Congratulations! You made it through Year 1 of parenthood! (Well, close enough, if you’re planning the first birthday celebration.) It’s a huge, bittersweet milestone and chances are, throwing this party is something you’ve been looking forward to for months.

We’re moms too – the StandOut team has twelve kiddos! Here are a few of our most practical tips for a disaster-free first birthday celebration.

1. Keep it short.

One or two hours is plenty. As you know, tiny humans don’t have a very high tolerance for socializing & sensory stimulation – if (s)he makes it to two hours, they’re a champ!

If you can, keep your guest list short too. It’ll prevent your little one from becoming too overwhelmed from all the noise and activity! Just family is 100% okay for the first birthday celebration.

2. Plan around naptime.

Along the same lines as the first tip – generally speaking, earlier in the day is better for little ones.

3. Keep your baby’s vaccination schedule in mind when planning your dates.

We all know that little ones can be out of sorts and a bit “off” for a few days following their shots. If you can get the party in FIRST, your kiddo will probably be happier!

Lethbridge Cake Smash Photographer

Okay, now that we’ve got the boring stuff out of the way… let’s talk about the FUN STUFF!

We’re not going to throw food / decorating / theme ideas at you because we’re positive that you’ve already heard of Pinterest, but here are a few tips for making the most of whatever you choose!

1. Don’t try to do everything yourself.

If you want to go all out on decorations, knock yourself out! But maybe it also means that you outsource the cake, or vice versa.

2. Be real. Have fun with it.

Honestly, you know that you’re getting more of a kick out of most of this stuff than the little ones – so don’t feel bad for keeping it simple! Toddlers and young kids are absolutely thrilled with tiny favours, simple food, and they will not care at all if you put zero effort into planning games or activities.

Lethbridge Cake Smash Photographer

Of course… we can’t leave you without a few photography tips!

1. Snap a few pictures of your baby before the guests arrive. The decorations are up, her shirt isn’t covered in chocolate, and his hair doesn’t have goobers in it. Give yourself a few minutes to soak it all in (and document it in all its perfection) before the chaos hits!

2. If you’re hoping to grab some shots during the party, ask a family member or pass your camera to a loved one before the party starts. It’s one less thing for you to worry about… plus you’ll get into some of the shots! So cool for your little one to look back on.

Oh, and one very last thing… don’t spend hours upon hours crying over how quickly the time has gone. As sweet as newborns are, it really does just get better from here! Watching your little one grow from a baby to a toddler to a full-on kid with actual interests and quirks and hobbies – well, it’s the coolest thing. Enjoy the ride. 

They’re only little for a little while. Birthdays are such a special time in a child’s life, and if you’d like us to capture some of the magic that is your baby / toddler right now… well, we’d be honoured. Info on our birthday sessions can be found right here, or you can contact us directly!

(And congrats again, Mama! You did it!)