Heather Novak

Your baby is turning one and you are planning her first birthday party?  Let me give you the hottest baby birthday party tip ever: No one but Grandma wants to come to this party.  (Well maybe Grandpa does, but only if you make those grape jelly meatball thingies again. And after he eats those he is napping upright with cake crumbs on his chin, OK?)  You can Pinterest your heart out planning your baby’s first birthday party and no one really wants to be there.

I know this is fact because I’ve thrown two first birthday parties for my darling cherubic tots. I think we invited a ton of people and had about fifty of them attend.

Yup.  I’m trashing baby birthday parties, but held one for fifty folks myself.

You see, no one wants to watch the baby squoosh cake into their face.  Only you think that is awesome.  No one wants to ooh and ahh over baby toys they already saw an hour earlier at Target when they bought their gift for your baby’s birthday party.  No one wants to have three hours of their weekend gone at yet another baby birthday party.  So what is the solution?

BE AWESOME:  Throw the party for the ADULTS.


As a new mom I missed throwing real adult parties, so I invited everybody to our daughter Portia’s First Birthday Party.  Then as a second time around Mom, we had moved to a new town so throwing the First Birthday Party for Libby was a way to get to know people we’d just met and give old friends an excuse to drive over an hour to our new digs and see me.  I mean our daughter.  I mean our family.  Anyhoo.  Besides, if I was going to clean and make food and spend ohmylawdhowmuchagain  at the Party Center store, I wanted to have a good time myself.  I wanted it to be a Real Party.

Here are three things we did that made our baby’s First Birthday Party much more than a crummy little kid party.

To Make You’re Baby’s First Birthday Party the Best…

1)  Make it an OPEN HOUSE.  Set a time frame and invite folks to come and go as they please.  Open each present as they arrive instead of for an hour at the end of the party when everyone would rather slip out.  Have easy to snack on food and cupcakes for cake so they can help themselves and you are free to mingle.  Get your baby smashing the cake pictures and leave the rest of your friends and family alone to enjoy a party!

2) Select BIRTHDAY THEMED OUTFITS.  Poke some fun at yourself and your theme by suggesting partiers dress the role. Portia’s first birthday party was a Baby Bee theme since her Grandpa is a beekeeper.  I invited attendees to wear stripes or black and yellow.  Almost half the guests wore festive attire, and I think they got a kick out of being included in the ruckus.  Libby’s first birthday party was Sock Monkey Style, so guests were invited to wear red, brown or monkey attire.  I think she got six different sock monkeys which ROCKED.    When we did a Pirate Theme for my hubby’s 40th, people dressed accordingly and one friend came sporting a peg leg!

Planning Baby First Birthday Party

3)  SERVE DRINKS.*  I cannot tell you how enjoyable it was to sip a cocktail or even mocktail while attending your cherub’s first birthday party.  It brings the party away from a Garden Club Baby Shower to the feeling of a real adult centered party.  I’m not suggesting a keg or anything, but a drink brings the party up an adult notch.  Plus people stay longer.  Seriously.   And any parent knows…any de-stressor helps!  *(Unless you do not drink, in which case you bettter have those meatballs, Grandpa cannot get enough.)

When your baby is turning one you should celebrate.  Hey, you made it this far!  We love our babies and when they are turning one it is a big deal, of course you want to have a first birthday party to mark the event.  Hit Pinterest, call your mother, and start planning.  And look up that grape jelly meatball recipe while you are at it, Grandpa isn’t the only one who loves it.

I’d love to hear your baby’s First Birthday Party tips! Tell me how YOU do it in the comments below!

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Category: Kids

Tags: 1st birthday