How to Select a Theme for a First Birthday

first birthday toys

A few readers asked me lately for help on designing a first birthday party. I wrote a quick guide on how to plan a baby’s first birthday party.

1. Consider the Venue

Is it an indoor or outdoor event? How much space do you have? The format of the party may influence the party theme.

2. Party for the Parents

A first birthday party is not designed for your baby. It is an event when the parents, the grand parents, the family members and your friends commemorate the first year of your newborn.

Plan activities and incorporate in your décor elements that summarize the lifetime of your baby. Create a tree of pictures or hang them on a clothesline. Play a slideshow with no music or low level music on the big TV screen.

3. Areas to Play

Plan a few areas for the kids to play. Setup the area where both the guest mothers and their babies will be comfortable. You may wish to put cushions on the floor for the guest mothers to sit down.

4. Time and Duration

Plan for a 2-hour party; during the time your baby does not usually sleep. Realistically, the party will occupy your time at least 3 hours counting the people arrival and departure.

Serve a light meal and a cake. Plan a kid menu if young kids will attend. Since the party is short, prepare your platters in advance. Opt for sandwiches, country pates, cheeses or another types of cold tapas that you prepare ahead. Do not adventure in serving any hot appetizers when you have babies around.

Set up a self-serve drink station. Make sure to put plenty of glasses, drinks and napkins at your station.

5. Hire a Babysitter

Since you are the hostess, you need to take care of your guests. This means that you may require an extra hand to take care of your baby.

6. Ideas for Party Themes

At this early age, I prefer a unisex theme. You can play on geometrical forms or things that stimulate the senses of your baby right now. Think about what intrigues your baby at her or his stage. I like to use mobiles over the buffet table instead of centerpieces.

You can use a toy chime as the inspiration. Animal circus, big play blocks or pounding bench can fashion the building block of your party theme. Repeat the colors and the shapes of the toy to complete your design.

+ Tiny Love DNU Baby’s Wind Chimes Kick Toy $9.95 USD
+ Melissa & Doug Pounding Bench $9.99 USD
+ Baby Einstein Octoplush $12.99 USD

  • Monica
    January 20, 2009 at 17:49

    We had a cake made for the 1st birthday that matched her favorite toy. It blew her mind! 🙂

    For the 2nd, we went with a combination of her favorite things:
    1. Shapes
    2. Clocks
    3. The color yellow

    Hard to accomodate all her weird fetishes but we pulled it off.

  • Lisa Canning
    January 22, 2009 at 17:27

    Just wanted to say I love your blog- I just featured it in a recent post on mine!