Baby’s 1st birthday party guide

Your baby is turning one—and you made it through the first year! Celebrate this milestone moment and make the occasion feel extra special with our planning guide.

Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide

Invitation & time

Schedule the time of the party around the birthday baby’s naps and limit the length of the party to one to two hours (any longer and babies tend to get cranky). Send out invitations about three weeks ahead of time so guests can save the date. You may want to throw an intimate party just for family and close friends, or you may prefer to throw a big event to share your bundle of joy with a larger group. Just remember that some babies can get overwhelmed with big crowds, so even if you invite a lot of people, be sure your little one still gets plenty of attention from you.

Get the party started with one of these adorable Evite invitations!

Theme & decorations

Consider your baby’s favorite animal or activity and base the theme around that, or simply choose a bright, happy color palette in lieu of a specific theme. Either way, keep the decorations simple. Party hats and noise makers are always a big hit (make sure they are safe for young children). Balloons are great for decor, but make sure to keep an eye on the younger kids around them as they can be a choking hazard.

Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide
Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide

Activities

One-year-olds are still too young for structured activities; instead, we recommend the 2 B’s—balls and bubbles—to keep kids entertained for hours. Older kids attending? Keep coloring books on hand to keep them happy too.

Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide
Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide

Food

Keep it simple with finger foods for both kids and adults, including the birthday boy or girl’s favorite snacks. In addition to the birthday cake, get or make a smash cake—a mini cake your child can dig into (often quite literally)—for photos. Or just serve cupcakes to everyone, including your baby.

Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide
Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide

Presents

Decide on a designated place for guests to drop off gifts when they arrive. If you’re hosting a large gathering, we recommend waiting until after the party to open the gifts. If you do decide to open presents at the party, be sure to ask someone to keep track of who gave what so you can send everyone a thank you card.

Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide

Favors

Keep it simple—everyone loves animal crackers, so create a personalized tag or sticker to add to a cute little box filled with them. Voilà...you've got a sweet treat to give out to all of your guests.

Babies 1st Birthday Party Guide

Happy birthday, baby—here's to many more parties ahead!

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