First Birthday Party Blues

Francesca - posted on 03/15/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )




Okay. So my daughter will be turning 1 year old at the end of April. And I have decided to NOT throw any party. I told my Dh that I just want to take her to a zoo, see all the baby animals and have a picnic just the three of us.

I tried planning something but it became too much of a headache. Half of my family is at a baptism that weekend. Every other weekend is booked up by us. Those in my family not at the baptism are notorius for flaking out of events and not showing up. And his family is so huge and lives a few hours away, accomodations would need made. Some of our family members don't get along with the opposing family, blah blah blah blah.

She isn't going to remember it anyways. I am just so frustrated by it all. And slightly dissapointed. I so wanted to do something but I suppose a big formal event with crazy relatives pinching her cheeks would only frustrate her right? A picnic and the zoo would be much better, no?

What are you doing/did? What would you do? Anyone else scrap it?


Keisha - posted on 03/16/2010




We had the whole sha bang for both of our children's first birthday's. The first birthday and party is always a big deal in our families. However, there is nothing wrong with anything you just said. I like the picnic idea as well as the zoo. I think having a small picnic with a few other little kids would be lots of fun for her. Have a few toys for them to run around and play with and a big bottle of bubbles to blow in the air for them to chase and..... BAM! Awesome party for a one year old!


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Rita - posted on 01/30/2012




It seems that many have forgotten about McDonalds as a party venue. I'm guilty myself but I'm so happy it came to mind because my little one will be celebrating his Big 1 in February and I wanted to keep it small because he's so small. For my 1st born we celebrated at home with friends and family but I don't want to be troubled with the aftermath (clean up) so McDonalds it is and surprisingly they offer so much (including the birthday cake) for all under $100. I spent more than that hosting my 1st born son's at our home. I think my friends/family will follow my lead when they see all the perks that McDonalds offer for such low cost. Besides, I don't know of any children who do not like McDonalds (especially their playground). I'm looking forward to celebrating my baby's first at our local Mickey D's; plus they provide a host to help out.

Crystal - posted on 03/28/2011




I had the whole big huge party for my daughter when she turned one. However, with my baby boy, I just don't have the energy...LOL! Maybe it is being the mother of two or perhaps that I just finished my daughter's huge 6 year old shindig. I think we are just going to do a small party at the park. I do plan to have food and an inflatable for the smaller children that will be there.

Laura - posted on 03/16/2010




Don't feel you have to have a party for other people! there will be much bigger things to have a party about later. The kids don't care, only the "grown-ups". Your zoo/cake idea sounds great. Stick to it. Don't worry about presents anyway, kids get enough stuff from everyone else - or re wrap some of her toys she hasn't played with in a while - she'll think its great! We are even debating not having a 2nd birthday party for our little girl....she's really happy to go to others partys, wouldn't care less if it was for her or not. So why stress out about organising it when you don't have to?

Katherine - posted on 03/16/2010




My mom put together an album of me, all me from when I was little. It was fantastic. She put photos of my daughter in the other half.

Francesca - posted on 03/16/2010




Here in lies the rub, if I invite one, I have to invite all. I have 9 siblings. Many have partners and kids now too. Then there is my Dh's side. Both from European families. So cousins and aunts and uncles and such are also mandatory. Plus my family is a split family....And I could never get away with inviting friends without family first. All can't agree to one day, or to be near each other.

My sister just emailed me today asking when the party was. I told her there was none. She is terribly mean to my Dh and his family. And is not shy about what she says. She made my baby shower memorable for all the wrong reasons. And she is already starting a revolt because she wants a party.

So, I think I will just try to get away with just going to the zoo with my little monster and Dh. Bring a chocolate cake with our picnic and let her go nuts. Unwrap a few presents and call it a day.

Although I have to admit the only thing I have prepared to give her so far is a few books I bought today and I planned on giving her a package of RESP information and its account balance I have invested thus far. I know it doesn't sound exciting but I thought it would be a nice tradition to start that she can see on her birthday every year how much more I have put towards her future. Does anyone have any fun birthday traditions? What are suitable first birthday gifts? Does anyone have something they remember their parents doing that meant so much?

Kasey - posted on 03/16/2010




I like your idea too, but like someone else suggested, if she has any little friends you could invite them to come along too. It wouldnt have to be anything formal, just a picnic and then everyone can wander off and do their own thing :)

[deleted account]

My daughter's first birthday was a trip to the zoo and a picnic. It was a lovely way to celebrate her first birthday. If that is what you wish to do, I say "go for it". There is no rule to say you have to have a big party for every Tom, Dick or Harry. Celebrate the way you want. And remember to take lots of photos.

Katherine - posted on 03/15/2010




My daughter will be one tomorrow(3/16) Saturday we had close family and a quaint little party, not a ton of gifts or a million kids...just her first cousins. The only thing I splurged on was the cake. It was warm and cozy. Then today my aunt came over and we had another little get together and that was it.

With my first we went ALL out and it was insane-truly insane. She had so much junk....ugh

I think going to the zoo is an excellent idea, after all the first birthday party is really for the parents. If it's that important though, maybe you should try to make it work so you don't have regrets....

Blackwood - posted on 03/15/2010




you are right she won't remember, but you will and you will talk about it for years too come with her, so I think going too the zoo and concentrating on ONLY her is a great way to celebrate. You can get lost in such a big event that when you look back you might remember getting to spend that much time with her on that very special day. I think it is very meaningful and the pictures you will have will last a lifetime along with memory of sharing it together and that is what counts. I wouldn't even give it second thought. Go enjoy the day and looking at how much she has grown in the past year. If anyone asks, you can simple tell them it's such a special birthday too you that you wanted too take it all in without any distractions and that there will be plenty of birthdays too celebrate with other. Lets face it, before you know it our little ones will be 16 and want a birthday party that will be too lame too have their folks there. Happy Birthday to your daughter.

Raysha - posted on 03/15/2010




I don't blame you for not wanting to throw her a party. Take her to the zoo and when you get home or before you leave, have some cake and ice cream and open gifts. Make sure to take lots of pics because the 1st birthday is special just like her 16th, prom, and graduation.

Brandi - posted on 03/15/2010




I didn't scrap it, but only limited it to close family (her aunts and uncles and grandparents, a close aunt and uncle of mine who have been like a second set of parents and have become much like a 6th set of grandparents for my kids). I think a picnic (with cake???) and a trip to the zoo with those who mean the most to her are fantastic ways to celebrate her birthday. I would def. turn the picnic into a birthday party for whoever is coming with you guys (even if it's just you, your hubby, and your baby). Do the whole letting her mash cake in her face and have her first taste of ice cream. Give her a gift to open, etc. and TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES you're stupid relatives will be sorry they missed out. :-)

Abbie - posted on 03/15/2010




When my son was 1, I was so stressed. It was a pain. My DH and I both have good sized families, so our immediate family was 35 people. But what we did was: those 35 people, 2 hours, snacks, gifts, cake............then out of there. this year for his 2nd we are doing the same except we are doing a breakfast party. 10-12 pm, rolls, coffee. Its all in what you are ok with. I can't just do a no party in our family that happens more when the kids are older. Do what works for you!!!!!

Courtney - posted on 03/15/2010




my daughter jaden is going to be 1in april as well. % have been stressing out so much about trying to plan her party where to have it decorations cake invites where are we going to put all these ppl that it makes me not so excited about it anymore just more stressed iut. Our family is so large and inviting everyone is to hard and would be so overwhelming for her. I agree completley with you I think a small special day at the zoo and a picnic is so cute and intimate and special. I wish I could do that.. Have a great special day

Jess - posted on 03/15/2010




We are doing a mix of things for Ava's first birthday. My partners family don't believe in birthdays and have refused to acknowledge the event which has made me upset but Im marching on, its their loss.

My daughter was born on a public holiday and that holiday now falls the day before her b'day this year. So we will have a small party for her on the wednesday because everyone will be off work ! we are taking her to the zoo on the thursday (her actual b'day), she gets her 1 year injections on the Friday, and we Sail away on the Saturday for a 1 week cruise around the south pacific ! Vanuatu here we come !!!

Because we are going away we arn't spending a great deal on the party, just family and some close friends. Probably a bbq.... and the centre piece will be the cake which I have already picked out and hoping to have a work college make !

Danielle - posted on 03/15/2010




Francesca I love your idea...You are right she wont remember it. And spending the day with her and your husband is a nice quiet thing to do. For my sons 1st b day we had a huge party rented a hall did the whole nine yards. Ya my son had fun but not even an hour into it he was soo tired that he threw himself on the floor and was cuddling with his blanket. At this age its soo overwhelming for them. Well I hope its a good day for your little princess on her special day!

Peita - posted on 03/15/2010




Do you have friends that have small children that you do things with?? I would just invite then on a picnic or to the zoo and make it about the kids, not a huge extended family event! I tend to only invite the people my children have a lot to do with, kids parties should be filled with kids, not adults! You will never be able to make everyone happy, so why not just have something small that isn't as stressful as a family event! We too have a big family and I only invite local family that we see all the time to my kids parties and then the friends who have children that we do other things with are invited also!

Erika - posted on 03/15/2010




I'm not having a huge party either, just family and a few close friends. We're going to the beach for a picnic and some fun for a few hours and than back home. The party is mostly for the parents, but you do want to get a lot of pictures so that she can look at them when she is older. I love looking at stuff that my mom saved for me and my first birthday pictures were pretty comical :D

Firebird - posted on 03/15/2010




When my daughter turned one 5 people attended her party, and they were all close friends of mine. We had cake and sang happy birthday and she opened the presents her dad and I got her. Her dad's grandma came over the next day to give Rhiannon her present.

There's no point in throwing a big party for a one year old, it's all for the parents anyways. Someone recently mentioned here that she was going to have a huge party for her one year old with 67 people attending. I think that's ridiculous. Chances are baby would get overwhelmed by it and cranky... just having not much fun and she really should be able to have fun on her birthdays, even if she's too young to know what it means. I would definitely go with the zoo idea. That sounds great! =)

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