For a lot of first-time parents, celebrating their baby’s first birthday is a big deal. But let’s be honest: there’s a very slim chance that your baby will remember anything from the birthday bash, although you can document it with plenty of photos and video clips.
With that said, is it really necessary for parents to go all out and spend a small fortune on a baby’s birthday knowing that the soiree will most likely be for the adults more than the birthday baby? Maybe.
That’s why we’ve got a list of ten things you don’t need to buy for your baby’s first birthday and some alternative suggestions.
Skip The Fancy Venue
A lot of people think that they need to rent out a dance hall or a fancy venue for their child’s birthday. And while that might be a good idea when your children are older, you don’t necessarily have to do that for their first birthday. As a matter of fact, you are better off celebrating in the comfort of your own home.
Honestly, you will probably have to clean up the big mess on your own afterward but at least you don’t have to worry about paying a deposit or any of the other fees that many places want before they host your bash.
A Park Is As Good As A Playcentre
While a lot of people do like hosting birthday parties inside their own home, you can still check out places close to home like a local park or your neighborhood’s community center.
However, do check and see if there are any fees that you may have to pay before you play (although there’s a good chance that it will be much cheaper than many big named venues or indoor play areas).
Playgrounds are great, especially if you are expecting families with small babies to attend your child’s party. Plus, it will give everyone a chance to mingle outdoors and in the fresh air.
You Don't Need Themed Plates
Another great way to save money on your child’s birthday is to simply use what you already have in your house. Why spend a small fortune on birthday themed plates, utensils, cups and napkins when you can simply use everything that you already have in your kitchen cabinets?
Plus, there might be no need to get a lot of food if you already have ready to serve snacks in your pantry. You can even serve your guests healthy options by making fruit and veggie trays with some of the things that are in your fridge. Plus, who doesn’t like a healthy alternative to chips and dip, right?
7 Swap Invites For Evites
If you are really pinching your pennies, skip the expensive invitations for evites instead. Sure, they often make great keepsakes, especially if you add your child’s photo on them. But oftentimes they can be very expensive and so are the envelopes and the postage.
Sending invitations via the internet is a good way to organize who has received them, who has read them, and who has replied to them. You can also send your invites through text messages as well. Either way, be assured that the word will get out one way or another.
6 Forget Goodie Bags
A lot of parents assume that they have to give goodie bags to their guests during each birthday party they host. But that’s not always the case.
Goodie bags are usually for older children who anticipate getting a little treat in a bag full of different surprises. This is a way for the host to thank them for coming to the party. But if you are throwing a soiree for your one-year-old, there’s a good chance that your baby and his or her little toddler friends won’t even pay attention to the goody bags at all.
You can wait and start this tradition until the kids are much older.
5 Set A Budget
Let’s face it: birthday parties can get very expensive. Some people find themselves spending a few hundred if not a few thousand dollars on a party that only lasts a few short hours.
At the end of the day, the best parties are usually the ones that are the most spontaneous and the ones that require the least work. With that said, if you are planning your party ahead of time definitely set a budget for yourself. You don’t want to overdo things or spend more than you can afford on a party that your one year old won’t even thank you for.
4 Don’t Go Overboard
Sure, it might be a lot of fun planning your child’s first birthday but remember, this is only a first birthday. There are going to be so many more to look forward to in the future! Plus, the planning will be incredibly different when your child grows older as they will have special requests, might have special needs or might even want to help with the planning as well.
With that said, don’t go overboard. A child’s first birthday should be kept simple with a reminder that you are there to celebrate the little one’s life and not make it a social media-worthy soiree.
3 Keep The Décor Simple
If you are still looking to decorate for your child’s first birthday, try to keep the décor simple. It might be very tempting to go all out on a great theme, whether it’s something that you found on Pinterest or your child’s favorite animated series. But as much fun as it is to decorate your home for a party, it’s equally as miserable to clean things up when everything is said and done.
Sure, décor helps create a great atmosphere, but you also can’t go wrong by keeping things simple and most importantly, clean. You will thank yourself later for it.
2 Skip The Big Cake As Well
It might be very tempting to get a beautiful, big and intricate cake for your child’s first birthday that you can share on social media after the party. But keep in mind that these beautiful, big and intricate cakes also come with whopping prices.
If you're really looking to save money on your child’s birthday, skip the cake and go with a cupcake instead. There’s a good chance that half of your guests are on diets and won’t want a slice of a calorific cake anyway. Plus, your kid will be just as happy with a cute little cupcake to smash in his or her face.
1 Just Invite Your Closest Friends and Family
Last but not least, forget about inviting your entire community, neighbors, co-workers and everyone you met at the hospital to your child’s first birthday. Let’s be real here for a second: a good 70 percent of these people might not even be in your child’s life ten years from now.
Instead, limit it to your closest friends and family members. Invite only those who truly do care about your child the same way that you do, like his or her grandparents and close uncles, aunts, and relatives. This way the party will be more intimate but definitely more memorable for both you, your partner and your baby down the road.