Party Tricks

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Information & Advice

Party Tricks

Hoorah! It's time to celebrate your baby's first birthday. We've got 10 tips for a top party - and a pile of perfect presents

Party Tricks

Hoorah! It's time to celebrate your baby's first birthday. We've got 10 tips for a top party - and a pile of perfect presents

Your baby's turning one! Can you believe it? It seems like only yesterday you were holding your baby for the very first time - and yet what a long way you've both come since those hazy, hesitant, hormonal, newborn days!

So, how are you going to mark this momentous occasion? Whatever you're planning, check out our top 10 first-birthday-party tips first...

Keep it cosy: You may want to invite the world and his baby to celebrate with you but, odds on, your child won't feel the same way. A house crammed with noisy strangers is not your average one-year-old's idea of fun, so keep the party small.
Spread the word: Don't worry about sending written invites. A phone call, text or email will do for family and friends who you see all the time.
Host it at home: Save yourself the stress of booking a smart party venue. Home is where your baby feels safest and happiest - and you don't want the birthday girl feeling overcome or anxious in a strange new place on her big day.
Work around your baby:
Our health visitor

With babies and parties, timing is everything. For maximum fun and minimum tears, the celebrations should kick off when your baby's at her most alert.

"Most one-year olds are at their best after they've had their lunchtime nap. Schedule your party an hour after she wakes up" says Boots Parenting club health visitor Angela Davy

Don't make a meal of it: There's no need to spend a fortune on food - a few snacks for the adults and finger foods (cubes of cheese, breadsticks, rice cakes) for the babies will do just fine. Do make sure the babies sit down (on laps or highchairs) to eat though; they could choke on food if they're eating on the move or are unsupervised.
Stay simple: Forget party games: one-year-olds are far more likely to tear up (or chew) the parcel than pass it. Instead, put out a few toys for the children to play with. If they lose interest, gather them in a circle for an energetic action song or two.
Play it safe: Make sure all your decorations are baby-proof: no party poppers (babies don't like loud noises) or balloons on the floor (once popped, they can get stuck in small mouths or throats).
Hang on to the boxes: Your baby will love playing with her presents over the next few weeks (see below for some great ideas). But, for a birthday treat, let her have a little fun with the empty boxes they came in: peek-a-boo anyone, or a 'ride' in a cardboard boat?
Think short and sweet: "Keep the party to a couple of hours" says health visitor Angela Davy. "Or you'll have some crotchety babies on your hands."
Let them eat cake: No first birthday party is complete without a cake. And don't forget the all-important finishing touch: one nice, big candle for the birthday girl to blow out (with a little assistance).

Ali Fordy, mum to Isabelle says
"We didn't go overboard for Isabelle's first birthday. We got her one present, a picnic set, as she was just starting to like pretend play."

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