Some of us started planning our baby’s first birthday party the moment our baby was born, and some of will wait to start thinking about it until a few weeks before the big day. Either way, use these easy ideas to get the party started.

Pick a Theme
When it comes to baby’s first birthday, we all want to create a one-of-a-kind party that friends and family will enjoy. But let’s be honest: at age one, baby is still a bit too young to be impressed by a theme and will probably be taking a nap in the middle of the party. That means for this party, it’s really going to be about what is important to mama. In a year or two, parties will cater to the birthday child’s interests, and the theme could end up being Caillou or Barney. Enjoy having control now!

For a first birthday, lots of parents think of something that they enjoy doing with their baby as they’ve watched him grow. For instance, if The Very Hungry Caterpillar is a favorite night time read, take elements of the story and expand upon the theme. In the book, the caterpillar eats through increasing amounts of fruit (two pears, three plums, etc.) in his quest to become a butterfly. One idea is to create fruit tray appetizers and design a banner that resembles the bead-like body of the caterpillar. Place a picture on each bead that represents each month of baby’s first year. It’s a great way to show guests how much he’s grown!

Go For Color
Beautiful colors will create a vivid backdrop for pictures. Choose a favorite color scheme and use it for the invites, cake, table tops, banners, paper lanterns, tissue paper pom-poms, and plates. Right now, pastels like blush, pale blue and light grey along with metal-inspired accent colors, like rose gold and silver, are popular choices.

Consider Your Younger Guests
Will there be lots of kids at the party? If so, create a theme that toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids can enjoy. Some parents have first birthday parties at large entertainment centers that cater to their older friends and cousins. Another idea that’s sure to be a hit with kids and adults: a candy buffet is a tasty party favor that kids can prepare themselves.

DIY or Buy What You Need
Make or buy? This depends on time and craftiness. Jump on Pinterest for ideas on creating homemade decorations, cake or cupcakes ideas, and DIY backdrops for pictures. Or stop at the local party store and find a theme with ready-made invitations, decorations, balloons, and banners. Order a birthday cake and smash cake that ties into a theme and call the party prep work done!

No Need to Break the Bank   
Two words: Up-cycled decorations! Lots of Facebook groups offer nearly-new party supplies that can be bought, traded, or sold.

Enjoy this special day with the newly minted one-year-old and remember to capture plenty of special moments. Next year, it’ll be trucks, princesses, or (sigh) Barney!

By: Dana Hardek, Macaroni Kid Stork