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Your baby’s first birthday party can be exciting and a little bit overwhelming in equal measure. What do you do for a baby’s first birthday anyhow? Where do you start? When it comes to a baby’s birthday party you want to find a way to make it engaging and memorable for both children and adults.

You may be tempted to do everything you can think of to impress your guests, but it’s important to give yourself a few guidelines to help the planning and decorating process go smoothly. A few party essentials include: choosing a theme, sending out invitations, choosing the right food, and getting the right “smash cake”.

Smash cakes are a first birthday party classic. Make sure to have plenty of baby bibs and extra baby clothes at the ready – this might get a little messy! You don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to see your little one eat their first cake. Although it’s a birthday cake, you have to keep in mind that it is for a one-year old and they can’t digest too much sugar. Consider making the smash cake from scratch. Sugarless, banana based, or whole wheat cakes are much healthier alternatives for the baby to dig into, face-first. A banana and applesauce cake may sound odd, but it’s actually a very simple and delicious recipe your baby is sure to love. More decadent recipes can be reserved for the older children and adults to enjoy.

Choosing a birthday theme can be a difficult decision. There’s so many to choose from and you want everything to be perfect because it’s the first birthday celebration of your child’s life. A few theme ideas that might go down a storm are: classic princess party, unicorns, pirates, safari, superheroes, Mickey and Minnie Mouse. You can even include the theme throughout the foods at the party. A variety of finger foods like: tea sandwiches, a fruit and vegetable tray, cut-out biscuits, and crisps are a great start that’s perfect for the adults and children alike.

No matter which theme you go for, make sure you include a matching invitation with an RSVP date. These can be ordered online or designed and printed out at your home. You want to keep count of how many to expect for planning purposes – bear in mind, however, that you don’t want to overwhelm your baby so try to leave the guest list to a minimum, if possible.  For a first birthday, an intimate setting such as in your home may be the best way to go. Having a birthday party at home can mean a bigger clear up operation at the end of the day, but, crucially, you’ll have home advantage – less costly than hiring a place out, no need to shift a million and one extra things (bathroom odds and ends, plasters, cleaning equipment) to a different site, and you’ll know all the secret locations where you can go and hide if need be. Choose a time that gives your baby enough time for a nap so they’re happy and ready to party. A Saturday afternoon is usually a safe choice.

With all of these tips in mind, don’t forget to relax as much as possible and have fun during the party. Take loads of pictures and watch as your baby glows with excitement on their special day.

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