Tips on How to Plan a First Birthday Party

It’s your baby’s first birthday! What should you do? Well, how about throwing the cutest first birthday party ever? We’re here to help. This blog post will walk you through how to plan a first birthday party from start to finish. You’ll get tips on how to create an adorable invitation, how to keep little guests entertained with fun games and activities…and of course how to take the most adorable photos of your little one in our birthday outfit collection! 

How to Plan a First Birthday Party 

When it comes to your little one’s first birthday, the sky’s the limit – but where do you start? There are a few key things to consider when planning a first birthday party: how many people you want to invite, how long the event will be and so on.  

Decide how many people to invite to baby’s first birthday party. 

First, decide how big your guest list is going to be. You can limit it based on budget or space availability – for example, if there’s only one spare room or you can only fit a certain number of people in your living room.  

Choose where to have baby’s first birthday party. 

Once you’ve decided on how many people will be coming, the next step is to consider how you’ll be celebrating – do you have a dedicated party room? Or are your celebrations going to take place in the backyard or living room? If it’s an outdoor event, then make sure that everything will stay safe and dry depending on the weather. 

Decide when to throw baby’s first birthday party. 

Next, decide when to have baby’s first birthday party. Will it be a weekend party? A weekday event? Either way, deciding what day and time will help you to figure how long the party will be and how much planning time you have. It will also help to determine how early or late in the day you’ll need to start and end festivities. 

Choose baby’s first birthday theme. 

The next step is to choose a baby’s party theme. There are so many options out there – how do you narrow it down? You can go for something classic like a Winnie the Pooh or Mickey Mouse-themed celebration, or how about going with an animal-themed event?  

Depending on your budget and how creative you’re feeling, you might want to have some decorations custom-made for your little one’s first birthday. For example, how about a DIY smash cake with their age on it? 

Here are a few popular first birthday party theme ideas: 

Sesame Street

Paw Patrol

Jungle Safari


Now that you’ve got a few 1st birthday party ideas in mind, it’s time to think about what delicious foods to serve. 

What to serve at baby’s 1st birthday party? 

Now that we’ve got the planning out of the way, let’s talk food! A lot of parents choose to have a buffet-style party so that everyone can choose what they want to eat. This also cuts down on how much time you need to spend in the kitchen!  

If you’re going for a sit-down meal instead, think about how many courses you’ll be serving – and make sure there’s something for everyone, from babies to big kids.  

Popular birthday party foods include: 

  • Mini pizzas 
  • Sandwiches (ham and cheese, PBJ) 
  • Veggie sticks with dip 
  • Pudding cups 
  • Chips and dip 
  • Mini muffins 

What to give as first birthday party favors? 

Last but not least, how about thinking about party favors for your guests? These could be anything from goodie bags filled with small toys and treats to custom-made cookies or cake pops. 

Popular birthday favors include: 

  • Stuffed animals 
  • Sunglasses 
  • Activity books 
  • Candy 

Tips for Planning a First Birthday Party  

Everyone needs a little help when it comes to planning their first birthday party – so we’ve put together a handy first birthday party guide to help you out! 

Here are our tips for how to plan a first birthday party: 

Create a Small Guest List 

Depending on your budget, you may want to consider having a small guestlist for baby’s first birthday. This will help to keep costs down and make the party feel more intimate. 

Choose an Appropriate Venue 

If you’re short on space, or if you’d like to have an outdoor event, then choosing an appropriate venue is key. For example, you could host the party at a local park or beach.  

Decide how Long You Want the Party to Be  

Do you want it to be an hour-long event? A half-day celebration with lunch and activities included? Figure out how long your first birthday is going to last before committing fully. 

Send Out Invitations in Advance 

Don’t forget to send out invitations in advance – this will give your guests time to mark the date in their calendars and plan accordingly.  

The best resources for invitations: 

Read more: DIY: How to Make Your Own Baptism Invitations

Plan Around Baby’s Schedule 

Babies aren’t always the best at sticking to a schedule, so make sure to plan around their nap and feeding times. This will help things run more smoothly on the day of the party. 

Make it a Baby-Friendly Environment 

Baby’s first birthday should be a joyous occasion, not one that makes them uncomfortable or unhappy! Make sure to take how they’re feeling into account when planning the event. Ensure there are plenty of soft surfaces for them to crawl around on, and keep decorations low enough so they’re not a hazard. 

Have Activities on Hand 

To keep kids entertained, have some activities planned for them. This could be anything from simple arts and crafts to more energetic games like pin the tail on the donkey. If you’re planning on having a longer party, then it’s always a good idea to have some activities planned for the little ones. This could be anything from arts and crafts to face painting or balloon animals.  

Fun activities can include: 

  • Chasing bubbles – this is always a hit with kids of all ages 
  • Playing tag or other simple games – these can help to tire out little ones before they get too antsy 
  • Making a craft – this can be anything from finger painting to making your guests a personalized goodie bag 
  • First birthday parade – have all the kids gather around baby for a special song or to show off their best dance moves! 
  • Building blocks – this is another activity that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages, ensure the blocks are soft so they don’t hurt little heads! 
  • Storytime – gather everyone around for a story, or one specifically tailored to baby’s first birthday 
  • Ball pit – this is a terrific way to keep kids entertained and active, as well as being super fun. 

Prepare Kid and Adult Snacks 

It’s always a good idea to have snacks on hand for both kids and adults – this way, no one will go hungry! This could be anything from simple sandwiches and fruit to pizza or chicken nuggets.  

For adults consider having a signature cocktail and mocktails like a mimosa or a non-alcoholic pina colada. 

Have Two Birthday Cakes on Deck 

Babies and toddlers can be a bit messy, so make sure you have two birthday cakes on deck. This way, if one birthday cake gets destroyed (which is likely to happen), then there’s always another one ready for your little guest of honor!  

For the first cake, consider having something simple like a fruit-topped cupcake or a single-layer vanilla or chocolate smash cake.  

For the second cake, get a little more creative – go for a themed cake that matches your party’s overall look and feel. 

Read more: Creative Smash Cake Ideas for Baby’s First Birthday

Prepare Your Party Food in Advance 

If you’re not keen on doing a lot of cooking on the day of the party, then prepare your food in advance. This could be anything from simple sandwiches to a full buffet-style meal.  

Get Help Documenting the Event 

Since this is your baby’s first birthday, you’ll want to have plenty of photos and videos! Get help documenting the event so that no moment goes undocumented. Employ your partner, a family member or friend to take photos and videos for you so that you can genuinely enjoy the party. 

Hire a Babysitter to Help Manage the Kids 

If a lot of your friends and family members have small children, then you may need to hire a babysitter. This will help keep the little ones happy while the parents socialize with each other – it’s a win-win!  

Prepare for a Mess 

As we mentioned before, babies can be a bit messy. So, make sure you’re prepared for a little bit of chaos – it’s all part of the fun! Have some wipes and napkins on hand to clean up any messes that may occur.  

Don’t Overload Yourself 

Last and most importantly, don’t overload yourself! Make sure you have help on hand throughout the party – this will make it easier for you to enjoy your little one’s first birthday celebration. Now that you know how to plan a first birthday party, your party is sure to be a success!

Keeping all these tips in mind, planning a 1st birthday party should be a breeze! Just relax and have fun – it’s all about baby’s big day! 

Plan the Perfect Party & Party Outfit with Bebe Couture 

For baby’s big day, keep them stylish and cozy with Bebe Couture’s first birthday outfit collection. Our styles offer adorable options, perfect for commemorating this special milestone. With so many sweet styles to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect one for your little one! 

Shop our collection today and be ready to celebrate in style! 

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