Making it through the first year with your little one is an achievement only the parents can truly appreciate. From mastering diaper changes and erratic sleep schedules to seeing your newborn grow into an adorable toddler, there’s a lot to celebrate. Your baby’s first birthday isn’t one they’ll remember, and yet, you want to make it a special occasion. Read through some of these easy ideas on how to celebrate your baby’s first birthday, and by the end of it, we’re sure you’ll have that perfect idea in mind.

baby's first birthday, party, toddler

There are plenty of great ideas to celebrate your baby’s birthday!

When To Have Baby’s First Birthday Celebrations

You’re probably thinking, “This is a no-brainer.” Naturally, you’d celebrate a birthday on the right date, right? This is certainly convenient if you’ve planned a small, private celebration with just you, your partner and your little one-year-old. But if you’re keen on having a few family members over, or even having a big bash, you have to plan the celebration on a day when most people are available.

The weekend before or after your baby’s birthday is a good time for you to plan the celebrations. Planning a party on a public holiday can be tempting, but we’d recommend avoiding this. Opting for a weekend is better since you know for sure that most people will be free and available. Being your baby’s first birthday, you may also have things like a priest’s blessing or a havan planned. Ideally, spread things out over a few days so your little one isn’t tired and cranky.

The timing of your bash is also important – remember that your baby is still very much a sleeping, eating, growing and crying baby! Try to plan your party for after your baby’s nap time. This ensures that they’re well-rested and they won’t be too cranky. Limit it to a few hours – a lot of activity is overwhelming for a one-year-old.

Choosing A Venue

If you have a small party planned for just immediate family and a few friends, you can have the party at home itself. If the party has extended family as well as other friends with little babies of their own, opt for a bigger venue. This ensures that there’s enough space to go around. You could choose to opt for a terrace or a hall; the choice depends on your preferences, the number of people and the budget.

The advantage of having something outside, like in a hotel or restaurant, is that there’s no food preparation or cleaning up to worry about. On the other hand, a home party lets guests hang around for longer, and you can simply put your baby in their cradle when they need a nap.

Whatever you choose, make sure the venue has a safe place for your baby and their toddler friends and cousins to play. Also keep a clean place so other parents can easily change diapers, and a quiet corner for the sleepy children to take a nap.

Food For The Celebration

You need to think of your guests when planning the menu for your baby’s first birthday. Are there going to be babies and toddlers? Will there be older children? Finger foods and snacks that toddlers can easily eat are the best options to go for. These can include things like slices of cucumber, potato chips, chicken or veggie fingers, and cheese sandwiches. This sort of food is the type that both kids and adults will enjoy. Ensure you steer clear of choking hazards like peanuts, grapes, and dry fruits, and include easy-to-bite foods like paneer, yogurt and gulab jamun. Also ensure you have a few snack options for babies from 9 to 12 months old.

And of course, no birthday is complete without a cake! You have a few choices to choose from here. For one, you can go the traditional way and opt for a regular cake, cut into it and distribute slices. If there are a lot of kids, you may worry about them touching the cake, or blowing out baby’s candles. In this case, make cupcakes the norm, and keep a special cupcake for your baby. This also saves the hassle of distributing cake slices around.

cake, baby birthday, birthday party

You can choose to have a traditional cake for your baby, or opt for cupcakes instead.

A good idea is to keep all the food and drink self-serve. Ensure you inform your guests of the same, and keep enough cutlery and glasses handy. This way, you don’t need to keep going around serving everyone. This can be of great help for a bigger party with more people.

Games For A Baby’s First Birthday

Including games is a completely personal choice, and doesn’t have to be restricted to parties with kids. For instance, you and your immediate family + friends can have some fun playing games and being kids too! A good idea is to delegate games to a few of the older kids. They’ll have something to keep them entertained, and they can help grab the attention of the younger kids. Of course, you can also plan and host your own games for everyone.

But, there are a few important things to keep in mind when planning games for your baby’s first birthday party. Any sudden, loud noises are going to startle and frighten your baby. This means avoiding firecrackers, balloons and party poppers. Plus, avoid small objects since they’re choking hazards. This means no games involving small mints, marbles or anything else. Simple things you can do are dancing games, finding mini soft toys around the house, coloring or blowing bubbles.

If you want to involve the adults, turn to fun quizzes! You can have a general quiz with questions like when did you and your partner first meet, what time was your baby born, etc. You can also have a quiz centered entirely around your baby! Add questions like, “what is baby’s favorite food, which song makes baby dance, which color does baby love the most,” and more.

Photograph Hacks

You’re definitely going to keep those phones and cameras charged and around to capture the sweet moments. But firstly, remember, babies can be unpredictable. The crowd, the noise, the general excitement or simply tiredness, all these things can make your baby cranky throughout the party. This means a red, crying baby in all your photos! The best thing to do to avoid this risk is to simply take some photos beforehand. Get your baby dressed in their party best and get all those happy, smiling photos with the cake, the decor, and of course, with the proud parents!

Secondly, no matter how many cakes or presents, when your toddler needs you, they need you and you only. You’re still going to have to be the hands-on parent you’ve been, and this can make photography a bit tricky. A good idea is to delegate the role of photographer to a few close friends. This way, you can attend to your baby and keep them smiling while your friends capture all the precious moments that unfold. This also ensures that you’re in the photos with your baby as well!

Personalize The Party

Through all the planning, remember that this occasion celebrates a big milestone for your little one. The celebrations should still be centered around them. A good way to personalize your party is to choose a theme based on your baby’s favorites. Baby loves yellow? Go for a summery sunny theme. Baby loves puppies? Make sure there are a few puppy-related things to go around, like puppies printed on the napkins, or small puppy soft toy giveaways. 

You can take this a step further by creating an entire pinboard of your baby’s favorite picks. Put up photos of their favorite animals, the name of their favorite song, their favorite foods, etc. You can also show your baby’s first year in photographs, starting right from the ultrasound photo you get to photos in each month, to the latest photo.

Other Celebration Ideas

Want to do something different to mark one year of your lovely little baby? There’s plenty to choose from! A party is far from necessary to mark this momentous occasion. If your little one loves the outdoors, visit a nearby park and have a picnic. Make sure they get to roll around in the grass! Take them to the beach and let them play in the sand, delighting at the waves crashing in. Need a few ideas for a small, private yet meaningful celebration with your partner and baby? Simply put up a few streamers and play your baby’s favorite music, and sing happy birthday to them of course!

baby birthday, decorations, cake

Whether you have a big party or a small one, make sure you have some decor that can make your baby smile.


Your baby’s first birthday marks a year of learning from mistakes, crying and laughing, and small and big milestones. Of course, this year also includes important things like evolving diets and plenty of vaccinations. Whether your baby is a newborn or a toddler, it’s never too late to start properly keeping track of your baby’s vaccinations. And how about keeping track of their milestones and nutrition as well? Make sure you download the ImmunifyMe app that can help you with all of these things.

FAQs On Baby’s First Birthday

What Should I Do For Baby’s First Birthday?

What you choose to do for your baby’s first ever birthday is completely up to you. You can have a small private party, or a big bash. You could even go to a zoo or the beach. Remember to center the day around your baby since it is, after all, about them.

Who Do You Invite To Baby’s First Birthday?

Some people you could invite when your baby turns one is your parents and in-laws, as well as close friends. You could also invite people who have helped you make it through the first year as parents, whether they’re neighbors or family members.

Is It Important To Celebrate 1st Birthday?

If by ‘celebrate’ you mean ‘have a party,’ then no, it isn’t. But your baby turning one certainly deserves some sort of celebration, so even if you don’t throw a party, make sure you get them some cake and a gift or two, or three!

What Activities Do 1-Year-Olds Enjoy?

One-year-olds enjoy making noises with toys, rattles, bells and things like spoons or plates. They also enjoy getting their hands dirty in things like sand, mud and dough. They can also have fun trying to stack blocks one over the other.