Ideas for Baby's first birthday


They say that time flies when you have a child and they're not wrong - one minute you're getting to grips with the care of a newborn and the next your baby is turning one and will soon be turning into a toddler!

The first birthday, like all firsts in baby's life, is a special one and it is often debated how is best to celebrate this joyful occasion. Do you put on a big party with cakes and balloons and lots of guests or do you have a quiet family day just enjoying each others company?

Put on a big party!
I don't know about you, but when I think about putting on a birthday celebration, my very first thought goes to the traditional big party. You know, the ones you remember from your childhood with tons of guests, lots of screaming kids, jelly & ice cream and one big mess for the parents to clean up at the end.

You have to admit that these parties are great fun for the children involved - but would this be suitable for a first birthday? 

  • As mentioned above these parties are incredibly fun for the children involved, including games, party food and sometimes a theme. 
  • This kind of party is a very social event, meaning that not only will the children all have someone to play with, the adults will have plenty of people to talk to as well!
Things to consider:
  • Could you baby cope with this kind of party? Could they cope with the number of guests, the level of noise and the visual stimulation?
  • Is it worth putting all of that money and effort in to a party that your little one is not going to remember?
  • Do you have the facilities to put on such a big party? These could include the location (whether it be the space in your own home or a room to rent), the money to put the party together and the people to invite.

Keep it small.
Whether you spend the day with immediate family or maybe even just you and your little one, keeping it small can mean doing anything from going out for a meal to staying at home with a birthday cake. This isn't typically seen as a super exciting way of celebrating a birthday but can feel really intimate and cosy for those involved. 

So, why would you choose to do this for your baby's first birthday?

  • As mentioned before, spending a day like this can be very intimate and cosy, leaving everyone feeling happy and content and, hopefully, not frazzled by the days activities.
  • By keeping things smaller, catering for fewer people or doing less, you can save a significant amount of money in comparison to some of the other options. Perfect for times when the budget is tight.
  • Your little one may enjoy a quieter affair, especially if they are wary of loud noises or larger groups of people.
Things to consider:
  • It may not always be possible let to keep the day as quiet as you would like, what with the family and friends visiting to celebrate the day. In fact, it could turn into a busier day than expected.

Joint party
For any of you that have older children whose birthdays fall around the same time as your little ones, you could hold a joint party for both children, inviting friends from both circles and having a cake for each of them. 

So, would this be the perfect birthday party for your baby?

  • A joint party will allow you to put on that big party for both children whilst saving a lot of money. Win win.
  • Having only just turned one, your baby will most likely not have met many other people that you could invite along to a big party. Therefore, by having the friends of your older child also present will help build up the number of guests, rather than leaving it feel like a bit of a flop.
Things to consider:
  • A joint birthday party will usually fall on either one of the children's birthdays or somewhere in the middle. This would result in you having to explain (mainly to the older one) why they will not be celebrating their birthday on the actual date of their birthday but on this alternative date instead. Although it may win them over if you tell them they are effectively having two birthdays that year!
  • As mentioned in the previous entry about big parties, you will need to think about whether you have the facilities for such a large group of people and how baby will cope with the over stimulation of the day.

Cake Smash
I have only just heard of this kind of thing myself but a cake smash is basically an event where a large birthday cake is baked specially for baby, and baby is stripped down to the nappy and let loose.

You can imagine what chaos results.

  • This is incredibly fun for both baby and adults alike. I mean, who doesn't want to watch a baby dive into a big cake and make as much mess as possible.
  • This provides the perfect photo opportunity, in fact there are some companies that will do the whole Cake Smash package and take the photos for you. This makes it a wonderful way to remember the day in years to come.
  • You can either choose to do this as a big day out or do it in your own home, meaning it can be as big or small an event as you want it to be and can also cost as little or as much as you want as well.
Things to consider:
  • If you decide to do this in your own home, you will need to be happy for baby to make a huge mess and have a bath on standby for afterwards!
  • Think of all the sugar in that cake! Before you go ahead with it, you need to decide whether you are happy for them to have that much sugar. Alternatively if you know of a healthier cake recipe then that could also be an option (if you do know any healthy cake recipes please send them my way!).

Overall it's clear that, whatever you decide to do on your baby's birthday, there are going to be pros and cons. So take some time to weigh up what would be the most suitable for you as a family, most enjoyable for your baby and what would allow you to enjoy and remember the day as much as possible. After all, this is their very first birthday, you will want to remember it!

Which of these different birthday options do you think you would arrange for your baby's first? Have you done anything additional to these suggestions and, if so, what? Please let me know in the comments below!

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  1. My little girl turns one in April, which I can't believe and we're starting to think about what to do for her birthday. We're going for a special day out with all of our NCT friends, so that'll be lovely. I'm eager to have a party but it's around the time I go back to work and I'm worried of it being too much. Whatever happens I'm sure it will be a very special day, thanks for your ideas :)

    Helen x

    1. Thanks for your comment! A day out with friends sounds like a wonderful plan! You will have to let me know how it goes! x

  2. Such a useful post! My little girl turns one next week. We are planning on a trip to the saline centre just me, daddy and baby on her actual birthday and then having a small get together with family and close friends at the weekend. I just could not face the idea of a big party, I think Lexie would just be overwhelmed by the whole experience #BrilliantBlogPosts

    1. Glad you like it! I hope it all goes well and Lexie has a good day. Bo would be overwhelmed by a big party as well, so I think we will be doing something similar x