How to Throw the Perfect First Birthday Party


Getting through the first year of your child’s life is a huge accomplishment, and whether you’re a brand-new mom or on the verge of your baby’s first birthday, you’ve probably thought about how to celebrate that milestone. And celebrate you should! You have (or will have!) overcome some of motherhood’s greatest early accomplishments: your child has grown from a newborn to a solid-food eating baby, he’s likely sleeping through the night, you’ve soothed him through teething, coaxed him into crawling, and he may now be walking or just about to take those very first steps. These are certainly reasons to celebrate!

A first birthday celebration can be quite elaborate and overwhelming for the guest of honor, but there are ways to make the event perfect for everyone involved—especially your little one. Here are important things to consider to make your child’s first birthday a success.

Planning the Main Event

Liz Ryan, a mother of five from Boulder, Colorado, has hosted her share of first birthday parties. She says there are two crucial things to consider—family members and memories. And although the focus of the event is on your baby, the party is not really for your baby.

For her kids’ first birthdays, Ryan made sure the guests could enjoy the main event—the cake and the candle. “I had a simple half-hour cake ceremony and it was perfect. We got the photos we wanted for the baby book, and my baby got a fistful of cake; everyone was happy.”

When organizing a birthday party for a 1-year-old, timing is everything. Make sure to plan around your baby’s naptime to avoid the fiasco of singing “Happy Birthday” to a screaming child. This may mean hosting a small get-together before naptime or waiting until after naptime to bring out the cake. Remember, you want to make the experience pleasant, and while pictures of a fussing toddler might be interesting years down the road, a crying child throwing birthday cake is not what guests expect.