First Birthday Party Ideas

A child’s first birthday party is a very special time.

Their birth has certainly made the world a better place, and you want to celebrate that. But how do you make it special without going overboard? We've gathered birthday party ideas just for first birthdays. You’ll learn how to handle presents, guests, and your schedule to make this a fuss-free day for your baby.

Keep the party fairly short; an hour is about right.

If you over-schedule your one year old's party with activities, games, and guests, your child may have an early and unhappy exit. You may have out-of-town guests that wish to have more time with your child. In that case, keep the formal parts of the party to a minimum, and let your child to have less structured time with extended family. Allow others in the house to go to different rooms for a while so your baby isn’t crowded.

Work around naps to help your baby stay fresh and happy for visitors.

A late-morning or mid-afternoon gathering allows for daytime napping. Do everything possible to keep your baby’s regular schedule for that day. Try to spread out your errands and preparation over a few days so the party day isn’t overwhelming for everyone. Your child will read your frazzled mood and may pick it up themselves.

It is fine to have a few other babies or small children around (with at least a few other parents). However, the first birthday is too early for a children-only party. One-year olds don’t appreciate extended social time like older children. Be considerate of anything that could be too overwhelming to your baby.

Instead of one enormous party, have just the immediate family and the grandparents.

Make individual visits to other family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) so the group stays small. This may not be popular with people expecting one large party. However, a small party is going to be easier for your baby to handle.

Usually, a birthday party includes a big session of opening presents. This is confusing and overwhelming to a one-year-old child. There is a lot of information to process, and they often get pushed along to get more new information with each present. Instead, allow each guest to have a few private moments with the baby to open their present. This could be spread throughout your child's first birthday party, or it could be done as each guest arrives.

Have a memory page for guests to write on sometime during the party. This is the party when memories of the child as a tiny baby will be the freshest. Encourage guests to add their memories so the guest page can be a keepsake for the child. Have a “dream box” with pieces of paper nearby. Each guest can write a dream or wish they have for your child’s future.

There is no birthday like a child’s first birthday. The memories of babyhood are strong in the minds of each guest. It’s also hard to find another year where a child’s growth is so obvious. When you celebrate your baby's 1st birthday party, the idea is that you help your baby have fun and stay happy for your whole celebration.

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