How To Have A Happy Child on Their 1st Birthday

1st birthday party child napping

Parents, do you want your child happy for the first birthday?  Then you have to make sure they take their nap before the party…

I can see the look in the parent’s eyes as I walk through the door that they are stressed and it doesn’t take long to figure out why? The birthday child has the expression as if they sucking on sour patch kids candy.  This child is having no part of their 1st birthday party.  They are tired, they need their NAP.

The stress of planning the perfect 1st birthday party has parents out of sink with the child’s daily routine.  Mom is running around getting food and decorations up at the last minute.  Dad is making sure there are enough tables and chair for everyone to be comfortable.  Sometimes the nap gets pushed to the side.

As nap time is missed, the 1-year old goes from happy to cranky in a blink of an eye.  Toys are tossed, social interaction skills are abandoned, and uncontrollable outburst is not reducing the pressure on already stressed out parents.

Nap Rescues Crankiness:

study conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder examined children as they were completing puzzles.  When they missed their regular 90-minute nap, the children showed a 31% increase in negative emotional responses when they weren’t able to complete an especially difficult puzzles.

I doubt that your 1-year old will be putting together a puzzle, but sharing toys with other kids is a given?  This experience alone is frustrating to children and raises emotional outburst that typically would not happen if the child was rested and playing alone.

Get the Nap

I have worked with many moms who have scheduled their child’s 1st birthday around the nap time.  There is no rule book that says a party must start at a specific time.

Do your best to keep the child’s routine consistent may require parents to better organize the party.  No one will fault you for starting your party later in the afternoon.

It takes a village to organize the 1st birthday party and relying on friends and family to help with errands will ensure the guest of honor gets their nap and is rested so they are happy on their special day.


How to Get Great Advice on Planning a 1st Birthday Party


It’s not a mistake to make a mistake, but it is a mistake to repeat the same mistake.

Planning 1st birthday party

Elders are wiser, we’ve been told. Yet when we ask them what they did for our first birthday party, they tell us…”Honey, that was years ago. I don’t remember what we did.” So we turn to our friends with kids. After all, they should remember. They have five. “It’s all one big blur,” they tell us.

Yet, there are those who remember in detail what went down. Aunt Martha made a special cake, her brother made this really cool game, they hired a friend as a chef who catered the party, and a whole list of things that really doesn’t help anybody plans a 1st birthday party.

Here’s the trick to getting great advice for planning a 1st birthday party.

We should be asking, “What would you do differently if you could do it over again?” The mistake we make is by asking “What did you do?” That’s the wrong question. In life, business and planning any event is about learning how to avoid problems. Eliminate the problems and things go smoothly.

Ask a parent what they would do differently at their kid’s party and you would be surprised at the answers you get. Things like, verify the name on the cake for correct spelling, bring a change of clothes, email invites go to spam, bring extra chips and diapers. Expect big gifts, so bring an extra car. Bring matches, a cake knife and make sure… get the idea.

People remember the problems, mishaps and silly things at an event years later, unlike the event that goes smoothly. Allow other’s mistakes to be your porthole to discovery.

How to Plan a 1st Birthday Party

1st Birthday Party - Smash CakeWhen my wife and I started to plan our son’s 1st birthday party, we asked our parents what they had done for our first birthdays.  “We had a party with a cake” was their answer.  No useful information for parents looking for ideas.

We asked friends and they would say, “Let me think, it has been thirty years and I really don’t remember what we did.”

Others wanted to help, but their way of helping was to send us Pinterest links. These cool DIY projects looked great, but we weren’t professional crafters. We were new parents with a one-year-old.

I would ask co-workers what cool thing they did for their child’s 1st birthday party and I started hearing about these great cakes that relatives made, or how a sister did all these cool table displays, or how they rented out a hall, had entertainment and ponies, and how they found great discounts at the dollar store.  Yet none of their input really helped.  It was cool to hear all the ideas, but every party was unique.

So I change the way I asked the question and I instantly started getting very useful information that we could use.

The new question was: What would you do differently for your child’s first birthday if you could do it over? It didn’t matter how long ago the party was, people remembered the mishaps and things that went wrong.  This better prepared us for planning our first birthday party.

One parent suggested to bringing an extra car because her sister-in-law bought her daughter one of those battery operated cars, and the box was so big they could not fit all the presents in the car. They had to make two trips from the hall to the house. If she had to do it again, she would have bought two cars.

Another person said she would call the bakery two days before picking up their order to make sure they had the name and cake decoration correct.  The bakery they used misspelled her daughter’s name and when her husband went to pick up the cake he didn’t look at it.  All he saw was a sheet cake in a box.  Not only was the name misspelled, but it was vanilla, not the chocolate cake that she had ordered.

Changing the question gave my wife and me the useful information we needed to avoid mistakes and mishaps.

The lesson we learned was to avoid asking people whose kids were already grown what they did at their child’s first birthday, avoid people who just wanted to send us Pinterest links, and ask the right question help prevent mistakes from happening.

The information we learned from family and friends provided us with the information we needed to have a great first birthday party for our son.

Easy Way To Prevent A Major Birthday Party Mistake

Pretty is nice, but tastier is better.

1st birthdayThe first birthday party cake sits in its glory; a thing of beauty created by a Master Baker. You feel guilty cutting into those layers of colored frosting and fondant, but once you have scraped off the sugar, food coloring, and decoration, you’re left with cake.

If you want to have a memorable first birthday party, have a delicious tasting cake.

I cannot tell you how many times a family member has bitten into a cake and instantly their taste buds remind them of other birthday party cake experiences.  “Do you remember (insert name here) birthday party?” “Wasn’t that a terrible cake,” utters a family member.

Cake, that sugar-coated, butter filled, flavored delight is the most memorable part of a first birthday party.  Doesn’t matter what the birthday child wears, the food you serve, or how fancy the appetizers are, it’s all about the taste of the cake.

Simply stated, White, Chocolate, and Marble are the most popular cakes.  Veer from these choices and the approval rating drops.

It is exciting to buy a fancy birthday cake with the decorative design, colors, and unique shape. But it’s the cake. And yes, sometimes it’s the filling, that makes a birthday party memorable.

Over the years I have tried private bakeries, homemade, and store-bought cakes and found some of the best tasting cakes come from the local grocery store.  Are they over the top, eye-catching, painstakingly decorated by a confectionery artist? No.  But they taste great, and people ask for a second helping.

Think of all the birthday parties you’ve attended in your life. The main memory about the party is …  how the caked tasted.  It wasn’t the pirate ship, Elmo, or covered in pink frosting cake you remember, it’s the taste.

The key to having a great 1st birthday party is to make sure the birthday cake tastes great!


DIY to a 1st Birthday Photo Shoot

I am the type of parent that likes to do crafty stuff.  For my sons 1st birthday party I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that he was the birthday boy.  I, of course, looked around on the internet for fun pictures.  I found one I thought was fun and put my spin on it.  This is what I did for my son’s 1st birthday invite.

  1. I used two old sheets.  You need old sheets to do this because it gets messy.
  2. I positioned it so that both sheets acted as one big backdrop.  I had some of it on the floor and some or most of it behind him.  I needed to have it held up by something so we used a couple of ladders.  Two utility clamps fastened it onto the ladder creating a vertical backdrop.
  3. I blew up some balloons for abeyance and lucky for me my husband has helium tank, but you can get helium balloons at your local party store.  I found blue balloons with the #1 and happy birthday on them.  Balloons can be purchased at the local party supply store too.  I have seen them at  Wal-Mart or Target, just check the birthday cards. Arrange the balloons at different levels around the backdrop. This formed the backdrop for my son picture.
  4. I added a spotlight to for more light in the room. It was not a professional spotlight, but an automotive spotlight that my husband had in the garage.  When taking a digital picture you want to make sure you have enough light in the room. Adding too much light will cause dark shadows, so play around with the lighting.
  5. I also bought a hat for him, it was a little something that I was going to have him wear for his party, but thought he looked cute in it.
  6. The most important thing, besides the birthday boy, was the cake.  It was a one-tier cake I bought at the local grocery store.  You can make one, but for all of the effort necessary to have it look great, it’s just easier to buy one.  I know it is a little cheaper to make it but time is money too.

Those are all of the things you will need to do the photo shoot.  Now, for the pictures.  We stripped him down to his diaper because, frankly, it was cuter. Also, I did not have to get more cake into his hair when I needed to take off his shirt. Something to remember at the birthday party.  It’s cute to see them full of cake, but it just more mess later for me to clean up.

When he was down to the diaper, I plopped him onto the sheet and tried to get him to stay there until I brought the cake out.  He sat still because he had no idea what was going on.  When I put the cake in front of him there was no hesitation.  He dug right in.

Start taking pictures and don’t stop.  I took so many pictures and I had a blast doing it.

By the time I was done taking pictures he was full of cake and needed to take a bath after. However, it was worth it.  Make sure that the bigger part of the sheet is covering the floor, because you DO NOT want cake frosting on the carpet. Unless you’re getting new carpet, which I wasn’t.

Well, that is how did my own DIY photo shoot.  I hope that this encourages you to do your own 1st birthday party invites.  It was fun for me my husband and hopefully, it will be fun for you too.

I have an extra invitation set aside for my son when he gets engages, just to show his fiancé.  Oh, what fun I will have showing off this picture and remembering the memories made that day.

About the Author
Michelle Obrochta is a mother of two boys, a wife to an entertainer, and runs a balloon business. Planning is a passion of Michelle’s and is always quick to volunteer to help in planning an event, participate in a school function, or help make the event special.

How to Plan A Child’s First Birthday Party While Making It Special

1st Birthday Party EntertainmentDefine what you’re good at.  Can you cook, craft, bake, organize?  What skills do you bring to the party?

Define what others are good at doing.  My wife has informed me many times, “Honey, I need some balloon decorations, like superheroes.” I’m a professional balloon entertainer, no big deal, but my wife would not ask her brother-in-law, the electrician, to make balloon figures.

Network with friends – This may be your first child, but the neighbor down the street is on their seventh child and has a lot of leftover birthday supplies/ideas.  Some of the best decorations are sitting in a closet just waiting to be used, or, better yet, find a new home.

Hire people – Do not expect the family to be servers, or relatives to entertain a crowd.  Hire professionals who can make your event special, classy, and unique.

Delegate –  1st birthdays are special, and you will find many people in your family who would like to contribute to your child’s special event. Aunts, uncles, and grandparents would be happy to help out on this special day if you ask them.

About the Author

Dale Obrochta is a professional entertainer who specializes in making larger groups of people laugh as one while adding the personal touch making it extra special for the guest. Solve your entertainment needs like hundreds of other clients by contacting Dale. It is the right solution.

8 Practical Reasons Why Not to Haveing a First Birthday Parties at Home

Avoid the 1st Birthday House Party

Having a party at home is economical compared to the expense of a banquet hall. However, it doesn’t always make sense to have some parties in a house.

First birthday parties are such wonderful occasions. Unlike other birthday parties, they are usually large gatherings and require extra planning and money. Here are 8 practical reasons why having a 1st birthday at an alternate location makes sense.


  1. Food preparation: Hosts around the world ask themselves this question,” What do I serve the 40-60 coming to the party?” Most of us have not had a reason to cook for a large group or prepare a large amount of food. Should I cater the party, or cook a meal? If you chose to cater, it is costly.  If you cook the meal, do you have time for all the work that’s involved? Do you have space and equipment to do it efficiently?
  2. Parking space: Some hosts will hire a valet service that will park the cars around the neighborhood. Others will leave it up to their guests to fend for themselves and drive around the neighborhood until they find parking. However, when you invite 35 or more people to a party, figure that at least one half of them will need to find a parking spot. Can your neighborhood handle the extra parking?
  3. Rubbing shoulders with Uncle Bob: An intimate setting is nice, but when large numbers of people are moving around, it is no longer intimate, but confining. Where are all your guests going to sit?  Will they need to sit to eat? Will they be able to take part in all the activities?
  4. Cleaning the house: Having a one-year-old in the house is a lot of work, and having to clean it from top to bottom is a lot more work. The advantage of having a party at another location . . . it’s already clean.
  5. A house is cozy, but is it the right atmosphere? If you are looking to create an atmosphere that “wows” the guest, most homes don’t have that oomph. Banquet halls and restaurants create an atmosphere that most houses just cannot achieve.
  6. I’m not an octopus: Trying to be a host, parent, and server at a party is impossible. Have the event at a banquet hall or restaurant and you have help to serve, clean, and assist you with all your party needs.
  7. No clean up: Unlike having a party at home, once the party is over, you leave. No cleaning, no worrying about putting food away.  Just gather your stuff and walk out the door.
  8. Will you leave already! Every family has that one person who has no place to go and wants to spend the entire evening sitting, watching TV, playing video games, or just hanging out. As much as you enjoy that person’s company, it’s been a long day. All you want to do is relax in your own home and that means……all party guests must leave.