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To avoid tears or cranky faces for the camera, schedule the party around nap time, for example late morning after their first nap.
Remember a short time, is a good time. Schedule the party for no more than 1 to 2 hours. It is about all a one year old can handle with out being overstimulated.
Your baby’s first birthday party is really for everyone in your child’s life. So invite your friends and relatives who have been supportive this past year. This may include members from your mother’s group and their babies.
Give as much information as possible on the invitation, for example how long the party is for and if there is a particular theme.
You don't have to spend a fortune on designer cakes, although if there is older kids coming it it will make their day, and they do make the photos look good.
Finger food is appropriate, as it is such a short event, served with napkins or paper plates so there is minimum cleaning up to do. If there are other children invited, check with parents regarding food allergies. Or look at our gallery "Infant allergy foods", to be on the safe side.
A nice cheesy fritata that can be cut up, crackers with spread or cold meats. Fruit or vegetable skewers (blunt the ends for safety).
Foods that can be pre-bought and put in the oven like; pastizies, sausage rolls, party pies, mini pizzas or quiche, although these mainly get eaten by the adults.
And there is nothing better than setting a good example to kids by putting out a plate of healthy veggie sticks and dip.
You can prepare this the night before, pop in the fridge, so you have more time to prepare in the morning.
Party theme can include classics such as; beach party, fairy, animal, pirates, cartoon or superhero. Or it can be as simple as asking all kids to wear a colour. Red is lucky, and looks great in a group photo.
Even if you don't choose a theme, you can always just choose decorative colours for the, invitations, balloons, streamers, napkins and even the cake, anything that is fun and festive.
You want your baby more interested in social interaction and having fun than thinking of food. Even though you want them to enjoy all the party foods you have made, try to give them a filling breakfast or lunch with a mix of protein and low GI carbohydrates (like oats or pasta), to give them a bit of stamina for the event. They will no doubt find room to taste the cake or treats you have made them for that Kodak moment.
There are many games to play, but if you are sticking to the party only being an hour or so, make it a game that you can do at anytime. Try guessing the number of marbles; lollies, etc in a jar (you'll need to count before). Write down every one’s guess on paper or a board large enough to be seen in a photo taken with the winner.
Avoid games that are too old for the kids, pass the parcel is definitely out until they can grasp the idea that everyone gets a turn.
Make your child’s birthday cake something you’ll want to remember for years to come. Decide if you want a classic cake: teddy bear, clown, fairy, truck, number one etc, or a themed cake: action hero, cartoon character etc. If you are having other children at the party you may like to have two cakes, one for the grown ups, and one for the kids. Remember the best photo is the child eating the cake.
It may be an idea to invite someone who is not only good with the camera or video, but who also does not have a baby or child to look after. Someone outgoing enough to ask strangers to smile, and organising and entertaining skills to get a group of adults and babies to look at the camera at the same time.
A nice idea is before your guests leave; ask them to quickly write their best wishes and hopes for the child, to read when they get older. Provide pen and paper and a sealable box, bottle or jar for the note to go in.