Saturday, September 11, 2010

Plan A Perfect First Birthday Party

Your baby’s first birthday party is a big deal. Like the first tooth, first steps, and first word, her first birthday marks an important milestone in her growth. Though it can be temping to go overboard with the festivities, having a simple celebration is often all you need. For my little girl's first birthday party, I went overboard making her decorations, birthday hat, and food. Taking my time to pick out her perfect birthday baby outfit allowed me to get my fix without overwhelming my baby. Plan the perfect first birthday party that will leave everyone smiling.

If you were to go by celebrity standards, the first birthday party should be a grand affair worthy of the paparazzi showing up. Unless you have a nanny or two on hand to care for an overtired and overwhelmed birthday girl, stick to a small scale affair. At this age, any baby can become easily overwhelmed by too much activity and turn into a crying, unhappy mess.
Choose a theme that is kid friendly and full of color. Babies love color and it can keep them mesmerized for hours. With this in mind, choosing a cake with Baby Einsteins, Sesame Street, or any of the children's TV programs will be sure to draw your little one to it. Drawing attention is especially important with the ever popular first "smash" cake. The sugar and high fructose corn syrup found in most cakes is far too high for a young baby, so maybe go with something healthier like a carrot or coconut cake. You can also go with a cupcake and still enjoy the fun. I even saw a party where the "smash" cake was a rice krispie decorated with icing.

Invite only a few, important family members over. Around one year, many babies are dealing with separation and stranger anxiety. Too many people, especially ones your baby does not know well, can cause her to become upset and frightened. Though one year-olds are not yet at the age to really play with other children, many love to watch and follow older children that they know.
When planning your decor, keep safety first in mind. Popped balloons and loose streamers can pose choking hazards for young children. If you have toys and activities available for older children at the party, be sure to keep them far enough from arms reach to prevent any accidents. One year-olds are often more capable that we know when they see something they want.

Party baby clothes! They are so much fun and exuding of adorableness. As for the perfect birthday outfit, it is all dependent on your style. The only thing to keep in mind is, it will get dirty and must be comfortable. Babies are pretty mobile by their first birthday, either walking or crawling. Your little birthday girl doesn't want to spend the whole party fighting with her dress or skirt, make sure it is short enough to stay out of her way. I love tutus, because they are stiff they don't get caught on little toes. Party hats should be easy, comfortable, and easily removed. Don't expect your little one to keep her hat on, it will just frustrate you and her. Use it for the special photographs, then forget about it! Flowered baby headbands are a great option and much more comfortable.
 You do not need two hours for a birthday party at this age, and professional party entertainment such as clowns are more likely to scare your one year-old. Try to keep the party under an hour and provide age appropriate toys for your birthday girl. The most important tip is to just have fun. At this age, the party is more for you than your baby. Set it up for success, so that you can sit back and enjoy watching your little one celebrate this milestone.

By Shannon Henrici of My Baby Clothes Boutique.

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