Your little bundle of joy is growing up so fast. It seems like just yesterday you were announcing to your family that you were pregnant, and now you are planning a birthday party for your darling little 1-year-old. Although your child is only 1, this is a big birthday and you want to make it a special experience for all of you. So what do you do to ensure that your baby has the best first birthday? Here are a few ideas.

Remember that he or she is still a baby

This party is more for the parents than the child and it's important to remember that. Your baby is going to love you no matter what kind of birthday party you have, so don't stress too much about it, and just make it special and have fun.

Come up with a theme

Parties are always easier to plan when they have a theme. The theme could be as simple as Pink or Blue, but if you know what your theme is you will have more direction when planning decorations and goodies.

Make a guest list

Keep it simple. Remember that babies can get over stimulated very easily. Remembering once again that this is their first birthday, not the annual block party, try to keep it to people who are special to the baby, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and of course friends who are a big part of their lives. The mailman might have told you that your child is adorable, but unfortunately, that doesn't mean he should be invited to the party.

Make baby friendly food

For my daughter's first birthday, we had a little tea party for her with her aunts and uncles and grandparents. We served foods that she could eat like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, fruits, and apple juice. It wouldn't be much of a party for baby if he or she couldn't enjoy the party food along with the guests.

The cake

It is a common practice to give babies their own cake to munch and destroy on their own. However, remember, he or she is just a year old, they do not need a huge cake. It would be a shame to induce a sugar coma on your little one. Cupcakes are a fantastic way to go. They are the perfect size for those little hands, and a little tummy. The cake and treats don't need to be expensive. In fact homemade goodies are the best goodies. If you make it homemade you can even give it a healthy twist. My daughter had strawberry cupcakes, with real strawberry slices in them. She loved it, and I loved knowing that even though she was ingesting more sugar than I would like her to, she was also eating fresh fruit.

More than anything, just shower them with love and memories. Don't forget to take lots of pictures, and video tape as much of her party as you can. Those will be the only memories your baby will have of their very first birthday.

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