In the past six months, I have been to four first birthday parties. Each one was beautiful. Each one was filled with all sorts of adorable Pinterest-inspired crafts and creative appetizers. Each one had a period where the guest of honor, the baby, was fast asleep.
My daughter's first birthday is coming up (okay, fine, it's over two months away), and part of me can't help but scour the web for interesting ideas for balloon formations (I mean, come on), and cake inspiration, but another part of me, the logical part, feels like: What's the point? My child is going to have zero clue of what's going on.
First birthday parties are more for the parents. I think we're all on the same page with that one, right? And while making it through the first year -- both the parents and the baby -- is absolutely, positively something worth celebrating, does it really require an ice sculpture? (No, I've never seen an actual ice sculpture at a party, but I have seen a chocolate fountain. True story.)
The way I'm kind of seeing things right now is there's really no need to go all out when it comes to a baby's very first birthday. As the years go on, and the child becomes more aware of their birthdays and, um, knows what a party is, I feel like -- do it up. I can't wait to see the look on my daughter's face when she and her friends who are now TBD are bouncing around on a trampoline or making sand art or whatever. But that's not right now. Now, she's quite content smacking her hands against her highchair or pushing people's noses in hopes that they'll make a noise like one of her toys. Seriously, she could do it for hours. And, to be honest, I'm not even sure how much pomp and circumstance I feel second birthday parties require. From what I hear, it's their third birthday (and third Christmas) when they know what's going on.
However, I want to do something. Like I said, getting through what many deem the toughest year of parenthood -- and childhood -- is definitely worth some recognition.
So, what to do?
As of now, the only two things I've come up with are a small brunch at home with only a few family members and maybe a friend or two. Or simply going out to breakfast with my daughter and husband, followed by a trip to an aquarium or something -- something she'll kind of/sort of be able to appreciate. I'd like to do something memorable, but I don't want to go nuts, and I definitely don't want to break the bank. The important thing is that we're together and happy.
But, oh yes -- there will be cake.
How did you celebrate your child's first birthday?
by Anonymous 1January 31, 2013 at 1:42 PMHaving a huge party is crazy. We had just one set of grandparents come. Kids have no clue and can be overwhelmed. Save larger parties when they are in school and remember. Books say one kid for each year should be invited.
by s.osborneJanuary 31, 2013 at 1:47 PM
We didn't have a huge party, but we did have a party planned at the park. It got ruined by the tornadoes of 2010. I live in Alabama. We still had everyone over to the house and had an AWESOME Winnie the Pooh cake, friends and family. It was pretty awesome actually:)
by loisl25January 31, 2013 at 2:25 PM
No, not pointless. The kid doesn't care, though. The one year old wouldn't notice or be upest if nobody celebrated their birthday. However, a kid's first birthday part is really for the GROWN UPS in their family. We are celebrating our baby growing up and we are making an excuse to see the rest of our beloved family members. The gifts are kind of pointless, though, unless you want to give the baby a cardboard box or a paper plate, cuz that's what they will be playing with at the end of the party. ;p
by lilbit53009January 31, 2013 at 4:19 PM
yes i think they're pointless. they're more for you than the child.
we just had a small get together a the house with close friends and family.
he'll be 4 this year and this year will be the first year we're throwing him a "real" party
I think going overboard for a first birthday sets a precident that you cannot keep up with. The first year you bake a cake, give an appropriate gift, decorate a bit with paper plates and table cloth to match and have a nice family celebration. You could take your child somewhere special like the zoo where they can see all the animals.
by Anonymous 2January 31, 2013 at 4:39 PM
I have 2 boys 2 years apart born in the same week. I had all the family and friends i could invite that where important to us. Just to take pictures and eat. Each year things change its always good for the kids to look back at there parties and know how important there celebration is.