that costumed character make an appearance at the party! Or perhaps bring in some face painters or balloon artists to interact with the children. Balloon twisters make for great entertainment for your child's birthday party because they also provide balloon animals as keepsakes for the guests!

Wouldn't be a birthday party without sweets!

The only thing kids might like more than games and toys is sweets! So having a nice cake is very important. You can bake a cake yourself or have a cake designed at a bakery that matches your party theme perfectly. Of course, cake does not make for a very well balanced meal, so you will probably want to provide real food as well. If your party is on the larger side, you can hire a caterer or handle the food on your own. Even if your party time lands between meals, it is a good idea to provide snacks and refreshments. If you do plan to have the party around a meal time, plan for it to be a sit down meal. Your one year old might not eat a lot of table food at this point, so you will probably have to sit down and help them eat. You know the drill.

Plus, if your party guests will be comprised of young children, they do not really understand the idea of a buffet and the party could get pretty chaotic if you give children full access to all the food and let them run around with their own plates. Have a time for everyone to sit down and eat before allowing presents to be opened or entertainment to begin. If your party is outdoors, a fun idea would be to set up blankets and sit down for a picnic! Choose simple foods like cut up hot dogs (remove the skin) or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (assuming there are no allergy issues among guests), or pizza. Remember, this is a birthday party for a one year old. You may also opt to not have your party during 'mealtime' hours, and simply serve snacks, juiceboxes and cake.

As a parent, another thing you'll definitely not want to forget is pictures! This is your child's very first birthday, so you'll want to experience all the little moments with your baby and not worry about capturing them through a lens. So you may want to consider hiring a photographer to handle the pictures for you. Having lots of pictures is very important! This is not an age that children will remember, so it will be really fun for them to look back at the pictures of this party when they are older!

These are just a few of MANY wonderful first birthday party ideas! Every child is unique, so make sure that the party you are planning is special to your little one. If you are too busy or feel that all this might be too much to take on, you can always hire a party planner to do it for you. However, with the right resources, you CAN do it yourself and have fun doing it. GigSalad is here to help you every step of the way as your one stop shop for all your first birthday party planning needs.

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