No Birthday Bash, No Cake Smash

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My beautiful baby turned one recently.  She’s still a baby at heart and her first year went by way too quickly!  We celebrated her, but not with a birthday bash or a cake smash!

Now, I want to say that I am totally supportive of other people who want to have parties for their own babies who are turning one.  I’ve been to a lot of parties for one year olds that I really enjoyed.  They’re fun and so adorable.  Who doesn’t love snapping pictures of a baby covered in cake, right!? But, a one year old party is really more about the parents than the child.  They get their scrapbook pictures.  They get their memories. And, that’s really great, as long as I’m not the one throwing the party!

I’ve never thrown a first birthday party for any of my own kids.  They get a party once they turn two.  But, at one, we like to keep it simple.  I personally spend too much time focusing on party details and being the hostess when I throw a big party. Instead, we like to keep it low-key and we like to keep it focused on the birthday child. 

Here’s how we celebrated the birthday girl without all the overwhelming fanfare:

1. A favorite food:  This has been different for each of my children, but our current favorite is blueberries.  We loaded her tray up and let her stuff her cheeks.  Honestly, I love that she would rather eat blueberries than cake.  I’m going to take advantage while it lasts.  A picture of her coated in frosting is not a right of passage for me.  I’ll enjoy the blue smeared all over face just as much!

Related:  How to Plan a Birthday Party with Social Distancing

2. One simple present: Yes, I only bought one present. She loved it and played with it for quite a while.  She didn’t actually need the overwhelming experience of opening a mountain of presents.  Plus, she had a few more gifts trickle in from family members on the days leading up to her birthday.

3. Decorations: My older kids really wanted to celebrate (probably more than she did!) So, we loaded up our kitchen table and dining area with some Sesame Street dΓ©cor. They also made her cards with some personalized artwork.

4. Undivided Attention: As the youngest of three kids, she very rarely gets my undivided attention.  So, I made it a point to play with just her several times throughout the day.  I made her my focus.  Her older siblings were doting all over her as well!

5. An outing:  We took a trip to a little amusement park near our home.  We rode on the carousel with her.  We drove little cars with her.  We stopped at a frozen yogurt joint on our way home. We made memories.

She didn’t NEED a big party.  She just needed our time and love!  And, she’s loving it!

How did you celebrate first birthdays for your child(ren)?  Did you throw a big party or keep it simple?

14 thoughts on “No Birthday Bash, No Cake Smash”

  1. We did a big party for my son when he turned one, but mostly because I like throwing parties and it's easy in the summer time. I'm sure we'll throw my daughter a party too since I'll feel bad if we don't haha. For my son's second though I did a more laid back type of party.

  2. Awe. That sounds like the perfect first birthday. I went way overboard with my first, then with the twins, we waited and had a NICUversary party on the anniversary of the date they were released from the party, instead of on their birthday. They still probably won't remember, but it's the first time a lot of people got to meet them since we were out of isolation finally.

  3. You are so right, 1-year-old birthday parties are more about the parents than the child. we did have a party last year, but it was really low-key and more of an excuse for us to have friends over which we love to do. We're gearing up for her 2-year birthday which is next month, and we still want to keep it low-key while making it fun for her and hopefully memorable.

  4. I love that! We had small family parties for our kids, which was a nice chance for the family to get together. And then more low-key events on the actual birthday. For my son's third birthday, we're having a little party the weekend before… but on the actual day, we're taking him to his first movie in a theater and he can't wait!

  5. I'm guilty of throwing big birthday bashes, but definitely respect and appreciate people who choose not to! Sounds like your little one had a fabulous birthday!

  6. You're totally right. The first birthday party is mostly thrown for the family to celebrate, not the baby. We threw a big family party for our son Caleb's first birthday and will do the same for Cohen, but we have made the decision as a family to only do that for milestone birthdays (1,5,10,16,21,etc). For all of the birthdays in between we are just going to have a dinner with the immediate family and let the birthday boy pick out whatever they want for dinner with few limits. They want dessert? Fine. Cheetos? Not my thing, but okay. The meal will be all about them. We all just have to find what works for us and it looks like your daughter had a great day. Happy Birthday to her!

  7. How fun! Undivided attention is one of the best gifts. We do parties for 1, my son turns one this December and I know we will be having a party. We invite our immediate family, but with grandparents, aunts and uncles that is already 11 people, plus he has some friends too so we are looking at 20. We just hang out and have finger foods and cake though. Nothing too fancy. It is more about the family celebration than the baby for sure, but I love using that as an opportunity to get together as it doesn't happen too often.


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