There’s no milestone quite like baby’s first birthday. You did it! Your baby has lived for a full year, and you probably can’t remember life before her. As parents, you’ve also survived the universally agreed upon “hardest year ever”. It’s time to celebrate!
There are various birthday traditions to choose from, and you can go as intimate and simple or as grandiose as you like – you’re the ones who have been through the most this part year, and the choice is yours. Here are a few things to consider.
In today’s Pinterest world, is can seem essential to host a beautiful birthday party for your one year old. I’m here to crush that myth. You don’t have to have a party! A 12 month old baby will be none the wiser if he celebrates with his parents over a banana muffin, or in front of 30 guests at a perfectly designed tablescape. If you want to invite family and friends over and go all out, and that will bring you joy, then it’s a great idea for your family. But if the idea of hosting a birthday party for a one year old stresses you out and you’re getting overwhelmed at the thought of party decorations and cakes, you can totally sit this one out. On my oldest’s first birthday our whole family was in a wedding. It was already a special day for our family, so I completely abandoned any thought of a birthday party as well – and it was awesome. I was also very pregnant with our second child at that time, so I probably would have foregone the party regardless of the wedding. We’ve often been travelling abroad for our children’s birthdays as well, and they’ve always been content with an immediate family gathering, cake, candles, and a simple gift. As children get older and have friends from school or day care, this ebbs and flows, but for the first birthday party, don’t put too much pressure on yourself!
What’s a party (or immediate family gathering…) without cake? I’m all for a little sugar rush when celebrating another trip around the sun, but with 12 month olds you do need to consider the ingredients. At 12 months old, babies are still trying many foods for the first time, so be sure you’re serving a cake that you are certain contains only ingredients your baby has tried. With three kids under three, I’m not ashamed to get a store-bought cake once in a while, but for baby’s first birthday, it’s safest to make the cake yourselves so you can control the ingredients. If you’re having a larger party, consider making a cupcake for the birthday boy, and then feel free to serve other guests a separate dessert (full of as many allergens and sugars as you like!)
Your baby is growing up, and that can trigger all sorts of reactions and feelings from parents – and they’ll all legitimate. You might be beaming with pride, seeing your little one thrive as a chubby one year old, and thinking back to how far he’s come. You might be relieved, as the most physically demanding year of your child’s life is behind you. You might be mourning the new born days gone by – she was so small just a few months ago! While birthdays are generally happy events, give yourself room to feel a variety of emotions on your baby’s big day. Your baby has grown more exponentially in the past year than she ever will again, but so have you. Motherhood changes us, stretches us, and grows us, for the entire journey but particularly that first year. A baby’s first birthday is as much a celebration of the child as it is a celebration of what his parents have accomplished in the past twelve months. Take some time to reflect and savour how you’ve grown as a family over the past year while you’re enjoying some cake.
Happy Birthday to your little one!
Photo by Sweet Art Images