Twelve months really flies when you are having fun. Also, when you are getting no sleep and all your days seem to jumble together… As a wife, founder of U Ready, Teddy? and mom, things always seem a bit crazy.
My son Teddy’s first birthday really crept up on me. Maybe it was denial that my baby was turning one. Maybe it was just procrastination. Either way, I ended up rushing around like a psychopath the morning of the party trying to finish everything, crying and yelling that “the decorations looked hideous!”
It’s not a party until somebody cries, right?
I stressed out so much about finding the perfect party theme, designing the perfect invitations and making the perfect decorations that I was about to lose my mind before I got a much-needed reality check from my husband. I’m pretty sure it was something like, “Calm down. Don’t drive yourself insane. This party is for a one year old.” A ONE YEAR OLD!
I don’t like to admit when my husband is right, but he was. This party was not about me and my desire for perfection, it was a party for a baby. All that mattered was that Teddy had a good time.
Are you going crazy planning your child’s first birthday? If so, this is your OFFICIAL REALITY CHECK!
Why are you throwing this party? For the Instagram pics? To prove something to your other mom friends? Or do you want to make special memories for your little birthday boy or girl? Maybe it’s for all of the above reasons, and that doesn’t make you a bad parent. Just remind yourself which one is the most important.
Here are a few tips for making a party specially designed for your little one:
What is your child’s favorite thing? Teddy’s favorite things are his mommy and daddy, his dog, books, balls, trains, berries and animals. I considered all of the above for party themes (except the mommy and daddy theme), but I decided on a ‘party animal’ theme. Consider your child’s favorite book, song, place, or nickname they have… any of these things can be turned into an awesome theme.
This is the part I probably spent the most time on, and the part that Teddy cared the least about. Where was my reality check when I needed it?
I wanted the decorations to be fun, bright and colorful. I recommend using decorations that are the color of your child’s nursery or playroom so that they can be reused or repurposed. The stuffed animal heads that I used as party decor made a great addition to Teddy’s playroom!
Try making a smaller food table dedicated to your little one’s favorite foods. It will act as the kid-friendly food table for your other younger guests, but more importantly, you will guarantee the guest of honor has something that they actually want to eat! Bonus: It lets guests learn a little bit about the birthday boy or girl.
You’ve probably heard of a ‘smash cake’ before, but if you haven’t, it is a special small cake made just for your birthday babe. It can be smashed, licked, poked, whatever, without contaminating the cake for the rest of your guests.
For the smash cake, try adding applesauce instead of vegetable oil for a healthier alternative. Also try Greek yogurt and cream cheese for a healthier frosting alternative.
What does your little one like to do? I thought about having activities like games and a piñata, but, REALITY CHECK, he wouldn’t even be able to participate!
What does Teddy like to do? He likes playing with balls, he likes climbing and he likes bubbles. So I bought a ball pit and set up his play fort. The kids at the party loved both of these things! I also put out some sidewalk chalk and gave out bubbles as party favors. I had a Photo Booth too, but Teddy wasn’t a huge fan of that…
I can’t even pretend that all of my choices were logical, because I legitimately rented alpacas for the party, but I came to my senses and canceled them. Ok, I lied, I really canceled them because I found out they shaved the alpacas in the summer and I didn’t think they looked cute anymore.
Hey, no one is perfect! No party is going to be perfect. It was hotter than heck, food was melting, decorations were blowing around, but all-in-all the party was a success. Teddy had a great time with his friends and family and that is all that matters!
So if you are planning a kids party just remember, check yourself before you wreck yourself!