A special first birthday
Create a DVD of the special moments in your baby's first year and play it for the guests while everyone is enjoying cake.
Build a time capsule and invite your guests to add a special note. Choose a pretty tin or box and place it where everyone can easily access it during the party. Provide pens and acid-free paper for the special notes that your baby will read when he or she is older. Provide a list of topic starters to make it easy:
- My hopes and dreams for you are...
- How you've touched my life.
- How I met your parents.
- I love you because...
Seal the time capsule and store it to be opened on his or her 18th birthday.
This is one party where it's a good idea to book a photographer to capture the special day, otherwise you may find you're not in any of the pictures!
Party tips for a successful first birthday
- Weekend parties usually work better for parents and other adults.
- Plan your party for either late morning or late afternoon to allow for nap times.
- Keep the party short and sweet. One hour is about all a one-year-old can handle without getting overwhelmed by all the attention and becoming grumpy.
- Most first birthday parties are really for the adults. Keep it to a manageable number of guests because you will also need to be caring for your birthday baby at the same time.
- Hosting too many baby and toddler guests will inevitably end up in tears. A maximum of five little ones will keep the party fun for everyone.
- Serving finger food is the easiest of options and reminds everyone that this is a first birthday party, after all. The babies and toddlers can join in too if you serve easy to grab food.
- Ask parents and carers beforehand if anyone is allergic to any kinds of food. With a group of people mingling it can be hard to keep an eye on everyone, so serving food that's safe for all to eat means you can relax.
- Be patient with the inevitable tears, mishaps and tantrums. Children and their behaviours are not predictable. All the excitement of a first birthday can unsettle some babies and children. Try and relax and go with the flow.
- To help you manage on the day ask for help from a reliable friend or family member who can watch your child or entertain the little guests while you change a nappy, clean up a spill or play hostess.
- Put out a basket of toys for the little guests to play with. This will help keep them occupied and happy and ensures the birthday gifts are not too tempting.
- If you haven't already done so, baby and toddler proof the party area.
- Do cake last so the baby isn't a mess for opening presents.
- This is a day to celebrate the birth of your baby; by keeping the party simple you will enjoy it too. Plan some special quiet time at the end of the day just for Mum, Dad, and baby
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