Parties & Entertaining

First birthday party ideas and tips

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It's never to early to celebrate your baby's first year with family, fun and games!
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Planning your baby's first birthday

Choosing a theme will help you to coordinate invitations, paper goods, favors, games, a cake, and so forth. Here are just a few first birthday party ideas and tips:

1. Baby Einstein Party

Order Baby Einstein invitations to match your theme, or make your own with card stock paper. Your local scrap booking center will have die-cut machines available for your use. Cut ducks, turtles, dogs and other favorite animals. Use a bright gel pen to write your message and party information. Variation: For an extra special invitation hand deliver a small animal beanie toy or rubber duck with the note attached.

Decorations :

Primary colors are in order here. hang streamers and balloons. Place Baby Einstein (or similar) puppets and stuffed animals where they can be seen and played with. When entertaining little ones be alert to choking hazards. Balloons should be placed out of reach. Cover your table and set with Baby Einstein plates, napkins and cups. Use a stuffed monkey, elephant or giraffe for a centerpiece and attach a bouquet of balloons to the stuffed animal. Or, create your own theme. Consider these first birthday party ideas:

2. ABC&123 - Use solid primary colored party supplies, building blocks and children's sing-a-long music to create a baby friendly environment. Lead a "circle time" or ask a preschool teacher to help.

3. Mommy and Baby Tea Party - Invite a few special friends to celebrate your baby's 1st birthday with a traditional tea party.

4. Take me to the Zoo - You can either go to the Zoo with some special family friends or set the stage at home with stuffed animals, posters and solid colored party products. Make masks with paper plates, play animal charades. This one always ranks high in the first birthday party ideas list. 5. Mother Goose Party - Have your guests dress-up as their favorite Nursery Rhyme character. Hang drawings or posters of Mother Goose Characters. Decorate a sheet cake to look like an open book.

Some tips:

1. When to have the first birthday party?

Keep the party short 1- 1/12 hours is about the most a one year old can handle without getting over stimulated and possibly cranky.

Schedule around nap times. Late morning, allows for a morning nap or late afternoon to allow for an afternoon nap.

Weekend parties usually work better for parents and other adults.

2. How many guests to invite? Keep in mind that the first birthday party is for the adults in your child's life (family and friends). Invite the most special friends and relatives. Whatever your first birthday party ideas include, the best idea is to keep it to a manageable number of guests for you and your space. Keep in mind, that you will be caring for your little one at the same time.

If you intend to invite other babies or toddlers 1- 3 guests is ideal with a maximum of 5. Parents of little ones should be included as guests so they can assist their children and you if necessary.

3. Should you serve food?

Although it is not necessary to provide a meal, finger foods are always nice. Especially with babies.

Check with ALL parents regarding food allergies and safety. Keep packaging fun but safe.

4. What else should you keep in mind?

Be flexible!!!! All parents know that children and their behaviors are not predictable. Un-scheduled rests, tears, accidents etc. are to be expected at a baby's first birthday. Just relax and go with the flow.

To help you be flexible...arrange for help from a reliable friend or family member who can watch your child or entertain while you change a diaper, pick up a spill etc.

If you plan on having children at the party keep plenty of toys and activities available to keep them occupied. And, don't forget to baby-proof the party space.

REMEMBER - This is a day to celebrate the birth of your child. Keep the party simple so you can do just that. Plan some special quiet time at the end of the day just for Mom, Dad, and baby.

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