15 Tips for Planning Your Baby’s First Birthday Party:
What I learned from my Pinterest fail, so you don’t have one.
I had been planning my son’s first birthday party since he was 5 months old, so naturally you’d think it was this elaborate perfectly planned out party— well it was not. I don’t have it all together and I’m not going to pretend I do. For some reason, I have this tendency to procrastinate and I’m also not the greatest when it comes to thinking ahead and prioritizing tasks. I need a personal secretary (in my opinion, all moms need one), but until that day comes I need to learn to manage my life and all the tasks before me. << I’m learning a lesson or two from Niki, a professional project manager. I’m so glad she’s my partner in this biz. She’s the best. End side commentary>> Fortunately for you, I often realize better ways of doing things after the fact and it comes in handy when writing a blog on newlymom advice. You’re welcome. So here it is— what I learned from my pinterest fail (well almost fail— it wasn’t totally a flop) son’s first birthday party.
Things I did well:
Research fun party themes.
I researched and researched and researched. We decided to go with a “Where the Wild Things Are” Wild One theme. Both my husband and I loved the book as children, and I thought this theme had the potential for super cute and creative decorations. Plus I was having an outdoor BBQ so the forest in “Where the Wild Things Are” was easy to create among our woodsy all-natural look in the backyard.
Seriously though, this is one of my favorite things to do. I love making fun graphics, pinterest pins, and invitations! I decided that I would make an invitation using a few different photo apps and send it out electronically via text or email. In this day and age, most people communicate via electronics and it’s nice to save money on printing, envelopes, stamps, and the time it takes to go out and mail it. Time is money. Especially when you have a one year old.
Blew up balloons the night before and made a balloon garland.
The more you can do before the day of the party, the better!
So here it is…your 15 tips…the things I learned from my almost pinterest fail of a party:
15 Tips to Plan Your Baby’s First Birthday
1. Send out invitations all together in one sitting.
If you’re sending out invites via text, call (or send a paper invite to) family members or friends who do not use electronics to let them know you are inviting them. Sending text invites to some now, some tomorrow or the day after, and waiting to call others next week is a recipe for hurt feelings. Trust me on this one. Also, doing it a little at a time makes it super confusing.
2. Have a good method of keeping track of your invites
Here’s a free downloadable printable invite checklist.
3. Make sure the balloons (and other decorations) are going to fit in the area you’re planning to put them.
I realized that my garland was too large to hang where I wanted it and ended up putting it on our outdoor staircase— which ended up working well to let guests know where our house was, but I didn’t achieve the decorative look I was hoping for.
4. Make things in advance, not the night before!
If you’re the complete DIY type like me and you’re making a photo garland or other decorations, make it way in advance— not the night before!
5. Set up decorations as early as you can
If you have decorations that can be set up early (i.e. high chair garland or indoor decorations) set them up the night before
6. Make a list of all the items you need
It will be super helpful to have a list of decorations and other items you need to bring to your party location (for me that was outside in the backyard).
7. Plan where you are having a cake smash/cutting of the cake
If you’re having a cake smash, make sure you plan out where you’re going to have it so your photos come out nice— not with people’s feet or garbage or a grill in the background (I had all of the above).
If I had put the high chair outside before the party we wouldn’t have had this problem, but I was rushing because people had been there a while, my son was still taking his nap, and it was time to cut the cake
8. Put a timer on for your baby’s schedule.
It’s overwhelming trying to entertain guests and spend time talking to people you haven’t seen in a while. Time will fly and you might just forget to feed your kiddo. Also, being long overdue for a nap is a recipe for disaster— trust me on this one.
9. Schedule your party time around your child’s nap schedule
You don’t want them sleeping when it’s time to cut the cake
10. Delegate ahead of time
Ask friends for help ahead of time instead of waiting for them to offer help
11. Make mixed drinks the night before.
Especially if it’s sangria. It will be done and out of the way and it will taste better
12. Have a friend or family member come watch the baby the morning of the party.
This will help free you up in order to get stuff done and tie up loose ends.
13. You probably won’t be doing this but —Finish working on your backyard project (or other house projects) before the day of the party.
Yeah, you guessed it. I was laying rocks down and fixing pavers the morning of the party. Not a good idea.
14. Designate a friend or family member to help barbecue (if that’s what you’re doing) or be in charge of the food.
It’s extremely hard to entertain guests while trying to flip burgers and make sure they don’t burn. If you’re getting food catered, have a family member or friend be the point person for delivery of the food. It’s hard
to do all things and be everywhere at the same time— you’re not God ya know.
15. Grab your calendar and map out over the next month or few months when certain things will get done in order to give yourself a deadline
Happy party planning!
Right there with ya,
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