Should I throw a party for my daughter's first birthday?

Kristel - posted on 07/13/2010 ( 56 moms have responded )

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People are telling me I need to throw a party for my daughter's first birthday. My husband and I don't even remember ours and think the money would be better spent to her education, or to her next birthday party she would remember. My question is are we just being cheap and what is the real reason for putting out all this money into a child's first birthday?

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Heather - posted on 07/13/2010

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We had one. It wasn't much I got all the stuff for it at the dollar store. We bbq'd and had some friends and family over. She won't remember it but I will remember the smile one her face the whole day and that was so worth it.

Danielle - posted on 07/19/2010

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In my never to humble opinion a child's first birthday is all about the parents. There is absolutely not reason to throw a part for this occasion, but a simple cake and a photo is a nice touch to any family photo album. Save your money, children at that age do not understand gifts, everything new is gift in their eyes. Enjoy the cake, and make it a healthy one considering who will be eating it. blessings! danielle

Christina - posted on 07/19/2010

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My son will be 1 in sept. And we asked the same thing~ why bother he's not going to remember it. We were told its more for the parents and family and friends then the baby. We gave in and we're giving him a little party at my parents house. We're not being cheap but not extravegant either. Just take tons of pictures so you can show your daughter her first birthday party. Pictures will be her greatest memeories when she gets older.

Sherri - posted on 07/14/2010

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Oh it should be a huge party it is one of the biggest birthdays and milestones We have had there largest birthdays for there 1st one. Why deprive her of that. She made a year everyone will be so excited and want to celebrate it with you. I think that is very selfish and yes cheap as you said. But why does it have to be expensive make a cake, have a cookout or serve pizza, or sandwich platters and chips. Just because you throw her a big party doesn't mean it has to be about money.

Keisha - posted on 07/14/2010

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I must say that for both of my sons we threw some pretty big parties for their first birthdays. In our family the first birthday is a really big deal and as someone else said its more for the adults celebrating your child, along with the pictures and the idea that its the childs "1st" than the child being able to remember it. Now, despite all of that, heck no you aren't being cheap! If you don't want to have one than its perfectly fine.

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Lacey - posted on 10/04/2011

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Absolutly! its just as much your milestone as it is hers! you made it your first year! yay! Get the supplies and balloons from the dollar store. Make some cupcakes and toddler food that she likes and invite couple of friends that have kids her age and some family. everything from the cake to the food to the decorations/balloons was like $65. it was so wonderful and my kids enjoyed it!

Sherri - posted on 07/19/2010

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See I don't see it as a party I view it as a celebration of my child's life!! They should all be celebrated so many babies don't ever live to see this miraculous milestone. So every birthday for all of my children is celebrated and they should be surrounded by everyone who loves them. All of there family and our closest of family friends.

[deleted account]

They are already bringing presents. It's rude to ask them to bring food too.

Kathy, I understand what you are saying. But a close family get-together is at least 40 people in this family. Huge family. And we love to get be together, and children's birthday parties are a great excuse for us to do that.

[deleted account]

The first birthday is special for family and maybe close friends and godparents and the photos are worth hoever little you spend. Why not make it a "bring your own" with you supplying the cake and candles; a plate or 2 of children's snacks and some cooldrinks.

[deleted account]

I think a special family outing or a close family get-together provides a great opportunity for photos that will always bring back memories, and, I think, more meaningful than spending lots of money on parties that are mainly for the adults.

[deleted account]

I agree with you Sherri (for once...lol!). I understand that some people don't do big birthday parties and don't spend a lot. But in our family it's another excuse to get together...which we love! I invite all our aunts and uncles (20 in all) and the cousins that have children and our friends with children. The past two years we've had bbq hamburgers and the food plus paper goods cost about $150. My sister's gift to my daughter is always a homemade cake (she loves cake decorating) so that is not an expense. My husband and I do get her a gift, but only something she needs. For her first year it was a bookshelf. This year it was a potty chair. We don't do bounce houses, the kids run and play in the yard. That's just how parties are done in this family. We expect the expense and save for it. I don't think it's unreasonable for the people who love your kids to want to come over and celebrate the day.

But like I said in my previous post, a party is not necessary. Don't spend the money if you don't have it. Or just do something simple with grandparents. But that wouldn't fly in a million years with my family, whom I love dearly.

Sherri - posted on 07/19/2010

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Because you don't ask people to come to your house for 3 birthday parties a year and have them supply all the food. I may ask my mom to bring some water or some bags of chips but never more than that.

Tina - posted on 07/19/2010

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I had one with all three of my kids. Nothing fancy, just some family ;and close friends. Its pretty much for the adults. Its so awesome to see them with cake all over there face. Make a cake and call it good or not totally up to you. Doesnt need to b expensive.

[deleted account]

Do what you want to do. If you'd rather save the money, I think that's smart.

One suggestion, if it's grandparents telling you to throw the party, have them over on her real birthday for dinner. Have cake and ice cream for dessert. That way they can see her on her birthday, and have a chance to give her presents. Grandparents like to spoil, and I don't think they should be denied that opportunity.

But I agree that a big fancy party is pointless.

Sarah - posted on 07/18/2010

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yes 1st bdays are more for the parents then the baby but i personally think should do something small bake a cake a toy and close friend and family some people who have had babys and lost them before a year old ( i lost my first daughter at 7 weeks due to sids) would LOVE the chance to celebrate a babys year mark. my daughter would have been a year in august and im thining of doing something for her in memory with just the people i live with and make a cake because i didnt have the chance to do so with her. but i HOPE to do something small for my second baby that is due soon i want to do something small with a few family members or whatever just for pictures and MEMORIES you dont have to do something all out you can make a homemade cake dont have to spend money on cake mix though if you dont have ingrediants on hand for homemade cake and frosting then it would probally be cheaper and a year old safe toy is only a couple bucks at retail stores so you could do a little thing for probally less then 20 bucks just for the sake of doing something they might not remember it per say but they can look back and see that you did a little something for their birthday it only comes once a year so for a few years just spend a max of 50 until they have friends and start socailizing more and have fun enjoy your babys years cause i wish i could with my first daughter!!!

SA'NAI - posted on 07/18/2010

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alot of people say its really a waiste of money but the pictures are going 2 b a great memory!!!i say do it

Laura - posted on 07/18/2010

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I never had fancy schmancy parties as a child either, but nowadays pple are doing so. At 1, I think family, a cake (maybe a little individual one just for the child) is good enough. One or two presents to tear into~lots of love, laughing and affection=Great 1st birthday!

Kirsty - posted on 07/18/2010

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i done a party 4 my sons first birthday nothing sepecial just a few friends and family he may not remember it but i will ! but i must agree my youngest is 1 next april and im not sure if i wanna throw him a party as he wont remember but still in debate as its just nice 2 look back on wen hes older x

Kandyce - posted on 07/18/2010

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The memories for your childs first birthday are priceless. And also you can show the pictures to your daughter when she wants to see them as she gets older. She will thank you for this when she has her own children.

Jess - posted on 07/17/2010

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omg! of corse u should have a first birthday! its a celabration of ther first year here every1 to them self though i spent a couple of thousand of my girls first birthday and i will have another first birthday for my second girl in march which i cant wait for!

[deleted account]

I honestly don't think there's much point in a party at such a young age. It becomes a function for adults, and the child won't remember it.

How about a special family outing - the zoo, the aquarium or somewhere?

Kerryann - posted on 07/17/2010

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I gave my daughter a 1st birthday party, even though she doesnt remember it i do and have some lovely photos for her to look back on. It wasnt a big event just some friends and family and she really enjoyd the day. She hasnt had one since but im throwing her a suprise one for her 5th birthday which i know she will remember lol :).
You dont have to throw her a birthday party and you differently are not being cheap, I think you and your husband should do what you think is best and not let other people pressure you into it :)

Tiffany - posted on 07/16/2010

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ummmm YA! dont hafta be too big jus a you your husband & whoever close..and bc its the mark of a YEAR since you delivered her...and ya..you can get everything you need at the dollar store for setup, by a cake mix..its NOT expensive whatsoever...its more so when they get older with lots of friends!

Katrina - posted on 07/16/2010

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do what ever you want she wont remember it anyway lol! I'm having one but only as I dont want presents for her but donations etc to support lifeflight, Ronald Macdonald house wellington and NICU wellington to thank then for her safe delivery and all the support otherwise I wouldnt bother. Some people I now just have immediate family around for a bbq or pot luck rather than a party but in the end until they old enough to understand why bother?

Amanda - posted on 07/16/2010

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Take pictures. Nostalgia is the reason. You don't have to go overboard but it's her 1st Birthday. Do something for it. She won't remember but you will.

Jessica - posted on 07/16/2010

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While 1st Birthday's may be seen as an event for mom and dad, it's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate your daughter's first year, a time to acknowledge how truly blessed you are to reach this milestone. Keep it as simple as you want, but I think you'll regret letting this day pass without some form of celebration.



A suggestion, throw a picture party. Have friends and family bring over pictures of your daughter that they may have, most people develop doubles, save to cd or have pics on a memory stick...let them share with you and gift picture albums or frames and spend an afternoon putting your pictures in the frames and albums all the time remembering all the firsts; first trip to grandmas, first bath, first visit to friends...whatever. Have a simple lunch and a cupcake for smooshing...



The important part is that you take some out to say this day is important, my daughter is healthy and beautiful and lots of parents can't say that...so yes, have a party, a get together, a quite moment with just you and your husband to marvel over the precious gift you have been given.

Sherri - posted on 07/16/2010

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Well if you have a less expensive way to feed 20-30 immediate family members and only the closest of friends I all for hearing it.

Kim - posted on 07/16/2010

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I think you have a few options, like others have said. Maybe you could invite friends and family and say no presents bring a plate of food. then all you need is balloons and a cake which you can make yourself. However if you do decide not to have one at all ( and thats fine too) make sure you, your chid and your husband have a moment to celebrate together. Maybe going out for tea, or a few cupcakes with candles and take a moment to celebrate the fact that not only has your child turned 1 but you have been "parents" for a whole year! Congratulations

Michelle - posted on 07/16/2010

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I must admit, I think it's pretty pointless having a party for a childs first birthday as they don't remember it. I think my daughters didn't have their first "proper" party until they were in pre-school and had made friends of their own. We did have family/close friends come and visit and still had a little birthday cake and sang happy birthday to make it a bit special, but not a party.

Samantha - posted on 07/16/2010

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i think that a 1st birthday is more for the parents my partner and i have had our first child and we are going all out on her first xmas 1st birthday its things that we will remember and they can look back on photos and videos and enjoy it later in life :)

Cheryl - posted on 07/15/2010

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The baby's first party is for the parents not the kid!! I knew someone who had a first b'day party wi dozens of people of all ages and spent hundreds of dollars.. my kids' first parties were cake after dinner and a couple new toys.. if relatives live close by then maybe they came too!! Save yourself some time, energy and money.. take some cute pics or video of her wi cake all over her face and wi her new toys and there you go!!

[deleted account]

I have 5 siblings so we never really had bday parties, no biggie cuz its not like there was a shortage of kids or anything ;) Mom would always make/buy a cake and make our favorite meal on our bdays... I've never had, or been to a bday w/a moon bounce thing nor do I imagine renting one for my sons...the best bday parties we had, when we were allowed to invite literally 1-2 friends! were sleepovers! So we're talking middle school!!! 6-8th grade! I remember I'd always get a store bought german chocolate cake, my brother joe would always get pumpkin pie :) It was great, small and sweet! :) Made those sleepovers EXTRA special! We just have BBQs @ home...I asked my soon to be 4 yr old what he wanted to do, if he wanted to go to the zoo, OMSI, or the Portland Children's Museum...fishing maybe? NOTHING! All he wanted was his friends over for a monster truck bday @ home! Can't argue with that! ♥ Although even inviting 5 kids, who bring their 2 parents...a little over 20 ppl, I end up spending atleast $100! So I can see how its easy to spend that kind of $$$ w/feeding ppl etc.!

Kristel - posted on 07/15/2010

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Sherri,
I am sorry but I am not going to be spending $100 to $300 dollars every birthday, but I do and have always planned to make her a cake just so she can smash it and take a picture and just have a close gathering for her birthday at home. What matters to me every birthday is to know I am loved and just a simple phone call suffices, I don't even get that on birthdays... So yes I know what it's like to not celebrate my birthday, but it's just another year God has let me live, and I know God loves me enough to let me live. I don't want my child to think her life has to be all about money or worldly possessions. I just want to make her birthday a little special, not spectacular that I have to really try to out do it every year after.

Crystal - posted on 07/15/2010

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i think 1st birthday parties are important and they are fun to look back at you dont have to go all out but they are nice to remember

Joanne - posted on 07/15/2010

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U should have somethin small with just family and close friends thats memorable:-)

Sherri - posted on 07/15/2010

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It is only because we have such a large family as I said that really is just for the paper goods and cook out food. When you have 5 siblings + spouses between you and your husband, grandparents, cousins, Aunts, and 8 nieces and nephews, plus just your closest friends with there spouses and these kids it can't be so inexpensive they were the most important people in our lives and I couldn't not invite them. So we don't do anything over the top. No store bought cakes, I don't buy my kids gifts there party is there gift.

Deborah - posted on 07/15/2010

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$100 -$300 each child each birthday... I'm glad you can afford that, although tbh I wouldn't be spending $300 on a childs birthday party until she's in school. At this age thats just insane



My daughters first cost about £10 (at home buffet for grandparents), her second was about £15 (2 friends and her to soft play) and her third was about £30 (2 friends and her and 2 parents for lunch) - The third was only so much because I couldn't really invite the kids for lunch and insist the parents bought their own...



I would say mark the day, even with a cake and you and daddy and a camera, but you don't have to go to town and book a bouncy castle or something.

Sherri - posted on 07/15/2010

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My kids avg. party costs $100-$300 I make all there cakes and that is simply for some balloons, food, & paper items most parties average about 20 or more people because my husband and I come from large families and all extended family comes as well, plus all of our closest friends, plus the kids friends they want to invite as well.



P.S. They may not remember now but I know my boys love to look through all there pictures and want to see how much they changed, what the themes were, who was there, what there cake was. They only get to be 1, 2, 3 etc once it should be celebrated. How sad if nothing is done and there are no pictures no memories to look back on. How important or special are they going to feel when they are old enough to understand.



Makes me sad that people would want to deprive there LO's a celebration on this remarkable day. How would you guys as adults feel if your birthday wasn't acknowledged because now your to old. I would be personally crushed. Birthdays are a huge deal in our family all children, aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, spouses birthdays are all celebrated. No one is every forgotten or left out. We even have a family phone list with all birthdays listed so that we all know when someones is coming.

Danielle - posted on 07/15/2010

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I don't think you're being cheap if you're planning on putting the money to good use like her education. To each their own. I had a first birthday party for my son but I realize it was more for myself than for him because like you said, he totally won't remember it.

Rashmi - posted on 07/15/2010

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I completely agree with you...and i think one should save it for a better purpose. Anyways the kids dont remember their first birthdays...or even a few next b'days...till they grow up and start going to school...once that happens they themselves will insist on celebrating their b'days (since their frnds are doing so).

Keli - posted on 07/15/2010

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my question is, how much money do you think your actually going to spend? is it really so much that you must put it toward education?! we all want our kids to have a college fund, but, really - have some people over and give the kid a birthday party!!!!! make a deal about it IT ONLY HAPPENS ONCE

[deleted account]

Your ideas about joint party & build a bear sound fun to me for a 1 & 3 yr old!!! What better way to spend the say then w/cousins!!! :) I would just make sure your daughter has her own little cake so she can go crazy w/it!



We only ever have BBQs for my son's bday! We tried to do a big party for his 1st and only 3 groups of ppl I'd invited showed up, how disappointing! After that, we've only invited close friends and fam and have had great parties the last 2 yrs! Planning for another great one in 2 wks :) Our 2nd born's 1st bday will be in Sept. I was thinking about zoo, but my husband wants to just do the bbq again and it'll probably be better for cleanup! Cuz that sucked at the park!!! :) We also decided we'd reserve the zoo for when he can remember it :) or atleast enjoy it more!

Jasmine - posted on 07/15/2010

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You should do what you want to do (and not what others want you to do). I have chosen to have a party for my son- but to be honest it is probably more for me!! :) As a compromise you could have a party of just immediate family with a cake to mark the occassion - whatever you decide to do have a lovely day with your daughter!

Zoe - posted on 07/14/2010

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My doughters first birthday was spent snow chasing up in the darbyshire dales we had a great time, stopping off at different cafes and so on it was not planed but when the forcast came on we new we had to do it, do what fits both you and your child and have fun together.

LAQUETTA - posted on 07/14/2010

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DONT YOU KNOW WE PARENTS WASTE SO MUCH MNY ON 1ST BDAYS FOR OUR KIDS,JUST TAKE HER TO CHUCKY CHEESE OR JUST TO THE PARK AND ENJOY HER AND LOVE HER ON HER DAY OK SWEETI SHE ISNT GOING TO REMEMBER PRBLY ANYWAYS

Kristel - posted on 07/14/2010

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Okay, I am so thankful for all of your responses. I was just going to have a small party and make her a cake and let her smash it all over if she wanted and invite family to come over if they wanted, but they thought I was nuts. I think my inlaws on my husbands side had like 50 people over for their daughters first birthday, went out and got a cake, and had store bought happy birthday balloons, and then for her 2nd Birthday they had a petting zoo. To me the whole party seemed so rediculous and the kids kept crying from the ducks biting them. I just thought it was all for show. I feel like because we don't have that much money and think it's not something we would want for our child that his family thought I was crazy. Infact I had this great idea to ask my other reasonable sister inlaw if she wanted to have her son's birthday party with my daughters first birthday. Their birthdays are only two weeks apart and he turns 3 and lives out of the area, so it would be great to have a family get together for both of the kids. I thought build a bear would be ok and something fun for the kids considering there will only be 3 and it's very hard for my family to show up, they probably won't. I am sure that will be a good idea, what do you guys think?

Amanda - posted on 07/14/2010

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Why not do a potluck for her birthday party? Then it wont cost to much? I dont understand costly birthbday partys for any child, at any age. But I think a child should have some sort of birthday party, eps the first birthday, this birthday isnt about your child as much as its about family.

Deborah - posted on 07/14/2010

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I just had family round for a buffet for my daughters first. There was her, me, her dad, my mum and gran (my dad isn't on the scene anymore) and dads mum and dad and gran. At one its not like they have a big circle of friends. Even my dd's 2nd and 3rd were small affair with a couple of her friends. I imagine the big ones start when they start school.

As someone mentioned before the birthday isn't for the LO, she won't even know whats going on let alone remember it. Its just an excuse to get her all done up pretty and have family that maybe don't see her as often as they would like to coo over her.

It doesn't have to be expensive, couple of packs of coctail sausages and some sausage rolls and you're flying.

Catherine - posted on 07/14/2010

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I completely agree with you, and my husband and I don't plan on having a party for our son's first. I also agree with Nicky, birthday parties for children this young are for the adults, not the child. If you want a party, go for it, if not, don't worry about it. She'll never know the difference.

Laurel - posted on 07/14/2010

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I had a gathering at the house for both of my children's first birthdays. If birthdays are important to you (they are in my family), then do a small thing. Get the dollar bag of balloons, blow them up by mouth and let her go. I cooked spaghetti and had a cake. It was an excuse to have everyone over and it was really cheap (apx. $40-50).

My bff and mother of my godson took a different route and had his a this park w/ rides and stuff. She ended up paying so much money for the rides since it wouldn't be fair if some guests didn't get to go. Then there was the food that she had to cook and pay for which was not simple. She regreted not listening to me.

K.I.S. Is my motto. They will never remember it but it's nice to have the pictures for the scrap books and we had a good time watching tv and hanging out. I repeat those simple parties every year b/c they won't remember until they are four or five and they still won't care. Cake, gifts, hot dogs, friends & family: that's all kids really need.

Tamara - posted on 07/14/2010

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im not a big birthday party person put i did throw my daughter a 1st birthday and we just had a spit and salad and it was only close family and friends.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 07/14/2010

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First I don’t in no way think you all are being cheap, I think its smart to save and have a big bash later on when she can truly remember! But I also feel that the 1st birthday should be celebrated, even if it’s just a cupcake. My son is half Korean and in their culture the first birthday is one of the most Important because when a baby makes it to 1 healthy and happy, and full of life it is a joyous time!! Even though She won’t remember it, you can take pictures for her to look back on. In the end you should do whatever it is that works for you :-)

[deleted account]

The first birthday celebration is for the adults, not the kids. If you don't want to have one...don't. We had an afternoon tea just with immediate family. I baked a cake, my daughter had fun smooshing the cake and trying to eat the candles, we took some cute photos and that was it.



We did the same thing for her second birthday {but with more cake eating than smooshing} and we made it a family outing to a park.



We have no intention of throwing her an actual party until she reaches school.

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