5 Tips for Planning Baby’s First Birthday Party

You never thought it could come so soon, but the day has arrived and your precious newborn baby has turned one. Now it’s time to plan the first birthday party! 

5 Tips for Planning Baby's First Birthday Party

Follow these tips for a fun, stress-free (or almost stress-free) event that parents and kids will enjoy!

Pick a time right after a nap

You want your baby to be happy and fresh and not meltdown city during party time. At this age, babies usually take a morning and afternoon nap. Pick a party time not long after the baby usually wakes up from a nap. Try an 11 a.m. party where you can serve pizza, nuggets, or sandwich platters for lunch. Or if early parties aren’t your thing, shoot for a 3 or 4 p.m. party and serve some refreshments and light bites since it isn’t quite a mealtime. 

Pick a venue where your baby will have fun, too

Let’s face it, the first birthday party is really for the parents. You made it through the first year and you deserve to celebrate! Baby won’t care where their party is held, but try to be mindful of a venue where they can play. If you decide on a playground party, make sure the space has some age-appropriate equipment like baby swings or smaller climbing equipment. If you’re having a party at home, consider setting up a ball pit, water table, or foam block obstacle course for the birthday babe to enjoy. 

Bring something to put them in

Perhaps your baby has taken a few steps, but they likely aren’t toddling all over the place yet. Depending on your party venue, you may want to bring a fun, yet containing device to place baby into when your arms need a break. Consider a ride-on toy with a long handle, a wagon, or if you have volunteers at your party willing to supervise, hand it over to them! Playing host is a lot of work, so you will need the extra hands.

Order a smash cake

What is a first birthday party without a smash cake? Smash cakes allow your little one to dig in while you take those messy birthday photos without worrying about ruining the cake for the whole party. Many bakeries include a free smash cake with the purchase of a sheet cake, so be sure to ask when placing your order. 

Hang a monthly photo banner

Photo banners are a great way to showcase how your precious babe has changed over the last 12 months and it doubles as party decorations. If you took a monthly photo during the last year, find a banner template online that ties into your theme and get those photos printed and hung! It is a really nice custom touch to party décor and you can easily save the banner pages for the baby book.

What other party-planning tips have worked for you when planning a first birthday party?

Check out these other birthday posts at Atlanta Mom:
To Party Or Not To Party, that is the Question
Why We are Choosing a Birthday Experience Over a Birthday Party

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Tara Sierra
Tara was raised in Atlanta and graduated from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She is taking a break from the corporate world to focus on raising her children, along with caring for her aging parents and volunteering. She enjoys sharing ideas on wellness, sustainability, staying engaged during a career break, and preserving family memories. Tara and her husband spent years traveling the world before kids, and plan to continue the tradition with them. When she squeezes in some free time, you might find her practicing yoga, writing, reading, or curating family photo books.