HARTS Bootees

How to Throw an Epic 1st Birthday Party

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Lights! Cake! Action!


You’ve officially made it through birth, countless all nighters, ‘round the clock feedings and approximately 1 million diaper changes.

Whew, mama!  You did that.  And you did that well.  And now it's party time for your once tiny bundle of joy.

So when it's time to celebrate the milestone of your baby going from months to a full year, you definitely want to make it count.

Ok, so where to start?


These days there are too many amazing themes to choose from.  And just like when you were decorating that nursery, you’re left to sift through many incredible birthday party ideas.

If you found yourself at the end of an hours long deep Pinterest binge and are feeling overshopped, it’s ok.  You’ve got this.

Take a deep breath and remember that at age one, your sweet smiling little munchkin is just excited to be around their family.

There are a few things you can do to maximize the big day, however you plan on ringing in the big “Uno”.

Timing is Everything

Few things are worse than an ill timed tantrum.  And as you already know, a toddler’s meltdown can be unpredictable.

But when they start, you’ve got to weather the storm.

You’ve got a kid’s birthday cake, entertainment and special decorations.  But add a crying toddler and that’ll surely make things a bit hard to navigate.

Who can blame them though?  A party is a disruption to their schedule, an overload of activity, sounds and excitement.

A party can be a quick route to meltdown city for a little one who is not used to so much happening all at once.

The best way to minimize your chances of having things awkwardly end in toddler showdown is to stay on that everyday schedule.

And great news — a kid’s party doesn’t have to be very long at all!  So planning for right after naptime, rolling into lunch is perfect.

You can even plan for your guest of honor to arrive fashionably late to the festivities if it means they’re catching a few extra minutes of sleep.

Remember, a well rested baby with a tummy full of good food is going to enjoy their time so much more.  Which means you’ll enjoy it too.

Keep it Simple

No offense to the magical Pinterest moms out there who can whip up some serious magic.  Our world needs you!

But some mamas are working with a more modest skill set.  So, that 3-tier fondant princess cake extravaganza?  Without the right abilities, it could likely end up looking like it’s screaming.

And after hours of working on it, you might be too.

Another great fact about parties for a one year old?  As long as you have a little music and some kid friendly food, you’re golden!

Don’t stress to make the most “Instagram-able” birthday party.  Not only will you end up setting the bar way too high, but this is a day you’ll want to enjoy.

Have a few games lined up and with yummy treats and you’re guaranteed a good time.

If you do end up having a way to add some sparkle and pizzazz to baby’s first birthday, go for it.  Just make sure it comes natural and doesn’t put you in a position to be scrambling, not partying.

Take Pictures

It bears repeating.  You. Can. Never. Have. Enough. Photos.

Future you will be thrilled when you look back at the big moment your child smashed the cake.  You’ll relive the memory with a smile when seeing those tiny baby shoes trotting through the yard in the adorable first birthday outfit you chose.

Capture the evidence of that miniature birthday crown struggling to stay put on your child’s noggin before it gets tossed aside for the day.  You’ll again be thrilled these memories can be revisited.

The best way to guarantee you have these to look back on is to designate a few folks to snap pictures.  Whoever is your most tech savvy and creative family member can be a strong candidate for this job.

Someone who will not miss great opportunities to or the biggest moments — especially that big, bright smile during the Happy Birthday song.

Party Favors for the Win

The tail has been pinned on the donkey and the cake is now settling in all the tummies.  You did it!

Top off a successful event by letting your guests know how much you appreciate them on their way out.  Sending everyone home with a little treat is the cherry on top of a perfect day.

If you’re feeling like you want to add a little flair to the day, this is actually the easiest place to do it.

You can gift a small age appropriate toy or healthy snack for the road topped with a balloon.  Even go as big as a create-your-own goody bag station before guests depart.  Who doesn’t love candy on the go?

Are you an Etsy queen with a bigger budget?  Customized birthday themed giveaways can leave guests with their own souvenir to celebrate your child’s first trip around the sun.

The options are endless but are guaranteed to be the sweet ending to a perfect party.

Now time for... wait, who’s cleaning up?

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