Parenting can be a competitive sport, but planning your baby’s birthday parties (especially their first birthday) is in a class of its own! No matter how tight the credit crunch is we all strive for the perfect party, and inadvertently will spend more money on it that we actually planned to. Wanting to celebrate our babies first year, in which they learnt and developed so much, it is fitting that we throw them a party to remember, … only…. they won’t remember it!!!!
Whether you choose to have a small get together with family and a selected few friends, or you choose to invite every baby and parent in your mom and baby groups, or your child’s entire preschool class, it all take quite careful planning. There is food, decorations, presents and activities to organise. And the Cake seems to be the item of envy. Did you make it yourself? Did you get a baker to make and decorate it? Or did you buy it off the shelf at your local supermarket?
Here are some tips on the best parties:
For all parties
- If you have the space, try to have your parties at home. It cuts the costs, you don’t have to worry about transporting food around and it is your baby’s most familiar environment where they are most comfortable. Also, with young babies, the chances are you may have some moms attending the party who are still breastfeeding. It is far easier for them to find a comfy spot to feed their babies and feel more relaxed in your home.
- Try to get an enthusiastic family member or friend to bake the cake for you. It will be made with love will be specifically for your little one. At most you will probably only have to pay for the ingredients
- Keep food simple and easy to do. Sandwiches and healthy finger foods are fine. Have some party food available, but don’t go overboard. Given a choice most people will go for the healthier option these days. Offer simple finger foods for the children like sausages, pita, soft crisps, strawberries, biscuits and raisins.
- Arrange the party at a time when you know your baby would have just had a nap so that they are well rested before the party. Limit the party to no more than 2 hours as all the attention and excitement can be very daunting and overstimulating for your tot.
For your baby’s first birthday
- Keep it low key and simple. Don’t give yourself too much to do so you can enjoy the time with your family and your friends. Most babies will probably be very little at the party so a calm(ish) environment would be the best.
- Soft music playing and a few cause-and-effect toys will do the trick.
For older children
- For 2nd birthdays it is much the same as 1st birthdays, only have more activities on offer. Playdough, an art activity, sand play, water play and outdoor toys are great fun for little ones.
- If you have good weather always have an area outdoors where you can let the children play. Set up the activities there to encourage the children to stay outside.
- Have food that is easy to make, hot dogs, chicken nuggets and chips, sandwiches and fruit and veg sticks are great.
- From 3rd birthdays onwards it is a good idea to have a theme for parties. This helps you to plan fun activities and will keep the children busy.
Most of all, have fun yourself, and enjoy having all the attention focused on your babey Get into the spirit of the party. Your kids will notice and appreciate it in years to come.
By Meg Faure