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My Son’s First Birthday Party

7 Sep 2015 – 08:00 AM EDT

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My husband and I have officially made it to our son’s first birthday party. We’ve managed to keep him fed, clothed (for the most part) and happy. I’d say that’s our biggest life accomplishment to date, but let’s not forget the whole giving birth thing too.

Since our now toddler (insert me crying here) is turning one it’s time to celebrate. I refuse to let myself look on Pinterest because, to be honest, I don’t have the time or creative mindset to host a birthday party that looks like a mini-wedding. To the parents that do, I salute you, but this mama wants to keep things simple.

Here are some tips and tricks to help you plan.

Keep Things Simple

I mean this in every way possible. From decorations, to the length of the party, less really is more. Most young children play well for an hour or two, so keep the party short to prevent meltdowns.

A few tips:

  • Start the party after nap time
  • Make sure there aren’t any food allergies.
  • Create a baby-friendly play space (we will have a few kiddie pools set up and a slip ‘n slide for older kids)
  • Have a room inside that parents can use to change their children (leave out extra diapers, wipes, and bibs)

Evite it Up

Rather than pay for fancy invitations I have to address and mail (no thanks) I’ll be sending an evite. I’m also planning on creating a very small registry for immediate family. Now, before you judge me, try and understand that family will ask you for ideas, so why not create a list of things you know your child will enjoy.

Keep it Small

My son gets excited to check the mail, so he will be over the moon if a few of his favorite people come over. If there are too many people that he doesn’t know he will get super shy and overwhelmed. After all, the party is for him, so I better only invite those he’s closest with.

Food & Activities

Have a few options for kids and adults. Finger foods are great for little ones, but be sure to have child sized plates and bowls so their fingers don’t intermingle in bowls. Fresh fruit, kid-friendly pasta salad, and corn on the cob are fun to serve. Oh, and loads of napkins.

For desert, try homemade cupcakes. This way I don’t have to pay a baker to make a pretty cake that my son will destroy in under a minute. Plus, local grocery stores have creative decorations to add character.

Goodie Bags

Again, don’t overwhelm yourself with elaborate ideas on Pinterest. I found this idea that I love – it’s reasonable and educational; a total score in my book. Another great idea is to bake some homemade cookies to send home with each family.

Have Fun

Make sure to take pictures and enjoy the day. Don’t allow yourself to stress over your child’s first birthday party.After all, you only have seventeen more to plan.