Baby’s 1st Birthday Party: How to Plan, Organize, and Invite

Baby’s 1st Birthday Party: How to Plan, Organize, and Invite

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curious baby boy poking finger in his first birthday cake
Your baby’s first birthday is a milestone worth celebrating. a

Congratulations! Your baby is turning one. Your baby’s birthday is not just a celebration of his first year but is also a culmination of you surviving your first year of parenthood. You have gone through a lot within that first year, and of course, you have learned tons of lessons as well. 

So, how will you celebrate this milestone? 

Planning your baby’s first birthday party could be so stressful, most especially when you do not have any idea on how you will do things. Perhaps, you want a Pinterest-perfect and very elaborate first birthday party, but you do not know exactly how to do it. 

When will you send out the invites? Where will you get the supplies? Where will you celebrate it? What is the theme? These are some of the things that you should know when planning your baby’s first birthday party. At this moment, your stress level might already have reached the maximum but worry not, we got you covered. 

This article gives a thorough discussion of how you will plan and organize your child’s first birthday party. It also talks about when you should send out the invitations and how much should you spend on your baby’s first birthday party. 

1. Time and Date

Most probably, you want your family and friends to be present at your child’s first birthday party. But, what if your child’s birthday falls on a weekday? If this is the case, your best option is to celebrate it the weekend before or after. Celebrating birthdays on a weekend is more ideal since most of your family and friends are free these days. 

When it comes to the time, the party should happen after your child’s usual nap time so that your baby is well-rested. This will decrease the chance of your child throwing tantrums due to how sleepy he is. It is much better if the party will happen earlier in the day. Remember, what is convenient for you is not convenient for your child and the other toddlers and kids that are invited to the party. 

Furthermore, the party should not last for the whole day. Instead, it should last for around two to three hours only. This is because the party could overwhelm the children, most especially when a lot of people are invited to the party. Prolonging the birthday party could also make your child weary enough to throw tantrums or your child and other guests might get bored already. 

2. Guests

The number of people you will invite depends on how grand or simple the party is. If you want an intimate celebration for your child’s birthday party then obviously, the people you will invite include your baby’s grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and some of your baby’s friends from his playgroup. But if you plan to go all out and throw a grand birthday bash, then you could include your extended family members, coworkers, and other friends on the guest list. 

Actually, the number of guests that you will have to your child’s birthday party greatly depends on what your preference is and on how much budget you have for the party. Obviously, the more people are invited to the party, the more food, beverage, and space will be needed. 

When making the guest list, start with the people that must really be invited to the party. These are the people you would not just celebrate if they are not around. It is also very important that you invite people to whom your child is comfortable with. This will help lessen the anxiety that he might feel during the party because of being surrounded by unfamiliar people. 

3. Venue

If your house is big enough to accommodate all of your guests and you are in a tight budget as well, then you could celebrate right at your house. Throwing a party at your home does not just save you money but it also allows your guests to hang out longer even after the party since hiring a venue means that your time is very limited to a few hours. Your baby could always take a break or a nap even during the party to recharge since children easily get tired. Plus, it could also help to make your baby more comfortable if the party will happen right at your home.

If you plan to throw your child’s first birthday party somewhere else, then booking in a restaurant or in a children’s play space are two of the best choices that you have. These places can be a little bit costly but they come with advantages. First, you do not have to deal with the preparation of the place. Second, you do not have to handle the aftercare, and lastly, you actually do not need to entertain your guests that much. 

Another great option is to do the party at your child’s favorite park as long as the weather is favorable. A picnic-like party is surely a hit, most especially when your baby loves to be close with nature. You can just simply set up the decorations and foods at your picnic table. 

What makes a public park another great option is that there are already play structures where the kids can play. You just have to make sure that someone is keeping an eye on them to avoid any accidents from happening. 

If you plan to celebrate your baby’s first birthday in a park, the first thing that you have to do is to find out if birthday parties are allowed there. You also need to check out if you are required to secure a permit and make a reservation as well. 

Regardless of where you plan to throw your baby’s first birthday party, the most important factor that you should consider is that you have enough space to accommodate all your guests, most especially the kids who easily get giddy with limited space. It is also with the utmost importance that the place is safe for the kids to play and crawl and that there is a space where moms like you could breastfeed their baby or change their baby’s diapers. If possible, prepare a small space also where babies can take a break in case they get fussy or exhausted with all that is happening at the party. 

4. Theme

Unlike before, birthday parties today calls for a certain theme. Having a theme on your baby’s first birthday is very beneficial since this will help you organize the party, most especially with the decorations. This will help you keep things uniform, and it serves as your guide in the entire preparation of the party. It is not only with the decorations that a birthday theme is very important, but it is also very helpful when it comes to other food items such as invitations, desserts, and cake. You can also make use of the theme as an inspiration of what your baby will wear during the party. 

In choosing the theme, you can choose from different colors, cartoon characters, animals, movies, and so much more. There are actually a lot of beautiful themes that you can choose from. Some of these themes are easy to come up with while others are difficult. 

It would be very helpful if you consider what your baby loves when deciding what the party theme should be. Is your baby very fascinated with animals? Then a zoo-themed party is your best option. 

But of course, you have to consider how feasible the theme is in your case. True enough, you have a lot of options, but some of these options are very hard to pull off and are expensive. Some will require you to seek professional help which could add up to your expenses. So if you are on a tight budget, stick with the simple ones only. 

5. Food 

A party won’t be a party without food. When choosing the food that you will serve, consider who your guests are. Are your guests mostly adults? Are there kids of all ages attending the party? Considering who your guests are is very important in order for you to know if you need to prepare two sets of foods – one for the kids and one for the adults. 

For the kids, you could prepare healthy foods and snacks. If possible, prepare foods that they can eat while they are on the go. Some of these foods include chicken fingers, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, and home-made french fries. Also, do not forget to include your baby’s favorite food on the menu. For the adults, you can serve them meat and cheese platters, sandwiches, and vegetables with dip. 

Since it is a kid’s birthday party, in as much as possible, serve healthy foods only. There is a tendency that the kids would like to have a taste of what you are serving for the adults so, make sure that you prepare healthy food for the adults as well. 

It also pays that you include in the invitation if you will serve a full meal or not so that your guests can plan and prepare accordingly as well. Find out also if there are guests with food allergies so that you can consider them when choosing the menu.

6. Giveaways

At the end of the party, it is customary that you send out your guests, most especially the kids, some favors. Some of the things that you could give them include toys or swag bags. If you want to give them something more personal as a souvenir, you can go for a photo frame with a picture of them taken during the party. This is possible if you have a photo booth at the party.

If none of the things mentioned above sounds good to you, or if you want to give out things that are beneficial to the environment, you can go for a reusable straw, fork, spoon, or the like. Or, you could give them goodies such as cookies, candies, or chocolates placed in mini tote bags. 

When Do You Send Out First Birthday Invitations?

Happy first birthday greeting card. Birthday train with animals
The first birthday party invitation should be sent three to four weeks before the event.

A great point to start planning your child’s birthday party is the birthday invitations. But when exactly should you send out the invitations for your baby’s first birthday party?

Ideally, you should send the party invitations two to three weeks or a month before the party. Besides, you can already send out the invitations as early as six weeks. Sending out the invitations early is very important to give your guests ample time to clear out their schedule in as much as they have enough time to RSVP. Your guests’ RSVPs will help you finalize the details of the party such as the amount of food and the number of seats and giveaways that you will prepare. 

Avoid giving out invitations less than two weeks before the party so that your guests won’t be in a hurry or worst won’t be able to send the RSVP back to you and you will end up overprepared or underprepared for the party. 

Sending out the invitations for your baby’s first birthday party at the last minute can be very stressful. But if you stay ahead of time and be able to send out the invitations at the right time, then your preparation and the party will be smooth sailing and a lot better. 

How Much Should You Spend on First Birthday Gift?

small pritsessa with a cap on his head and a fluffy skirt sitting on the floor next to the balloons and a great gift, celebrating its first birthday
What you will give and how much does it cost depends on you.

There are no such rules on how much you should spend on a first birthday gift. Most probably, you do not want to drain your wallet to buy a grand gift, but you also do not want to appear cheap with the gift that you will give. So, how much should you spend on a first birthday gift?

If the gift is for your own child, then you could spend around $100. You can spend that amount to buy a great blend of books, toys, and clothing. 

When budgeting how much you should spend on buying your child his birthday gift, consider how much you will spend on the birthday party. Based on a survey conducted recently, an average birthday party costs around $400 to $500. But if you want to go all out, then obviously, you will spend a lot more. 

But if you are buying a gift for another child, experts suggest that spending $25 is already a sweet spot regardless of your relationship to the child. But if you want to give more, you could spend as much as $30 to $40 at most. When it comes to what gift to give, go for active gifts such as board games, craft kits, or anything else that will keep the baby engaged. 

In deciding how much you should spend on a first birthday gift, always remember that it is not the price that truly matters. The child won’t ask how much the gift is. Do not also let yourself go penniless just to buy an expensive gift. Instead, go for a gift that goes within your budget. What matters is that you have shown the baby that you care and love him, and that is definitely priceless. 

Tips to Follow When Planning a Baby’s First Birthday

1. Set realistic expectations. 

Most probably, you have seen picture-perfect birthday parties on social media which made you expect the same at your baby’s first birthday party. But actually, you do not have to stress yourself over such things. You don’t even have to overspend just to go with the trend. Your child’s birthday party is not a competition. You are not competing with anyone else so relax, breathe, and give yourself a break. 

No one would really care if you just bought the cake somewhere else. The decorations don’t have to be that grand. What you have to keep in mind is how you will make your baby’s birthday memorable and remarkable to him. What truly matters is that you have made your baby happy on his special day and that you and your guests will have fun. 

2. Designate photographers.

Your child’s first birthday party won’t be complete without taking photos. Your guests- young and old – surely love to take photos so as to ensure that you capture the party’s special moments, choose people who are in charge of taking photos. If you have the budget, then you could hire a professional photographer to cover the party. Doing so will allow you to focus on your child and your guests during the party, too.

Ideally, photos should be taken right before the party to avoid any hassles during the party. It is even better if you can take photos even before the guests arrive. In addition, it is much better if photos will be taken before the party so that your baby is still relaxed and well-rested. 

3. Personalize the party.

There is no such thing as giving your baby’s first birthday party a personal touch. You can personalize your baby’s first birthday party by highlighting some of the things that matter most to your baby. For example, you can present the important milestones within your baby’s first year. You can do so by printing them out as posters which can be displayed in the venue. This will also make your guests learn more about your baby. 

4. Limit your guest list. 

Your baby would be thrilled if a lot of people will attend his first birthday party. Most probably, your baby still does not still have any idea of what is going on during his birthday so there is a chance that he will be startled with all that is happening around him. 

In order not to startle your baby and make him happy, keep the party as intimate as possible. You might be thinking that the uninvited guests will feel left out and you will feel bad about it but you can always explain why they are not invited to your baby’s first birthday party. You will still host a lot of parties in the future, and you could always invite them to those parties. 

Limiting the people who are invited to the party will also lessen your expenses. It would even be more possible that you just host the party at your house instead of renting a place. Invite just the ones who are really important instead of inviting everyone you know. Remember, you are not required or mandated to invite all of them. 

5. Keep the venue baby-friendly.

It’s a kid’s birthday so a lot of kids will be attending the party. This means that you have to keep the venue free from sharp objects and any other things such as chemicals that could be harmful to babies. If your party will happen outdoors, then a playpen will be very helpful to keep babies safe during the party. 

Regardless of where you will host the party, a great way to make sure that the venus is child-friendly is to get on your hands and knees to see for yourself if there are things that could be harmful to babies. 

During the party, make sure that someone is keeping an eye on the kids to avoid any accidents, such as choking, from happening. It is not enough that you keep the venue safe as babies will always find a way to get themselves in trouble, so what you can do is to give your best to prevent any accident from happening. 


If you are feeling a lot of emotions while preparing your baby’s first birthday then relax, that is totally normal. Better yet, always keep things on the positive side. Do not stress over your baby’s first birthday party – this is just the start of a lot of parties that you will host for your baby. On top of everything, your baby should be your first priority. Do not feel bad if everything does not go as planned. 

The process of planning could be daunting, but stressing yourself out won’t really help. Do it little by little if that is what you want. At the end of everything, what matters is that you have given your best to prepare for your baby’s first birthday party.

Ideas For Kids Parties is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc.

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