Celebrating your baby's first birthday is a huge milestone in any parent's life. You can't believe it's been an entire year. Your sweet little baby is about to become a toddler! Get your video camera ready, because any moment now, you can expect him to start taking steps, eating with his hands and helping you to dress him. Now that your baby is one, parenting is about to become a lot more fun. You probably want to celebrate this milestone in your baby's life along with all of your friends and loved ones. First birthdays can be a big event for babies and parents alike. In fact, your little one's first birthday may be even more exciting for you than it is for him. That's okay. Both parents and baby are allowed to have fun at a first birthday celebration. Since it's your baby's very first birthday he won't have any expectations for his party. He won't even know what a birthday party is. So, relax, get your friends and family together, and have some fun.
Send invitations to your baby's first birthday out in the mail three to four weeks ahead of the party. You want to give your guests plenty of warning so that they do not end up scheduling another event on the same day. This will also give you plenty of time to send another invitation if one gets lost in the mail and to collect RSVPs so you know how many people to expect. Many of your guests will want to bring your baby a gift. Sending invitations to the party early will give your friends and family plenty of time to shop, either online or in person, for something for the birthday kid. Create paper invitations featuring either favorite pictures from your baby's first year or sweet illustrations of things the baby likes such as a favorite character or animal. While it may seem more convenient to you to email all of your loved ones an invitation the week before the event, your baby will only turn one once and you should take the time to mark the event. If you create paper invitations, you will be able to save one in your baby's scrapbook and look back on it for years to come. It is also much easier for your guests to remember events for which they received paper invitations. Don't limit your guest list to friends who have babies of their own. Grandparents, aunts and uncles and siblings want to celebrate with you. Even some of your friends without children are probably excited about baby's big day.
Your baby is becoming a big kid, but he's still only one. The best place to hold a first birthday celebration is at home or at a grandparent's house. This way, your baby feels comfortable in his surroundings and can relax and have fun. One year olds are just beginning to test their limits with parents. This means that your baby is likely to start replying, "No!" when you make requests. Depending upon your baby's personality, he could even begin to throw tantrums that range anywhere from pouting and crying to full-on nuclear meltdowns. This is more likely to occur if your baby is stressed or tired. Make your baby's first birthday party as fun and casual as you can for him by holding it in a familiar place. Holding the party at home gives you the added benefit of a place to put the baby down for a nap if he needs one. Just because the party is at home, though, doesn't mean that it can't be special. Decorate your home for the baby's celebration. Hang "Happy Birthday" banners and streamers in fun colors. Put up pictures of animals or your kid's favorite characters. You can put up some balloons if you make sure to keep them out of kids' reach and confetti should be avoided because it is a choking hazard.
Your one year old might still be nursing for most of his meals but he likely is also transitioning to solid foods. As you are aware, though, meals can be pretty messy affairs. Instead of having a sit-down meal with your one year old at his party, serve some cake and ice cream. The cake and ice cream will probably also get pretty messy, since one year olds like to make everything finger food, but that's okay. Pick out or bake a cake featuring your one year old's favorite animal or character. Do not feed your one year old any diet or light foods. He should be eating whole milk, full fat products until he is at least two. While you may normally try to limit your baby's sugar intake, his birthday is a special day and having a little cake and ice cream on one day won't be bad for him. You can also supply your grown-up party guests with things like cheese and crackers to nibble on and some fruit juices to wash everything down.
For big kids, the birthday presents are sometimes the most exciting element of the entire party. Your one year old probably won't get so thrilled with his gifts since he won't be anticipating them, but it will still be tons of fun for him to open them. If you want to get him something practical, get him a good, soft pair of toddler shoes. Most one year olds are just starting to learn to walk and he can wear his new shoes if he wants to try out walking when you take him out. One year olds are also very curious and love to explore. Games and toys that make different noises or have lots of components with different textures and materials are lots of fun for babies. Just make sure by reading the warnings on boxes that they are age appropriate. Don't buy anything with small parts that might accidentally be swallowed. Finally, books make an ideal present for one year olds. Reading to your baby is a good way for the two of you to bond while having fun. It is also very good for your baby's development. You can't beat a gift that is fun and practical.