It was recently my little one’s first birthday party and wow these parties can escalate quickly. Here are my tips for reducing the stress around the event:
- Keep the guest list small. Easier said than done I hear you say. I am also notoriously bad at this. Both hubby and I have various groups of family and friends who we would love to have at the party never mind our little one. On top of it our house is quite small. Our solution was to set a clear criteria for invitations and then split the party into two sessions. We had all the baby friends (kids under 2 years old) and their parents in the morning. This was great as the fellow parents understand the chaos that is a play date. Plus they are all actively involved in watching the babies so there is less trampling risk (yes I was really worried about this).
- Use what you already have. I cheated with the decor. My baby shower and baby’s room were both nautical themed. So I used that theme and the decorations I already had. I also went to our nearest China shop and bought all the blue and red decor they had that would work and ordered a nautical themed cake. Baby already had a sailor suit. Viola. Quick and cute.
- Use social media to crowdsource. We needed a cake so I loaded a picture of what I wanted (sourced from Pinterest of course) onto a mommy Facebook group and asked for suppliers who could recreate the cake. Stalked their previous work to eliminate anything resembling a Pinterest Fail (if you don’t know what this is Google it for fun and hours of wasted time). Then I approached my favourite suppliers for quotes. I was thrilled to be supporting a local momma and the cake was AMAZING. And most importantly the cake was ticked off my list in a matter of minutes.
- Enlist your friends and family for help. My sister was an angel and backed delicious sugar free treats for the babies and took photographs on the day and my mother came early to help out as well.
- Buy don’t make. I have learned the hard way that often it ends up cheaper buying than making things yourself. Especially if you are not a domestic goddess and some of your crafts and food flops on occasion. Rather spend that precious time bonding with your child.
- Use Pinterest for ideas. This is a great way to quickly come up with fab ideas but don’t go too crazy with the crafts. If you LOVE crafting then limit the crafts you will make to ones that will look impactful and are realistic timewise.
- Host it at home. This allowed me to set up in stages in the evening after work. I must however mention that it took our baby a few minutes to get used to having all his friends in his space and playing with his toys. Luckily he is generally very social and was overjoyed once he had gotten used to the idea. If your child is not naturally super social then a neutral space may be ideal.
- Outsource. I know that I have said this a few times but I can’t emphasis it enough. I sent hubby meeting requests with addresses and shopping lists with everything that he had to collect on the morning. Worked like a charm.
- Nap and snack. Make sure that your child has had a solid nap in before the party and that he or she eats well throughout the day. A granny or close relative is perfect for making sure that this happens while you are rushing putting everything together before the guests arrive and hosting.
- Get dad involved. Mentioned this before but get dad involved.