So, time has flown and before you know it you are beginning to plan your child’s first birthday and the party!
But how do you go about planning a first birthday party? Who do you invite and where should it be held? Before you even put pen to paper there is a very important fact that you should know. So prepare yourself, here it comes…
A child’s first birthday party is not centred on the child!
If you were to write a list of items needed for a first birthday party most would put cake and balloons, and maybe even a clown or animal farm. But the thing to bear in mind is that the child will not remember any of it, and may even sleep through the special occasion. The party should instead be focused around the parents, especially the mother.
When the baby was born, chances are that while the mother was at home or even in hospital, the father went out and wet the baby’s head. The baby’s first birthday is the mother’s chance to show how she is doing as a mother, for people to compliment her and her child and for the first gathering of friends and family to fuss about the parents.
So, with this in mind, how do you go about planning a birthday party for a child that centres on the parents?
The first thing to do is to write down who you want to invite. This should mainly be the nearest and dearest. For some this will be a larger group than for others, but mainly it is the child’s grandparents on each side, aunts and uncles of the child and others who have had an influence on the parents or child in its first year.
Secondly, what will there be to do at the party? Remember it is mainly about the parents, so while pass the parcel and musical chairs may be fun on a night out, they are not appropriate for a birthday party. So I suggest a little music, a buffet lunch and a variety of drinks. The buffet can be as complex as you wish, and I would imagine the party being a few hours in the afternoon if at a weekend, or an hour or so on an evening through the week. Drinks may not be alcoholic. After all, alcohol and children do not mix.
One thing that I would suggest is to specify a start and end time for your party on the invitation. That way, people will not overstay their welcome. Between two and three hours is a good length. This gives you enough time to talk to everyone and to have a toast, open presents and sing happy birthday, but does not drag on for too long.
So at the party, should you make a speech? I would say that a few words would be a good idea. Just a little thank you from you, your partner and your child to those who have helped you throughout the year, and to those who have come to the celebratory party for attending and showing their support.
Husbands/boyfriends, a bunch of flowers or box of chocolates would be a great idea here. A thank you to your partner for being there to look after your child as well as yourself over the last year. A little gesture that will mean the world, and if it is a surprise I would put money on there being a tear in her eyes.
So, if you follow these simple guidelines, I am sure the day will be a fantastic success. And most of all, enjoy yourselves. It is your day, your time to enjoy your son or daughter and reflect of what a great year you have had being a parent.
What did you do for your child’s 1st birthday? Please share your thoughts in the comments box below.
18 February 2011