Whether you’re counting down the weeks of your pregnancy, coming off the exhausting first six weeks, or nearing the one-year mark, you can never start too early planning baby’s first birthday. Few other milestones compare to this first marker for establishing important traditions.
But Baby won’t remember at all, so it’s important to make the celebration memorable in tangible ways you can share later when Baby becomes Child. Children love learning about themselves through stories, photos and memories that come from you.
Furthermore, the importance of documenting the day is a cornerstone in building traditions that connect a child to his or her family and shapes identity. “Traditions and keepsakes are symbols of how important your child is to the family, and they’re what help you to create a family identity,” explains one expert on Parents.com, who has spent the past 25 years studying families to uncover the key components strong, close families.
You can find a lot of great tips and ideas on Parents.com that run the gamut from party theme ideas to preparation and survival tips to keepsake ideas. Here’s a few of our favorites: Survival tips
- Charge all cameras and video recorders the night before
- Make or serve a special birthday cake
- Keep the party short (1-2 hours max)
- Choose metallic (mylar) balloons over latex to avoid choking hazards.
- Don’t do it all yourself. Trade preparing the cake for preparing the food or vice-versa, depending on your preference.
- Take pre-party pics of baby and cake before the mess and tears arrive.
- Give baby room for downtime. It’s a big day with a lot of attention and can be tough for a little one to handle.
- Ask for helping hands, assigning specific duties ahead of time so you aren’t flustered. This could include comforting baby, caring for older siblings, serving and/or clean-up
- Dress up birthday invitations by attaching a single candle.
- Create a homemade Birthday Wishes album for guests and family members to fill out.
- Attach a 1″ photo of baby to toothpicks or coffee stirrers to stick into cupcakes
- Recycle baby food jars to create giveaway favors such as votive candles or mini planters
- Journal If you are still pregnant, consider procuring a recipe box with enough cards for the first 365 days so you can jot down some special memory of baby’s first year, one for each day.
- Storybook Collect pictures from the first year to create a photo-illustrated poem or story of baby’s first year. Rhyming is optional!
- Time Capsule Gather newspaper headlines from baby’s 1st birthday, throw in special pictures of baby’s room, house, family, and any other special item from the first year.
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