You finally made it! One year of being a parent. That's enough reason to celebrate right there. You've figured out how to get out the door with a baby, you don't have spit up all over you, you seem more well rested, you may even have enough time to Netflix and chill, with a glass of wine (or two). That's already success in my book, but alas you now have a task to do. I know, how dare anyone give you another task, isn't making it this far and your child is still alive enough? Yes, yes it is, HOWEVER, if you like an excuse to throw a party and are ready to put way too much on your plate even though you're already spread far too thin, then hear me out, we have a lot in common.
The first birthday bash! There's a couple routes we can take here- you can go batsh*t crazy, with a guest list of everyone you know + all of your kids buddies in their music class, get a pony, a lot of booze, a full band, and a photo booth OR you can get a candle and a cupcake and your closest fam and call it a day. Seriously, either option is legit. It's nice to celebrate your child turning one and they may or may not appreciate it but, let's be honest, this party is for you and for MAKING IT A WHOLE YEAR.
Let's pretend that you fall somewhere in between these two extremes - you want to throw a party because it's a new parent right of passage but you don't want to get cray. Here are some key things to remember:
- Decide what kind of party you want. Is this the all out bash or are we going for low key?
- What lucky peeps are invited to celebrate? Make a list.
- What's the theme? You don't really need one but I find a theme helps make the planning easier for you and more fun for your guests!
- No matter your theme, think BALLOONS. A LOT OF THEM. The big gold ones that say your kids name, the ones that are balloons inside balloons, the ones that arch over. Or just get a bunch and let em' loose. I don't know why, but balloons make you look like you did a thing and can be done on the cheap.
- What kind of entertainment do you want? You should definitely have at least 30 minutes of SOMETHING. I may be biased, but music and dancing is always a hit for the little ones (and the big kids too).
- Have a few toys out for the kids to play with for the time that there isn't entertainment- think learning walker, blocks, a few instruments. Honestly, they're probably more interested in the tissue paper from the gift bags so again no need to go crazy but a well placed toy is always a welcomed distraction.
- Food- well, what time of day is it? I find the easiest time for a baby party is the 11am-1pm slot. Get some bagels, cream cheese, fruit, and coffee and call it a day. If you do the the afternoon route, 3pm-5pm or 4pm-6pm, you can go with something easy like pizza and crudités. It doesn't have to be gourmet, but have enough for kids and adults. There's nothing worse then a birthday party where your kid is grubbing and you are stuck in the corner with a Lara bar.
- No matter what time of day it is, have some booze! It's a celebration after all and definitely greatly appreciated by other parents (and single friends).
- Timeline: Two hours. The perfect amount of time to get 'em in, have a good time, and get 'em out for a nap. Give everyone 30 minutes to arrive, have food out to munch on from the start, get your entertainment going 30 minutes after the party begins, something along the lines of a 45 minutes Jam with Jamie music session (ALERT: This is a plug) and then cake to follow.
- For those whole shebangers- Have a balloon twister and face painter join the party. It's fun for kids of all ages and your friends will wonder "How you do it all! You amazing parent, you!"
- Go the extra mile-Have a "Candy Bar" as a goodie bag (or better yet, in addition to the goodie bag!). The kids will love you and the parents will hate you but ultimately still be jealous about how organized you are and how Pinterest cute everything looks.
- Bing Bang Boom! You just threw a killer party. Now just make sure you take home the leftover bubbly to toast your first year as a parent. You made it!!
This article is written by Jamie Kolnick, Owner and Founder of "Jam with Jamie"
Jam with Jamie
is a musical entertainment company that specializes in customized birthday parties, music classes, playgroups and events for children ages 0-10. Musicians. Face Painters. Balloon Twisters. Photographers. Performers come armed with a guitar, parachute, bubbles, shakers, scarves and more! Jam out to traditional children's songs, rock n' roll oldies, and today's hits. A featured children's entertainment vendor for parties and events at Dylan's Candy Bar, Sixteen Handles, Wollman Rink in Central Park, and many other venues around the city, Jam with Jamie
also provides custom, upbeat, interactive events nationwide. Serving the NYC Tri-State area, Los Angeles, Chicago, Nashville, Miami, and Dallas. We come ready to ROCK!