My little guy is turning two in May and I'm on the fence about whether or not to throw him a party. I realize he won't really understand what's going on (although I'm sure he'd be delighted by the balloons, cake, friends, etc.) Part of me thinks a party at this age would mostly just be for us and for his photo album, but on the other hand, I know he'd enjoy the experience and I want to celebrate him!
Thoughts? Do you throw your little one's b-day parties?
For me my DD's birthday parties are for spending time with family. She's two so has had two parties with family and close friends. Both times were very relaxed and she had a great time playing with some of her favorite people and enjoying party decorations, eating cake and opening gifts. I think she understood everyone was there to see her and it was "her" day. And even if the birthday concept is still too big to grasp for her, she had fun. I don't see anything wrong with parents wanting a celebration for themselves; after all children's birthday's are like "parenting anniversaries", (especially that first year) and def worth celebrating.
DD loves looking at photos of her birthday parties and now that she's almost 2.5 we can talk about how we celebrated and who we saw those days and even if she doesn't remember the actual days she'll have memories of being celebrated right from the start based on the photos. I say if you plan on having parties when they are older why not start from the beginning. Just tailor the party to their age, personality, and your level of commitment. Don't have a huge elaborate party that will stress you and your baby out if you're not used to that; know your limits and your baby's and keep it simple.
I don't really remember what we did for DS's 2nd birthday party (but I know we had one, and I'm sure it was probably at a park!) but DD's was just last year and it was lovely. She had a great time with her little friends and our close friends, and remembers the day even now, a year later. We didn't have a 1st birthday party for her because we had a mini-vacation at Disneyland that week, so I wanted her 2nd to be special, and it was.
They won't remember it forever, but it's a fun, special day, all about the birthday child. I don't spend a ton of money on my kids' parties, but their parties are part of their birthday presents from us (their parents).
DD turned two last month, and she DEFINITELY grasped the concept of the birthday party. And loved it. We have close friends with 3 children and just had them over to eat, play and open a few gifts. It was the perfect little party. I would say keep it very simple - somewhat of a special version of something you would do on a regular basis. It will be easier for you, and very special for your little one.
Thanks for all the input. I especially like the park idea--I was stressing about throwing a party here at my house and didn't even consider doing it elsewhere. I think we're going to invite just family and a few of my close friends---probably not even any of my DS's little buddies because I'm not that close with their parents. And I'm sure my little guy will love being bathed in attention--whether or not he remembers it.
Mamita2N--I love the parenting anniversary perspective! Becoming a mother changed my life so profoundly (for the best!) that I do want to celebrate the change--and the little person who's brought us so much joy!
My daughter is turning 2 in a couple weeks as well and we are just having some family over. My other daughter just had her 5th B-Day party and it was her first traditional "friend" party. This was the first year she actually requested and wanted to plan her party. My almost 2 year old didn't really "get" the party but she really enjoyed the part were we brought the cake out. We also did a lot of dancing at the party and my LO loved that.
For us it just isn't worth it to go through the hassel of having a bunch of little people over that don't really get what is going on. I have friends that will invite a whole bunch of 2 year olds to their house and it is just chaos. Not really my cup of tea, but to each their own. ;)
Another thought... I think it some ways my older daughter preferred the family parties because she really was the centre of attention... whereas at kids party you want to make sure they all feel special and have a good time. :)
DD is turning 2 in a couple months and I have decided to have 2 very low key events.
First, basically a play date where I am going to invite 3 friends, who she does play with and talks about, to play in the sprinkler and have fresh fruit and muffins;
Then, a pool date for family to come to play with her at our community pool, and just have a potluck picnic dinner.
Since our only local family is DH's family, it's not really that fun for me to have a family party. She sees her grandparents often anyway. It just sounded like another reason I needed to make a lot of food and stress out about being good enough. Which to me is not how I want to celebrate my child's birthday. having it elsewhere (in the evening, it will be cooler) will cost us very little, and I will not have to do much of anything or entertain people, because they will love playing with her in the kiddie pool. The play date is the one that is a "real" party to me, because to me the process of developing socially is meaningful, and it will be small and sweet. If it were not in July, I would have it at the park - but it's too hot so I think we'll need the sprinkler unless I want to be inside. But there would be a big uproar if we didn't make space to have the grandparents etc, hence the other option too.
I ended up throwing a very small party with just my family and one close friend. But I did put up streamers, make a cake, get balloons--all the traditional party things (in my family) so it felt special. My son loooooved being the center of attention, and kept asking everyone to sing Happy Birthday to him over and over. It was pretty cute. :)
I'm also considering throwing another small party in the park and inviting more kiddos. Great point though Shannie77 that at kid parties, you have to make all the kiddos feel special. It was definitely evident from this small party that we had that my son loves being in the spotlight, so maybe sharing the attention (and cake, and toys, and favors) wouldn't be very fun for him. Hmmm.....