Organising the perfect 1st birthday party for your baby

The first birthday party for a baby is extremely special. Organizing a party will take time if someone wants to have the perfect birthday party. A baby deserves to have a celebration of his or her life on that first birthday. You can decide to opt for formal invites and distribute invitation cards or send out texts, bb or facebook messages as invites.

The party is more for the parents to share their love for their baby with family and friends on this significant time in their baby’s life. The baby will only care about playing on this special day. Don’t be surprised though if your baby is clingy or emotional that day he/she might not understand or appreciate all the attention and fuss that day.
When the baby grows up, he or she will look back at the pictures of this first birthday party and know that his or her parents loved him or her and had a celebration to mark the milestone. To help make this happen be sure to have the event recorded on a couple of dvd’s and be sure to get the photographer to put the pictures in a good ol album you don’t want to keep everything digital and miss having an album to flip through.

Whom to Invite

The first step is to consider whom to invite to this special occasion. The number of guests to invite will depend on the child’s nature around large crowds of people to some extent but really at this age it is more what the parents budget and preference is. Our Nigerian parties are huge and by the time you think of extended family, in-laws, neighbors, church friends, classmates, work colleagues, people who attended your wedding…the list can truly blow out of proportion. The first step is to determine whether to keep it small and intimate or invite far and wide.

How Long a Party

Next is deciding how long a party should last for a one year old and what time of day should the party take place. Some small children still take naps during the day at this age, and it may be necessary to plan around this. If the children that are invited come to the party during their usual time for naps, they may be too tired to enjoy the party. An hour or a little longer will be sufficient time for a first birthday party if you are planning to engage the young children who are mates of your 1 year old.  You can also determine if you are going to have older children at the party, who have more energy and so you have to plan to have entertainment for these children and the parents. A birthday party in Lagos in its true style caters to the entertainment of the babies, toddlers, older children, aunties, uncles, parents and grandparents. An average party can be expected to start at about 2 pm and run till about 6 pm, accounting for “Nigerian timing” the crunch time and activity of a party is usually between 3pm and 6pm.

Where to Have the Party

Location for the party also takes into account the size of the party, not every home can accommodate the number of guests which include children, parents, nannies etc who will attend per family. However if you are able to have the event at your house it reduces the costs of paying for an expensive outside hall or event place. The advantages of going to a party venue is that once the party is over cleaning is not your headache! You can also consider choosing a location that will make the child happy such as like his or her home, grandparents, a park or somewhere else that the child likes to go.

Catering for the Party

Catering for the guests should include the food for the children and the adults, most children will enjoy simpler foods like hotdogs, small burgers, chips and other finger foods. Most of the children will not have the time or the interest to sit and have a heavy meal of rice, moin-moin, swallows etc. They want to snack and keep moving. Catering for the adults could include the full range menu, it is realistic to expect that you will feed parents…I am yet to see the party here in Lagos that is a “kids” only party.

Small chops is always a hit and an assortment of drinks is also nice…Chapman, cocktails, soda and remember to get non-soda for the kids at the party such as ribena and juice. The champagne question? Are you going to offer the adults Chapmpagne or not ? it depends solely on you and your budget. Remember that the venue will be filled with staff and domestics so be sure you plan for them in the catering as well because they should and will be fed.

Food and Party Favors

Prepare a birthday cake with candles, and have a lighter ready to light the candles. Choose party favours that will be safe and go easy on the candy. If there is cake left, send some home with the guests.

Have a plan for giving out the party favors and packs, make sure you plan for at least an additional 10 packs more than the number of children you invited. Sade will probably come with her cousin Moyo to the party and you cannot explain to Moyo that you cannot giver her a pack because you didn’t expect her. Have a distribution plan, no matter how much fun the party this is always the highlight for the kids it has the tendency to become a tearful, rowdy and chaotic period if not planned properly. Decide to give the favors out at a certain time, perhaps by age groups, or girls/boys…just have a plan and some help to distribute.

Just be sure that after the party is organized that the one responsible for getting everything together has time to enjoy it too. After all, he or she has worked hard to organize the perfect first birthday party for his or her loved one. The parents will want to have time to make some precious memories of this special event. Successful planning along with the preparation of necessary items before the big event will give the parents more time to enjoy this memorable day.

You can also employ the services of party planners who take all the planning headache off you so you can have fun on the day!

culled from parentingguide

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