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Baby at her first birthday party

Wow! Your baby is nearly one! That first year has flown by and your gorgeous newborn is now her own little person. You’re probably thinking about how to celebrate the big occasion, but before you rush off and hire a marquee, here are a few things to consider.

What’s best for baby?

It’s tempting to want to throw a big party inviting lots of family and friends for your little one’s first birthday, but before you do that, think about what would be the best way to mark this milestone.

Remember that, for your baby, it’ll be just another exciting day in their happy life. Babies of a year old are too young to understand about birthdays, so think about what your little one would enjoy most.

Party time

You could host one little party or hold two celebrations: a cosy celebration for family and a separate get-together for a few friends and their babies – it’s a chance for you to get to know the parents from antenatal class, NCT, nursery or playgroup a bit better.

Whatever you decide, keep it low-key with fun games that get grown-ups involved – maybe a short music session with age-appropriate instruments like jingle bells, mini maracas and tambourines; play some nursery rhymes and sing along, or put out some fun, stimulating toys and let the babies play. The concept of sharing doesn’t exist at this age, so put out more toys than babies so there’s always a distraction.

Keep the party short and sweet – at one, your baby tires easily, so an hour should do it. If you time the party to start after the afternoon nap, your baby will have more energy. And it makes the food easy too – a simple afternoon tea with finger food for the babies and, of course, a cake, is perfect.

While balloons look great as decorations, don’t give them to babies to play with – keep them well out of reach. If they’re popped, the pieces are a choking hazard and the unexpected noise can upset your little guests. Give party poppers a miss for the same reason too.