Occasions 365

1st Birthday

Celebrate baby's first birthday

A baby's first birthday is a milestone event that calls for celebration among family and friends. Many parents hold a first birthday party for their infant son or daughter, an occasion that lets everyone see just how much baby has grown over the past year and to enjoy one another's company.

Along with a child's baptism or christening, the 1st birthday is one of the most significant events in the baby's first year of life. Giving a first birthday gift is considered good etiquette; books, toys and baby clothes are all good choices. Check with the parents beforehand to make see if there is a gift registry, and to make sure your gift idea is appropriate.

The Practical Aspects of a First Birthday Party

First birthday party supplies are readily available from local party centers as well as online retailers. A good first birthday party supply company will offer all the essentials at reasonable prices: balloons, party streamers, birthday banners, paper plates, cups and cutlery will be among the things you'll need. And, of course, even though baby may not be able to eat solid food yet, a birthday cake is essential, if only because it will make for a timeless photo opportunity.

You can also purchase ready-made first birthday invitations to send out to friends and family, choose to invite people via email, or make your own first birthday party invitations. Free printable birthday card templates are widely available online, and sites that allow you to use Web-based software to design your own offer a cost-effective way to get creative.

As far as the venue goes, keep in mind that most one-year-olds aren't yet ready for a lot of commotion, unfamiliar faces and strange places. The best rule of thumb is to keep the guest list small; confining it to close friends and immediate family members is best. Setting the party in a familiar place -- and one where mom is always nearby -- will go a long way toward making it an enjoyable experience for the baby as well as the guests.

Choose the time carefully as well. If your baby takes a nap in the afternoon, plan around this. Most new parents find that a late afternoon 1st birthday party works best; the baby will be wide awake and well-rested, and the guests can enjoy dinner and cake together.

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