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A Slice of Advice for a Happy 1st Birthday Party

first birthday party
This is an exciting time! You and your baby have arrived at a monumental milestone and you all may want to celebrate. Even take a minute to do a happy dance! If you choose to have a first birthday party, here are some tips to help you have a fun celebration and minimize party stressors. 


Bask in the glory that you’ve been a mom for a year. This is tough work and you shouldn’t be adding extra work on yourself to celebrate. Maybe even look at old photo albums of your own first birthday to remind you simplicity is just as nostalgic – cue homemade cake, few or no decorations, and awesome clothing style 🙂

  • Look into catering platters from Costco, Chick-fil-A, Jimmy John’s, or even the grocery store deli to offload the cooking responsibility.
  • Find decorations that give you a big bang for your buck instead of decorating lots of little things, like a big centerpiece on a table or one fun backdrop for pictures
  • Don’t worry about party favor bags (many get tossed anyways)


Are you considering doing a smash cake or new toys or a ball pit? Make sure your one-year old has had an opportunity to play with these things before being pressured to perform in front of a crowd. 

  • Put out new toys a few days before the party so your kiddo isn’t surprised or confused when you set him in front of a new slide and expect miracles for the camera.
  • Consider doing a favorite food smash instead of a cake (like a bowl ice cream or even yogurt!) or skip it all together and do a piñata, musical instruments like maracas, or toss glitter everywhere – wait, definitely do not do that one.


Lots of moms love Pinterest, including myself. However, you don’t have to be the ultra-creative, Instagram queen to have a pretty party. If you find something you like, just work to recreate your inspiration photo instead of coming up with something original. This will save you time figuring out what to do and money from buying stuff you don’t end up needing.

  • Focus on one area or wall of the party and go all out; you don’t have to decorate every nook and cranny in the room.


Your child has probably let you know what he prefers when it comes to his every daily routines. Cater to your big 0-1 kid by doing something he enjoys.

  • Consider the size of your guest list based on how your child does with crowds. This will make for a happy birthday kid.
  • If your child loves being outside, or at home, or out and about, plan the party location accordingly. This will help your child feel comfortable and have fun.
  • Does your child have happier mornings? What about a breakfast birthday? Time the party to your child’s happy hour.


In my experience, my husband is an outstanding helper when I ask him. He doesn’t always know how to take initiative when planning a party and definitely can’t see my vision without me telling him. So over the years he’s been able to help me learn I just need to say something/ask. He’s happy to oblige. (Oh, ok!)

  • Ask a husband, partner, friend, family member for help with the day. They will probably be excited to have a role in the planning of the big day and take some pride in it too.

What other tips do you have for successful birthday parties for little ones?

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One Response to A Slice of Advice for a Happy 1st Birthday Party

  1. Judy LeMarr August 3, 2017 at 2:34 pm #

    All great tips. It can be so easy to get caught up in pressure and expectations for the first big party for the little one but at the end of the day you have to remind yourself no matter how incredibly perfect a party you plan, chances are something will go wrong and realistically the kiddo probably won’t remember much of the first one. Relax, enjoy the time, focus on the real reason for all the fuss and relish in the excitement of the first year!

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