Where Every Family Matters

A Smashing 1st Birthday Party!

Babies don’t require a lot for their first birthday — but you might. Avoid the tendency to over-do and keep your party easy and light.

The best tidbit of news you’ll hear about a first birthday party for your baby is THEY DON’T CARE! They don’t care if you knock yourself out or if you just have a few friends over. They won’t be aware if it’s a huge party or a little one, but you can guarantee if they start wailing they’ve had enough.

Tips to make the day terrific:

•  When planning, start three weeks ahead by choosing a weekend date. Jot down guests (keep it small), decorations, refreshments and activity ideas. Mail evites or snail invitations.

• Make sure Baby is well-rested before the party.

• Dress Baby in a cute party outfit.

• Take photos of your sweetie before guests arrive.

• During the party, have someone else take photos so you can tend to your child.

• Inside or out, you don’t really need a theme, but if you want one, stick with something your baby loves — a story book or color can be a theme.

• If you can’t stand the idea of smashing a beautiful cake, opt for a cupcake instead.

• Play games that Baby likes to play like “Patty Cake,” and have activities she enjoys, too, like bubbles, rolling balls, a water table, a swingset or sand box, fingerpainting. Also, play children’s music (not music for adults).

• Know that you may need to whisk Baby away in the event that she becomes overwhelmed by people, noise and expectations.


The Smashing!

The big moment for the smash cake can be anticlimactic if Baby doesn’t want to cooperate! Of course, guests will want to watch and have ideas in their heads about Baby going to town with the cake. To make a successful smash, follow these guidelines from local photographers:

• Be aware of Baby’s mood. An energetic and happy baby is a playful baby, not a tired or grouchy (tired!) one. Know that happy baby = good photos.

• Make sure your smash cake is at room temperature — Baby can’t smash a frozen cake!

• Have towels, paper towels and baby wipes nearby.

• Prepare Baby for the cake. Give your little one bites of cake in the days before your party to prepare her for the smash cake moment.

• Do your smash cake on the floor and have guests sit, too.

• Strip Baby down or put her in a t-shirt and diaper cover so she can make a mess. Don’t spoil her birthday outfit with blue icing!

• Relax and prepare to have fun!

• Let her get dirty!

• Prepare yourself to get dirty, too, since smash cakes can be very messy.

• Be sure your photographer is ready and have him take LOTS of photos.

• Some babies don’t like certain colors of cakes. Try sticking with a white smash cake.



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About the Author

Susan Swindell Day

Susan Day is the editor in chief for this award-winning publication and all-things Nashville Parent digital creative. She's also an Equity actress, screenwriter and a mom of four amazing kids.