1st Birthday Parties, A waste of time or A time to be celebrated?

Kellie - posted on 08/26/2011 ( 55 moms have responded )

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So my friends and I are on opposite ends of the parenting spectrum lol and they don't understand my desire to have a 1st Birthday party for my daughter who will be 1 in November.

They feel that as the child won't remember it why bother to have it? My feeling is that 1 is a huge milestone and should be celebrated.

I'm not planning anything over the top, just a few little people and a couple of friends/family with a GiggleBellies theme as my daughter LOVES them.

The only 'over the top' thing will be the cake. I managed to find someone in Australia (and my state) to recreate this with a couple of changes:

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1...

Now I'm not looking for validation for having a 1st Birthday for my baby, I'm quite comfortable/confident with my decision to do so, but I thought it could be a debatable topic.

I feel that the excuse of "why bother, they won't remember" is a cop out, what happens when they grow up and have families of their own (should they choose to do so) and ask you about what you did for their 1st Birthday? you say, oh sorry, didn't bother because you wouldn't remember it?

Birthday's a special and should be celebrated IMO, what do you think?

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Jakki - posted on 08/27/2011

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I'd like to propose that a baby's first birthday should be a MASSIVE celebration of (and for) the MOTHER!



It wouldn't really be for the child at all. You invite all your friends over for a BBQ and have a nice time and a few drinks thinking about how much your life has changed in the last year, and how much you have achieved.



What do you think?

Jenn - posted on 08/26/2011

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We have always had family parties and then I introduced friends parties around at age 4. Families love to celebrate children birthdays and it is a great way for family members who may not see each other to catch up! Celebrate your child's life however makes you happy!! One rule of thumb that I like for friend parties is to invite the number of kids by the child's age plus 1. Four years old = 5 friends. It isn't overwhelming and a little calmer that a gaggle of kiddos!

Also, some bakeries will throw in a first birthday smash cake free!

Jodi - posted on 08/26/2011

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Oh, I have no problem if someone else wants to theme a party, it's just not what I did, because I did see it as a bit of a waste of time. However, I had very few little kids at either party too, so it would have been a bit pointless. I did do a little cutesy cake for my kids, I went that far, LOL.

And no, they don't remember, but I can tell you from experience, the kids love to see photos of themselves later in life at all these special occasions. I can't tell you how often I've had to tell the kids about this photo or that photo, and they enjoy seeing themselves at their first birthday. Especially that all classic cake photo :D

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Kellie - posted on 09/07/2011

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Ohh your parties sound great and yummy! When's the next one?.... LOL

Yeah well my parents are dead, have been for many years now. My Mum was one of 6 but when my Nanna died a few years ago they pushed me out and away so *shrugs shoulders* I let them go, and haven't seen them in about 5 or so years. Works for me. My Dad was one of 11 and most of them are losers and Drug Addicts, with a Pedophile thrown in there too, so yeah, more than happy to not have them in my little families life. I've pretty much been left to my own devices my whole life anyway so I'm happy with that.

I do however, have many friends that are much more like family than my actual family ever have been so it all worked out in the end :) They say you don't get to choose your family, but I did.

Sherri - posted on 09/07/2011

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I couldn't imagine not being smothered with mine and my husbands. We celebrate every single holiday, birthday and make up other occasions so we are together very very often. That includes parents, siblings, spouses, aunts, uncles, cousins and the 8 soon to be 9 grandchildren.

We usually do hamburgers, hotdogs, rolls, cheese, pickles, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, condiments, chips, potato salad, pasta salad, soda (for adults) and cases of water for the kids. The plates, silverware, cups and then of course cake and ice cream. My 5yr olds cake was a Candy Land cake made from scratch and I followed the game board exactly so it got somewhat expensive with all the candy I had to add.

Kellie - posted on 09/07/2011

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wow!

Yeah I haven't tried feeding that many people here all at once so I don't know what it would cost, I can't imagine there'd be that much difference even when you factor in the difference between US and AUS money.

Besides which, I'd really rather the majority of my family stay out of my life.

Kellie - posted on 09/07/2011

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Is that per kid per party Sherri? If so (and just even with that cost) I'd agree their party is their present!

I'm a cook but I suck at making sweet stuff like cakes so I'm not even going to attempt to make it from scratch I'd only fuck it up.

Yeah family and friend will get her stuff which Is why Mummy and Daddy will only be getting her one little pressie.

Stifler's - posted on 09/07/2011

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That is fair enough Sherri. i bough Logan like 2 books or something for his first birthday. Everyone else gave him presents and sent presents in the mail, how many toys does one kid need!

Sherri - posted on 09/07/2011

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We don't buy our children birthday presents we have always told them there parties are their gifts. We have such an enormous family that it usually is about 30 people that attend their birthday parties then add a few of their friends and it is easy 30-40people so we usually end up paying $200-$300 in food alone and I make everyone of their cakes from scratch every year. They get to pick any theme they want and I make it for them.

Kellie - posted on 09/07/2011

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A no. I was bathing her one night last week and he came out with (totally random), did you know people pierce the ears of babies at this age? (our daughter is 9 months old), I was like yeah and younger. He goes, but it hurts, that's painful. I went I know and precisely why I haven't pierced her ears, it's her body and she should be the one to decide what to do with it, not me/us. He was so shocked people do that to babies it was cute! No idea why he suddenly came out with it though.



Edited to Add:



Not no as in never, no as in until she can decide for herself.

Chelle - posted on 09/07/2011

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Yep that was going to be my next question! What are his rhombus hehe on ear piercing?

Kellie - posted on 09/06/2011

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Yeah he really surprised me with this one and his rhombus on ear piercing! Double wow lol

Lol it is hard to reign it in sometimes, but I don't feel I go overboard with little things for her, a little top here or there isn't going to turn her into a diva :)

Chelle - posted on 09/06/2011

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yes remember that competing part was speaking in general terms, i do not feel it relates to you at all and i am more than aware that you dont care what others are doing :)



Yes of course its fun to give your littlies pressies, i have to rein craig in sometimes hehe. We have a present cupboard so when we see somehing theyd like we buy it and put it in there. Some are used for rewards or special treats but if he could craig would give them all to him on the spot.



Great that you and pete are on the same page with this

Kellie - posted on 09/06/2011

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I think as long as it's age appropriate (as in not overwhelming for a child), nothing's wrong with it. Well IMO anyway.

Kellie - posted on 09/06/2011

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Oh not Pete, he feels the same way as I do, that it's a milestone and should be celebrated.

OP me means opening post.

Meh as for competing with anyone, I couldn't give a flying fuck what others do this is for her and her alone. The adults are just there to share it with her.

Presents won't be overboard either, I have no need to buy her love but she will get one from her Parents.

Chelle - posted on 09/06/2011

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Hehe thought so. No didn't see nasties in it. What does OP stand for, I'm not as up with the COM lingo as you. Yep Craig and Pete I can imagine they came across as why bother. I definitely think bother, it's a huge milestone for you as a parent as well as for the little person- where I draw the line is going overboard. Yes for a first I do feel the cake is a little lavish but it is also gorgeous! And being Rayne is not your average bear she WILL probably remember it :)

For lochs mum made a cake in the shape of a Teddy bear but as far as the amount of people (even with scaling it back dramatically) it was too overwhelming for him.

This next part of my post is speaking in general about my own personal bugbear about special occasions. I think a lot of the time parents either feel or hold these extravagant affairs to show off or compete. It stops becoming about the kid whose special day it is and becomes about how this occasion will reflect on such and such. I feel the same about weddings etc.

By all means I feel occasions should be acknowledged and celebrated but there are degrees in which one can do that and IMO a sense of meaning is much more important than inviting everyone and spending ridiculous amounts of money. There are also some parents who also then fall into the trap that the next party must beat the one before etc.

In my case I want to teach my children the value of family time not have the emphasis on how many presents they get or having to mortgage the house to impress or compete. When I was a school counsellor and I would ask the kids what they did for their birthday without fail they would only tell me about the latest toys they had gotten. I didn't like that and I can only hope when my children are asked the same question they might mention something about the way they felt or the people they spent it with rather than what they got.

Kellie - posted on 09/06/2011

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aww thanks Sherri! I think so too, I was sooo excited when I saw it and then found someone who could replicate it!

Kellie - posted on 09/06/2011

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Yeah you did inspire this OP, both you and Craig, because Craig has mentioned a similar attitude to Peter too and it does come across as a 'why bother she won't remember' kind of attitude.

Just so were clear, there is no nasties meant by my OP!

I want the cake to be special for her, it's the ONLY out there thing for her birthday and the only thing that will be lavish on the day, and I don't think a taste of cake on her 1st Birthday will kill her either.

I'm not stressing about who to invite and having it blow out, every man and his dog won't be here, last count was 20 people but I may even cull that again, I've lost my list and need to find it again, or I may even spread it out over the week just to include family as well as friends who want to share in the delight of her 1st Birthday.

It's a special day and I want her to see it in pictures and that I went to the effort, even if she will be too little to remember.

Sherri - posted on 09/06/2011

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I don't think your cake is over the top at all I think it is wonderful!!!

Chelle - posted on 09/06/2011

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hey
for the record if i am one of those aforementioned friends im not against celebrating a 1st or any childs birthday. The point of possible contention is the amount you are spending on the cake, i think children that young should not really be eating cake so altho i know she will recognise the characters and love it i still dont think its necessary to get such a lavish thing. Admittedly this is a better cake than the one i remember you originally posting on fb that looked way too adult for a little person. I do think birthdays especially childrens birthdays are special and of course they remember them but i dont feel it has to be all bells and whistles (in saying that, im not saying that about yours-just in general. I also dont agree that every bloody man and their dog needs to be at your babys first, i got so stressed trying to include everyone. I just wanted a small, meaningful day but it was quickly starting to blow out of hand, especially when you factor in plus ones!!

So i would be curious to know if i am one of those friends you have mentioned here cos if so, i think you have misunderstood what i meant

JuLeah - posted on 08/28/2011

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Family will remember ... pix will be taken the child can hold on to. At my daughter's first birthday her pic was taken with a family member no longer with us. He passed before she was old enough to really know him, so this pic is all she has ... if you have additional kids, and throw them a 1st, you will want pix to show your oldest of they party they got ... so many reasons. This world is hard right now, all reasons to come together in joy ought to be taken

Sherri - posted on 08/28/2011

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See I disagree it was never for us as the parents it was 100% for our children and they were celebrated and honored. It had zero to do with me at all, if it had we never would have had a party. It was huge we had 30+ people had a ginormous cookout with all my kids favorite foods. I handmade their cakes. It was ALL about them.

Kellie - posted on 08/28/2011

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Glad to see I'm not crazy and people feel that Birthdays are special even if the littleis are too little to remember!

Jakki - posted on 08/28/2011

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Yeah I hate themes too! It's OK when they say some as your favorite superhero or fairy princesses or something easy, but I never have time to construct fancy outfits. it's hard enough finding a present and getting the kids there on time ALL WEARING SHOES!

Stifler's - posted on 08/27/2011

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It's mostly for the parents. We had a cute afternoon tea with fairy bread et al but Logan didn't understand and barely had any interest in opening presents. We only did it for fun it wasn't a huge deal. There was no theme etc. I hate themes.

Jakki - posted on 08/27/2011

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PS In our family we have huge first birthdays and very small 2nd birthdays, then slightly bigger ones every year til about 6, then they get smaller again after that!

I didn't realise we had this pattern until I just thought about it then.

Tanya - posted on 08/27/2011

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The first birthday party I really remember was my 5th. But, I have pics of my birthdays before that, and I appreciate that my mom made the effort! I can't imagine asking my mom why there were no pics of my first birthday party, and her saying "Oh, well, I figured you wouldn't remember it anyway, so why bother?"

They don't have to be a HUGE thing, but I know both of my kids had fun at the time, whether they'll remember it or not, and I'm glad I did them!

Ashley - posted on 08/27/2011

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Both my girls had a 1st birthday party... my oldest 's was a tad bit bigger then the youngest... we rented a church basement(in nov) and had everyone from all sides of the family come... but around that time there was a big family blow out so when the youngest came along we did a small bbq because her birthday is in may... this year for their birthday's we are living in a much bigger place so we had a big 2nd birthday for the youngest and plan to have a nice size one for our oldest in nov when she turns 4

Elfrieda - posted on 08/27/2011

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I like parties, but I agree with most of the posters that it's really an adult party when they're so young. I think making it a big to-do is more trouble than it's worth.

Before I had kids I lived in the suburbs of a small affluent city, and I helped out a neighbour who had a kindergartener, a toddler, and twin babies. She thought a lot about what the neighbours were doing with their kids, and so she was stressed all the time, and didn't really trust her own judgement. She felt she had to rent one of those play-places for her toddler's 3rd b-day, and invite everyone who had invited her son somewhere, and it was this big stressful deal. I didn't see the sense in that. That sort of culture was partly why my husband and I moved away.

Sherri - posted on 08/26/2011

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Oh my gosh the 1st birthday to me is the most important out of any of the birthdays. It is such a milestone and celebration they have made it too their first birthdays. It is a time to celebrate and rejoice. I celebrated all their birthdays, birthdays are soo very important, but the first one is especially important.

Charlie - posted on 08/26/2011

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As far as I knew around here first birthdays are a big deal , it is their first year of life and in the olden days the first birthday was originally celebrated to mark the baby had SURVIVED the first year of life .

To me every birthday is special , its a day to celebrate the persons life and welcome them into the new year of life.

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Huge first birthday parties are a custom here. We ALWAYS have a party, but we've never had a huge one and never will. Small, simple, and EVERY year from the first to the last is my style. ;)

Melissa - posted on 08/26/2011

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Its what is best for you...personally I believe its time to be celebrated with close family and friends...you made it a year! The excitement on my child's face on his 1st birthday with all the family in town was absolutely the most amazing thing! So many parts of it were amazing, the 1st cake experience, excitment of all the new toys and people to play with!
Its your memories, its you family's memories....PRICELESS!
Plus it was the most fun I ever had planning a party! I cant wait for all the ones to come!

Caitlin - posted on 08/26/2011

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I will always - at the least, do a nice dinner with family and a cake. Both my kids are young, so we did bigger parties for their firsts.. We made sure the kids didn't have any cake before their first birthday, so the first birthday was a new experience, usually a chocolate cake with chocolate icing, and they dig in as they like. The photos are PRICELESS and worth every penny. I usually did the party in the afternoon, so I put out mini sandwiches, some chips, fruit and veggie plate with dip and then we had cake. It worked really well, and I loved doing it for the girls. For our older daughter, she had a special shaped airplane cake that I made myself for her birthday (didn't quite like the marshmallow fondant though) but she LOVED the cake because she loves airplanes.. The only people who came over for that one were grandpa and grandma and her aut and uncle, but we made it special for her.. This year is going to be smallish too, because we'll have #3 only a few weeks before she turns 3, so there will be few people, but an aesome gift (one of those play kitchens) and I know she'll love it because she's getting so into role playing now, it's great..



I have to make her cake myself due to allergies, which makes me need to get creative, but i'm getting better as time goes by.



I think when she is about 4, i'll start having friend birthday parties, but until then, the adult ones are fine, and a bit less overwhelming, because she knows them already and gets a bit less hyper!

Becky - posted on 08/26/2011

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I make a big deal of all of my kids' birthdays, including the first! I think it's important to celebrate their lives, and especially to celebrate that you all made it through that first year, lol! :) Even though they won't remember the first couple, I will, and one day we'll look at the pictures and I'll tell them all about it. My son's 2nd birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks and we're having a Mickey Mouse birthday party for him. And even though he may not remember it 3 months from now, I can tell you, he knows what's coming up and he is so excited for it, and he is going to love it on that day! And that's enough reason for me to throw him a big party!
Very cute cake, BTW!

Carolee - posted on 08/26/2011

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I make sure every birthday is special for my kids, starting with their first. No, they won't remember, but they will have a good day. Parties are a way for friends and families to get together and have a good time, no matter the occasion.

Jessica - posted on 08/26/2011

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We definatly do birthdays here! The theme for Peytons 1st birthday was her "Fairy First Birthday" and there was alot of Tinker Bell, lol. Plus I am a huge scarpbooker and a bit of a camera happy mommy so there are tons of pics she will be able to enjoy in her scrapbook as she gets older. Any excuse to have fun and make great memories either in picture or something they will actually remember is well worth the time and effort. :)

September - posted on 08/26/2011

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Birthdays are special and should be celebrated most definitely. I have to admit we went a little over board for our son's first birthday but if was fun and super special and that's all that matters!

Rosie - posted on 08/26/2011

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every birthday is special and should be remembered, and celebrated. i think that when they are young like that, to not go overboard is smart, since they won't remember it. but to not have a party at all? nope, won't ever happen in this house. :)

Lady Heather - posted on 08/26/2011

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I think it's kind of strange to make it a HUGE big deal because really your kid won't care how kickass the party is. But it certainly is something to celebrate. We had a smaller at home thing. I put way too much effort into the food. Scaled that back to just a simple BBQ for her 2nd birthday. But most of my effort for her two birthdays has gone into the cake. I like to make a special one myself. I figure when she's older there will be pictures of the cake mum made and she'll know I cared. haha. 1st birthday was the very hungry caterpillar and this year I made a fox (which she LOVED). For her first birthday I also took a picture of her with the smashed cake (I made an extra little one) and framed that with a matte made out of all her birthday cards. I glued all the signatures from the cards on the back of the frame. So no, she won't remember. But she'll know people cared enough to send a card and say happy birthday.

I can't imagine not even acknowledging the day. That would be weird.

Krista - posted on 08/26/2011

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Why NOT have a party? Jeez, we live our lives day to day, and there's so much negativity out there, so why not seize upon any excuse to celebrate and be happy and eat cake, I say!

I had a low-key family affair for my son's first (and 2nd) birthday, and no, of course he's not going to remember. But who cares? We had a great day! His grandparents loved seeing him blow out his candles and eat his cake. And his great-grandfather also hugely enjoyed the celebration -- he's 90, so if we waited to have a party until Sam is old enough to remember them, then it's very possible that his great-grampie would never wind up actually being there. And that's sad as hell to think about. So I'm GLAD that we celebrated those birthdays. Sam might not remember them, but the rest of us will.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/26/2011

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I think a person should do something......even if miniscule

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 08/26/2011

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Korean culture birthdays are a BIG, BIG deal...especially if you are first born son and/ or grandson...and are celebrated as such :-))

Kellie - posted on 08/26/2011

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Oh Nikki, Poor you!! I'd have cried too if I'd spent all that time and effort into my child's First Birthday.

Yeah Jodi, that's what I was thinking, down the track looking at Pics with her and sharing my memories of the day with her, I couldn't imagine not doing or wanting to do that with my child/ren.

Nikki - posted on 08/26/2011

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I wanted Isobel's to be a big deal. I spent weeks making her a 3 tier farmyard theme cake, we had a theme, hired activities for all the kids, had games, face painting, loot bags, a beautiful new outfit and party food coming out of our ears.... Then Issy woke up with chicken pox on the day so none of the kids could come!!! Except one, the others all had little bothers and sisters who were under the age of vaccination. It sucked. I cried. I laugh at it now, it's not like she will remember it but it was really upsetting on the day. Might have a low key one this year! lol

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I say, if you feel like celebrating...just do it! Life is a celebration and that very first birthday is a celebration of a special little life that has enriched your life. Worth celebrating? HELL YEAH!!!!!

Michelle - posted on 08/26/2011

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We celebrate every birthday here. Even if it's just a family get together it's always a special day.
Because I do shared care we alternate having the big parties with heaps of kids for the boys and that works well for us.

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