1st Birthday Party Ideas

*** Contains affiliate links which means if you use a link to make a purchase I may get a small fee, but this does not affect the price you payPlanning a 1st Birthday party

When planning a 1st birthday party it is easy to go crazy and plan all kinds of games and activities that your 1yr old simply can’t enjoy at this stage – I know I did the first time round.  We had a bubble machine which I thought was a fabulous idea and I was really excited about it, but by the end of the party said machine was full of grass and that was that!

My top tip is therefore keep it simple.  My hints and tips for not going crazy when throwing a 1st birthday party are:

  • Make at least some healthy food; even though its a party other parents will appreciate being able to give their baby something nutritious. I go for fruit, wholemeal bread for sandwiches, homemade oat and fruit biscuits and humus.  I still do the more ‘fun’ party food too.  If there going to be very little ones there you could also have some of the fruit pouches available.  They last for ages so won’t be wasted if not eaten.

  • Remember its a kids party and don’t worry too much about the adults.  In fact I typically have not catered for the adults at all. Although a glass of prosecco always goes down well!  As they become toddlers a glass of fizz will be less feasible as you will be chasing after them so I say do it now!
  • Only make the cake yourself if you really do have lots of time.  It always seems to take longer than they say in the book 😉  You can always just buy or make a simple iced sponge and get a great cake topper to go on it.  You can even get them personalised for an additional touch.


  • Don’t worry too much about theming the party the babies won’t notice if the napkins don’t say ‘Happy Birthday’.  However, if you do fancy a theme I suggest keeping it simple and choosing something easy to do like Pirates, Fairys or Princesses or a mix of them all.  That way you will be able to easily buy what you need and won’t have to make too much yourself unless you want to.  
  • If there are older siblings also at the party remember this when it comes to party bags.  They will be looking forward to these.  I fully recommend the pound shop or Wilkinsons for these and if you are in the US Target has some great cheap bits and pieces.  Previously I have also ordered a large stock of party bag items from a wholesaler and then used them for multiple parties.  This is much cheaper, but I do have 4 kids so it is easier for me to bulk buy.
  • For baby party bags I recommend a little bath toy,  a book, a healthy snack (bear paws, plum teenies or something similar) and a piece of cake
  • If there are older children coming I think you need an activity so I recommend playing a simple game such as pass the parcel or pin the tail on the donkey
  • I don’t recommend letting your little one open presents during the party as it just takes ages and they don’t know what is going on.  It also means that you will need to be trying to keep track for thank you card purposes whilst everything is going on.
  • Arrange the party for after your baby’s main nap so that they are happy as it is all a bit overwhelming for them and don’t be surprised if they get cranky or don’t seem to be having as much fun as you had hoped.  It is a lot for them to have such a commotion if you do decide to go for that big first birthday party.
  • If older siblings will be coming put away most of your kids toys and only leave out the sturdy stuff.  Toys lead to no sharing and then fighting!

If you do want to go down the theme route here are some ideas of products that you might like.  I must say I do love a bit of decoration for a party and tend to buy these things in rather than go down the home made route.  Sometimes life is too short!!

Try to enjoy the day.  It will only happen once for that little one and it is a really special time.

Oh and one more thing remember there will be photos so take a second to wipe off the baby snot – I speak from experience having forgotten this 🙂

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