From baby to toddler, our baby turning one is a bittersweet moment for us. And like most parents, we want to celebrate his birthday as best way we know how, by throwing a birthday party.
When Brad asked me to share about my experience on ladyironchef, I agreed immediately because I hope this post on How to Plan a Baby’s First Birthday Party will give you some ideas when you are celebrating your child’s first birthday.
I do not consider myself experienced when it comes to party planning, much less a first year birthday party. Russell is my first born by the way. As a host, I did a few things right and a couple of things wrong. Here are some lessons learnt, and things I wished somebody told me before.
THINGS I DID RIGHT
There were many suggestions, like BBQ in a chalet, Lunch in a Club, House Party… but I was very sure I wanted a distinctively kids party because he has the rest of his life to throw stripper parties. He is one, he will party like he is one.
I want the kids to have fun but not have their fun jumping on my bed. I decided to hold it in a children indoor playground where they can go crazy in. My little guests are mostly toddlers. I read up and visited a few places before deciding on Kiddyfun because they specifically target the younger kids.
- The play area is well padded so the toddlers can run around with little supervision.
- The play is not too huge that you’d lose all your guests.
- The party area is comfortable and cozy, with actual sofas instead of stools, so the adults can lounge around and chit chat.
Party packages prices and offerings are comparable to other indoor gyms like Petite Park, Fidgets and Hokey Pokey. I recommend that you shortlist a few places, then make a trip down to look at their party areas before deciding. We brought Russell to test the play systems in KiddyFun first and he had so much fun that we were confident on our pick.
SPLURGE ON THE CAKE
When people look back on birthdays, they will refer to the cake to check when it was. “Oh, he was one, so that was 2013.” I did a lot of research on the cake and I’m really satisfied with it. I requested for 3 figurines; a baby boy that matches what he wore on the day, a dragon because he was born in the year of a dragon and a lion because he’s a Leo. It is very hard to make a cute fondant dessert masculine ok? But this cake is age appropriate yet manly. And it was beautifully crafted. Perfect.
The party lasted for 2.5 hours. Initially I thought it was too short, but anything longer and the kids will grow cranky while the adults grow restless. Some friends throw parties that last the whole day and people are free to turn up at different times. I prefer to put everyone together.
THINGS THAT COULD BE IMPROVED
There are a few things I wish I could have done better and it really boils down to proper delegation.
I wanted guests to leave messages for Russell, I even wanted people to leave video messages. However, I was too busy to do this. Delegate this to someone sociable and persuasive.
To my horror, nobody took pictures of the guests and I was running around all the time that any pictures I took were shoddy. This is one of those things I took for granted. Now it looks like I have thrown a #foreveralone birthday party. Have someone be in charge of taking photos of every guest, preferably someone who knows the guests well and can take a decent picture. I think this is basic party etiquette too.
Do proper introductions and trust your guests to mingle by themselves. I was trying to make conversations with everyone that I cannot make conversations with everyone.
Remember to record a video of the birthday song! The facial expressions on my boy’s face were priceless. Appoint two people to record the birthday song and put their lives on it. Remember to have one more person to take a video of the singing guests too, cover all angles!
Bottom line is, you cannot do everything by yourself and you’d find that people are happy to help. Delegate the right tasks to the correct people so you can relax, sit back and enjoy the party.
Despite the mistakes, we had a wonderful time. Really happy to see my friends and family, happy to see the kids playing and having fun, happy to see Russell’s huge smile and the twinkle in his eyes when everyone started singing his birthday song… and the embarrassment when he realised they were singing to him.
Words by Priscilla Nu