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First Birthday List

Updated: Dec 16, 2021

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It seems like just yesterday you were staring down at a positive pregnancy test and packing your hospital bags. Now, the past twelve months have flown by and it’s time to start planning your baby’s first birthday!

Celebrating your child’s birthday is not only about looking forward to the next year, but reflecting on all of the milestones of the past one. Planning a first birthday can be overwhelming. It will feel like all of your family and friends want to mark this momentous occasion – as you should! To help alleviate the party pressure, use the following checklist to guarantee a {word} birthday bash:

1. Decorations

Decorations can be elaborate as a balloon arch or as simple as color-coordinated napkins. Pick a theme and color palette to help guide your selections. A theme helps give your party a unified feel and allows your guests to get involved. Think of your baby’s favorites characters or search Pinterest for inspiration.


i) These ONE boxes are cool pops and easy to assemble for your photoshoot.

ii) The photo banner of first 12 months is great way to mark the 1st birthday.

2. Cake smash

The cake smash is a somewhat new tradition in baby birthdays. The idea is you give your baby a small cake all their own to dive into. (Don’t worry, you can have a separate sheet cake waiting for your guests!) The cake smash is a fun way to get your baby involved and provide a great photo opportunity, just make sure you have a backup outfit ready to go!

3. The Guest List

Some people and cultures prefers celebrating the first birthday big. Everyone has their own traditions and preferences. However, big crowds can be overwhelming for babies. Also the party should be planned according to baby's nap time schedule. Plan for events like your baby’s cake smash to happen during their most active time about two hours after their naps or just for the sale of pictures on a complete another day or time.

4. Invitation

Invitations provide your guests with vital information and get them excited for the big day! Include the address, date, and time of the party and if you would like for them to RSVP. Incorporate the theme of your party into the invitation to get your guests in the party mood. Also, include information about gifts – if you are accepting them, any limitations, or if you would prefer charity donations instead. Evite offers wide variety of selection of party invitations.

5. Food

We all know it is secretly the most important part of any party. Consider if your guests and your baby have any dietary restrictions or allergies while planning your menu. As your baby grows older you will soon realize that little kids birthday parties have a staple menu - cheese pizza, juice box and cake!

6. The Outfit

There is no shortage of adorable birthday outfits! However, make sure the main piece is comfortable enough for your baby to stay in for the length of the party. Additional accessories such as hats, headbands, and tutus are cute, but most likely won’t stay on your baby for more than a few minutes. Throw these accessories on quickly for a few photos and then put them aside for safekeeping. PatPat has matching outfits for family incase you are considering it. Comfort is more important than fashion to a baby!

7. Activities

Chances are you do not have to worry about entertaining your 1-year-old, so have a few of their favorite toys around in case they feel like playing. If you have older kids at your party, think of stocking up on some bubbles and balls at the dollar store or having a kid-friendly playlist and dance floor. For the adults, have out a few lawn games if the weather allows or create a fun game where your guests can win prizes by guessing facts about your baby.

8. Photoshoot

Book a special birthday photoshoot with a professional photographer! Not only will they have fantastic pose ideas and props, but having pictures done ahead of time alleviates the pressure of trying to capture every minute of your child’s birthday during the party. Frame some of the shots from the photo shoot as party decorations, snap a few pictures during the festivities, and then allow yourself to be present and enjoy the party (you made it a whole year too you know!)

9. A Birthday Book

Creating a birthday book is a wonderful way to document all of the highlights of the past year. Whether scrapbooking or using [insert online service here], include all of your monthly age pictures, their first word, when they got their first tooth, the first haircut, when started crawling date, Halloween costumes, memories from Christmas morning, and more. The real beauty of this tradition is as your baby grows, you’ll have recorded all of the precious details that may have been lost to time. When your child is older, they will be able to look back at all of the memories your family has created together.

10. Write a Letter

Send a letter to your baby! Email it to yourself or create a unique email address for your baby and make it a tradition to send emails/letters to your child on birthdays or when they reach major milestones and achievements. Then, when your child graduates high school or turns 18 you can hand over the email account and they can read all your messages!

11. Mark the Occasion

Use paint to make hand prints and footprints. As you’ve witnessed over the past year, they won’t be little for long!

12. Start a tradition

Donation to your favorite charity or non profit organization is great way to spread kindness and mark the special occasion. This tradition is common in many cultures and it best way to teach little ones the importance of being grateful and share what you have. Another tradition to consider is to plant a tree and care for it as you grow. Some prefer making a special family recipe exclusively on this day You can create your own family tradition for this day and repeat it every year.


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