First Birthday Party Ideas for Daughter


I am seeking advice or ideas on what to do for our daughter’s first birthday party. My wife and I are trying to come up with ideas as to the size, food, etc. We are both working parents and trying to get this organized seems overwhelming at this point. My family is also a few states away and they want to either have a party there as well, or they will come to our house for one party. Just not sure what to do. My wife and I have large extended families and not sure who to invite. Also, my wife is part of a play group with 7 other moms and babies, should we invite them and their spouses? Just looking for thoughts and easy low expense ideas. God Bless.


My advice is to do a very low key event, scheduled for right after your child usually wakes up from his nap. A big party, with a lot of people, is a bad idea for the first year, they’ll just be overwhelmed and exhusted. Simple picnic food like chicken, or grilled hot dogs, with some salads and a cake afterwards should be OK.


please understand i offer this in gentle Christian charity:

your baby is turning one year old--- not getting married. if the party is for a Baby-sized person, the party should be baby-sized.

you're already feeling overwhelmed, which is GOOD. that means your instincts are intact. listen to them.

Anna Jane's advice was perfect. a few hot dogs, a little cupcake for Baby, after nap time. both Gmas and GPas are invited. amen. (assure them that if they can't make it, they'll see a little youtube clip or FB pics of Baby smooshing cupcake on his face.)

playgroups don't need to be invited until they're older and you have kid parties for your Kid, so friends are invited.

her'e a rundown of our experiences--

the few times we tried to do a shindig for any of our kids under age 4 (we have 10 kids, age 3- 30.) they were small disasters. parents overwhelmed, Kid in meltdown, guests stand-in as hosts. oye vey. shoot me.

over time, we came up with these general guides:
*family parties are always small.

*i don't invite my extended family to my kids' birthday parties (nor do i attend theirs. i'd spend all my time at family birthdays if i did.) we only invite grandparents.

*i NEVER get mad if somebody doesn't show. invitations are NOT summons. even if you just spent the last week in las vegas, if you don't come to my house, that's OK.

*my kids can only expect friend parties on ODD numbered years, and that's only if we can afford it.

that's it.

except for this: birthdays, not Christmas, are the times my kids can expect bigger gifts like a bike or a bedroom makeover (curtains, paint, bedding). still, my one year old babies get a rubber duck or something.


I think it's very sweet that you're so excited about your baby and want to throw her a big party, I bet the baby would appreciate a quiet nap more however.


I think that my wife feels that we need to throw a big party and invite our friends, family and play group pals. It seems that it would be very expensive and that we would not even get to hang out with our daughter as we would be playing host, barternder, cook etc. My sister had a rather larger party for my nephew a few months ago, and my wife thinks that we need to compete with that. :shrug:


I second the hotdogs for the other kids (most kids prefer dogs to burgers) and a cupcake for the little one while everyone else has cake.


dear mkipp's wife, congratulations on your baby!!! your life has changed so, hasn't it! i bet your little one is a perfect joy! how blessed your baby is to have 2 parents, married and loving each other to provide a peaceful, stable home.

a prayer for mkipp and family:
Heavenly Father, may mkipp and mrs. mkipp always love You first; may they always love each other through their awesome vocation of marriage and may they always love their children as beautiful reflections of YOUR love! may their children always sense the wonderful blessing they have in them, their parents. may their always be grateful, both for their parents' love and for YOUR love! !
in Jesus' Holy Name. Amen.

mkipp and wife:

my wife thinks that we need to compete with that.

mkipp, perhaps she doesn't think she needs to compete. maybe she thinks that the extended family's social norms should dictate*** your ***social endeavors. pray together. talk it out. come to understand your family is free to navigate its own way through these things.

in our 30 years of parenting, we have found our 2 most disastrous mistakes come from failure on 2 points:
failure to love
failure to Keep IT Simple.

in a word (or 2) our worst mistakes come from selfishness and self-imposed complications.

decide how you really want your family to function. what are the motivators? peace? status? simplicty? social norms? how important is financial restraint? what PRECEDENTS do you really mean to set?

perhaps a best way to celebrate the anniversary of Baby's birth is to have a Mass said for your family and attend it together. (come to think of it, this is how we will celebrate Our Littlest One's birthday. see below.)


We had large family birthday parties for both of my children, now 16 and 12. My only advice... remember that the first birthday party is really just for you and your wife and your families. Your baby may enjoy it, if he/she generally likes large gatherings, or hate it. Keep it as low key as you can, for your sanity. If you are really excited and want to plan a huge party, go for it, but don't let yourselves get so stressed out that you can't even enjoy it.


My advice? ** KIS (Keep It Simple)**
My grandson was One on Feb 21. DS & DIL rented a small building in a park that was centrally located for those who were attending. (I think they paid $40 to rent - did their own clean-up.) DS and DIL invited Grandparents on both sides, Great-Grandmas (there are three, lucky Baby!) and their siblings with their spouse and small kids. Total attending: 25 or so. We ate chicken fingers (for kids) and pizza (adults) with soda. Then cake. They had a decorated cupcake for Baby and a nice decorated sheet cake for everyone else - cake had Grandson's picture on it which was really cool! Theme was Mickey Mouse - b/c Grandson adores MM. So the paper plates had MM on them as did napkins and a streamer. Everyone wore MM ears, too! (headbands with MM ears)

We had a great time, it was held after Grandson's naptime in the afternoon and lasted about 2 hours. Everyone seemed to enjoy and got to hold Baby for pictures. Baby did smoosh cake but hated the way it tasted - which made for great photos!

When DH & I were raising our two children, we had a similar family only party for the first B'day. For the years thereafter, the grandparents and DH brother and my two sisters with the spouses were told they were welcome - and we told them when we were having cake and ice cream. It was up to them if they came. No real "party" for the kids until they were old enough to want a party with their little friends.

Less stress + less $$ = Fun Time had by all.


There is no need to complete with your nephew's party. The smaller the child, the smaller the party, I feel. Immediate family, cake/cupcakes, simple food and snacks (I would avoid hot dogs if there are any small children, as they are among the most dangerous foods with regard to choking.)

There will be plenty of time for blow-out parties later; don't set the bar too high too early.


Exactly. I think our society in general make too big of a deal of almost all the birthdays. Once you get on that big birthday party highway, its hard to get off. Each year has to out do the previous year or you’re always trying to out play the last family birthday bash. Its not about the fancy gifts, the fancy dishes or the fancy places. Its about a celebration of a life and you can’t get wrapped up in all the hoopla. Keep EVERYTHING simple, especially the GIFTS.


My parents never get to see our daughter and spoil her when ever they see her, and we have family that wants to drive 4+ hours for this party ( i live in the same town as my wife's large family.) I just feel the obligation to throw a large event. It has also been suggested that we have one party here and one in Vermont so everyone can be included.


[quote="mkipp, post:1, topic:200288"]
I am seeking advice or ideas on what to do for our daughter’s first birthday party. My wife and I are trying to come up with ideas as to the size, food, etc. We are both working parents and trying to get this organized seems overwhelming at this point .


with respect there is nothing to organize unless you both want to do something, and then all that has to be organized is what you wish and can do in the limits of time, money and your own sense of what is appropriate, and who you wish to share the day with. My advice is don't set the bar too high with a first birthday that will lead to escalating the festivities in the future. Suggest your family have a small party the next time you visit--small as some cake after a regular meal. Asking relatives to travel seems extreme to me, but our family is far flung. But don't let your family or in-laws tell you how to handle your children's birthdays.

for play group, bring cupcakes or some 1-yr-old friendly treats on a day close to her birthday and just work for some giggles, not presents and entertainment.


I don’t have kids, but I can tell you what we did for my nieces and nephews.

With the older one, it was just me and my parents – we had a cake and just had quiet family time. For her brother it was at his other grandparent’s house where we had a family party with his cousin who was born within a week of him. Still only family. I think we had enchiladas made by grammy. YUMMO.

For the next one we had a family party again – more extended because more grandparents/aunts/uncles – but it was simple with hot dogs, et cetera. Little one had a melt down and had to go for a nap so I second having it after nap time.

For what it’s worth, you and your wife are the one who’s going to remember it. LO will not have any idea that it happened. So keep it simple with family and maybe a few friends who mean a lot to you. Save the bigger parties for when the LO can enjoy it.


You must do what’s best for your own little family, which is your first priority. You have no obligation to stage a three-ring circus because other family members want you to.

While I can certainly understand grandparents, etc., wanting to be with their grandchild for this special day, don’t be maneuvered into anything that YOU don’t want to do, or that is beyond your means.

Believe me, these things only escalate once you set the precedent. Next year you’ll be hiring clowns and giving pony rides. :wink:


[quote="mkipp, post:12, topic:200288"]
My parents never get to see our daughter and spoil her when ever they see her, and we have family that wants to drive 4+ hours for this party ( i live in the same town as my wife's large family.) I just feel the obligation to throw a large event. It has also been suggested that we have one party here and one in Vermont so everyone can be included.


It sounds like this party is more for the adults and less about your daughter the more you describe the situation. People are suggesting you have TWO parties. I suppose every family should experience the big big blowout party just once, to see why it can be so ridiculous. But it sure does sound like an excuse for the adults to party.


I know where you’re coming from. DH and I have a HUGE, ETHNIC family so big birthday parties R’ us… We’ve done this with all three kids so far, first b-day is a huge bash and then we scale it down after that.
If your familly wants to drive four hours in because they love your little girl THAT much, how could you say no! :shrug:
It doesn’t have to be a gourmet meal, have a bbq. IMHO I would not invite the playcenter friends, or I would take some cupcakes and have a mini party at the playcenter (just don’t ask for gifts lol!) the next time your wife is there.
And if you’re going to have lots of kids, enlist someone to do face painting, fill up water balloons (if it’s still hot out), have a couple of organized games like a three legged race or whatever…
Doesn’t have to be fancy, two of our three are in the summer so we have their parties outside in the garage. Our youngest will be 1 in Decemer…That’s going to pose more of a challenge…Where or where am I going to fit all those people?
Besides, your wife is probably uber proud that her baby girl is going to be one :stuck_out_tongue: humor her this one time around (I would skip the vermont one though)

To us it’s not about showing off or competing or about throwing a party for the adults, it’s about family(and God parents) coming together and celebrating the most precious gift God has given you. Just because it’s big, doesn’t mean it’s bad!



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