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Baby’s First Birthday Party – Ideas, Tips & Advice

Your baby’s first birthday is a highly anticipated and celebrated time in most families as it denotes a full year since the birth of the baby. This year included many changes and milestones as well as lots of hugs, smiles, boo boos and tears. There may not be another birthday for a while that is surrounded in as much excitement as the first birthday, so having a big bash for baby is not only fun but a great excuse for a party!

When To Start Planning Baby’s First Birthday Party

Many moms wait until the last minute to start planning for Baby’s First Birthday Party.  Unfortunately people’s social calendar’s fill up, and last minute S&H add up quick.   This is why organized moms start weeks, or even months, in advance!  We suggest you start thinking about your baby’s first birthday party when your baby is about 44 weeks old.  By 48 weeks, you should have most of the details ironed out so you aren’t scrambling in the 11th hour.  Keep reading, we’ll tell you what you should be thinking about.

Party Time

What time is the best time to invite everyone over for your baby’s party? You want to make sure your baby is not going to be cranky, so you should pick a time when your baby will be well rested and not hungry. If your baby is on a schedule and you know when he should be napping, try to schedule the party between naps. Don’t make the party last too long. Your baby has a short attention span and after too much festivity is likely to begin getting fussy.

Invitation List

Invitation lists vary from house to house. If your main focus is your baby’s birthday don’t invite so many people that he gets easily overwhelmed. Just a couple of family members would be enough to celebrate the big day. If you want to use your baby’s birthday as a time to have a family get together try having an outdoor barbeque so that your baby doesn’t feel closed in, or inviting a few family members early to celebrate the birthday and have the rest come at the end of the party.


Everybody loves balloons, especially babies! There is nothing silly about decorating for your baby’s first birthday party, but remember if you make it too “busy” your maybe may get stressed or overwhelmed by it and not be able to relax and enjoy his day. Try keeping the decorations low key, and in bright colors that will catch your baby’s eye. Stick to one birthday party theme and have fun with it!


Yes, we said “cakes”.  Plural.  The best part of a first birthday is watching your baby put cake all over his face. No one really wants to eat a cake though that has been in a baby’s face! Many stores will make mini cakes, just for your baby, or you can make a little cake to decorate just for your baby’s birthday. This way your baby has his own cake that he can enjoy making a mess out of, while you and your family have a cake you can enjoy eating.


Be sure to take lots of pictures and video! This occasion commences the end of your baby’s first year of life and will only happen once. You will definitely want pictures of every moment to look back on and to share with friends and family members that were not able to make it.  Be sure you designate a photographer, though, so you’re able to enjoy the experience without a camera lens between you and the action.

See Taking Pictures of Your Baby for tips on how to take photos like a pro!


Let your baby open his presents at his own pace, which means, this process may take hours!  For this reason, you may want to wait to open baby’s presents until your guests leave.  Most people will understand if you choose to wait till it is quieter and less active in the house to have your baby sit down and try his hand at unwrapping packages. It might be that your baby needs a nap before he is able to tackle the task of tearing off wrapping paper.

Be sure to keep a list (as you’re opening presents) of what everyone gives your baby for your thank you notes.

Thank You Notes

It is always good manners to send thank you notes for the gifts your baby receives from his first birthday party. Use the list you made as your baby opened his presents so you don’t forget anyone. You can even enclose a picture of your baby with that gift, or other pictures from your baby’s first birthday party. This is a good way to send out baby’s one year pictures to family members, without having to use an extra stamp.

Birthday Party Supply Stores

You can make preparing for Baby’s First Birthday super easy with one-stop shopping at birthday supply stores like Birthday Express and Birthday In A Box.  The concept is brilliant – invitations, party hats, plates, napkins, decorations, thank you cards – everything you can think of … all themed and relevant to today’s fads, in one convenient package.

Do You Have a Suggestion?

Share your tips and advice for how to have a successful first birthday party with other Babies Online moms in the comments below!

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5 Comments on "Baby’s First Birthday Party – Ideas, Tips & Advice"

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6 years 2 months ago

My little girls bday is in 2 months. I have been planning since she was 3months and have had her invites and outfits for about 2 months now (multiple outfits for pictures prior to her party and outfits forth actual party). My 1st girl but 3rd child, I have always gone all out for my boys why stop now!

6 years 5 months ago

Love your advices, my LO 1st bday is in 2 months and I’m planning it since he is 4 months. Thanks to that a have almost everything, by planning ahead you save a lot because you also can make things your self and look for better prices. Remember the party is for him, so make sure to include him on everythig, so try to do things that he can enjoy as well.
Best wishes!

8 years 6 months ago

it is quite a usefule article, gave me a good idea on the nee to start organizing and how to make it small and fun

8 years 7 months ago

Nice and helpful article.

i really got hints as to how to organise for my baby’s first b’day.

Shweta Abbott

[…] to ‘fess up. Did anyone else go a little crazy in preparation for their baby’s first birthday? Did that tradition continue or did it taper off? Do you celebrate with a big bash every year or […]

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