Baby-friendly first birthday party
Most parents can admit that a child's first birthday party is just as much for the parents as it is for the little one, but is it possible to plan a celebration that will be fun for your tot without going overboard? Ensuring your youngster can join in on the fun -- and keep his cool -- during his first big birthday celebration takes a little creative planning, but it is possible without ditching all of your birthday bash ideas. Before you plan an all-day birthday-a-thon, check out these five tips for a baby-friendly first birthday party.
Avoid nap time
Avoid times when your toddler's cranky factor is at its highest. Consider hosting a morning birthday bash long before the sandman comes a-knocking or just after he usually rises from his mid-day nap to ensure the birthday star will shine at his first birthday party.
Keep it small
Kiddos can become easily overwhelmed at this age. Add a dose of stranger danger that can come info full affect at this stage and you may have one unhappy birthday kiddo on you hands. For baby's first birthday, keep the soiree small by limiting the guest list -- your little one won't notice if his 15 baby gym classmates and their parents aren't in attendance.
Simplify gift rituals
Let guests know that you appreciate the gifts, but that you'll be opening them at a later time to take the pressure off of your birthday VIP. "When a child is having their first birthday, so many things are going on; it's so much to take in," says Shafonne Myers, certified wedding and event planner of makingyoureventspecial.com. "So I always advise parents of young children to open their gifts at a later time when they are rested and able to enjoy the gifts that they have received."
Tots at this age are not likely to have the ability to engage in games or activities, so don't set yourself up for disappointment by scheduling tons of fun. Kids may become over stimulated when expected to play a game of pass the ball, engage in crafts and break into a piñata, so skip these activities for the big one and manage your expectations accordingly.
Limit your urge to splurge all of your time and energy on planning a huge first birthday bash. Over-planning can waste precious energy better spent on your one-year-old-to-be to ensure this special day is enjoyable for him.
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