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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, DS is coming upon his first bday in June...I'm going <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/nut.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="nut"> trying to decide whether we should throw him a big bash (50+ people, adults & babies/kids from all our playgroups) or to keep it to immediate family (12-15 people with just one other baby...his cousin!)<br><br>
If you've been there, done that, please let me know what you did, and whether it worked for you, and what you'd do differently if you had to do it all over again.<br><br>
Many, many thanks!!
 

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With my dd (first born) we had a big 1st birthday party-not quite as big as you might be planning though! It went fine. For my ds (15 months) we had a little party (much more like the smaller one you mentioned) and it went fine too! For dd I was in big celebration mode and it felt right, this last year I was tired, just got over the holidays, and realized that the party was for us, not him, so decided to make it easy and I'm really glad that I did.<br><br>
I think one of the harder things that can come up with birthday parties and babies is people putting pressure on the kids to open presents. Most kids are interested in opening one gift then playing with it for a while. Or not playing with it at all but not wanting to open any more. One thing we did at both birthday parties was to give the child a present every 20 minutes or so, and if s/he wasn't into it-then not letting relatives push the issue.<br><br>
One big advantage to the smaller party was that my ds was very relaxed and I think he had a really good time. You might want to consider the temperment of your ds, would he prefer lots of stimuli or not so much?<br><br>
Either way, keep it simple so that you have a good time too! There will be plenty of birthday parties to come!
 

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I'd go with a small party unless you want to have it as a reason to have lots of company. (Of course, 12-15 people seems like a lot of folks to me.) That said, DD's parties have been bigger than I expected because she is very extroverted.<br><br>
If you do a big party, you may want to let people know that gifts aren't necessary (but welcome if they wish to give - I'd originally said "no gifts" but a couple of my friends really wanted to give DD something) or you'll end up with way too much stuff.<br><br>
It's really all about the parents at that age, IMO. He won't remember it other than from the cake photos. Have fun!
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Momalea</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912166"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">With my dd (first born) we had a big 1st birthday party-not quite as big as you might be planning though! It went fine. For my ds (15 months) we had a little party (much more like the smaller one you mentioned) and it went fine too! For dd I was in big celebration mode and it felt right, this last year I was tired, just got over the holidays, and realized that the party was for us, not him, so decided to make it easy and I'm really glad that I did.<br><br>
I think one of the harder things that can come up with birthday parties and babies is people putting pressure on the kids to open presents. Most kids are interested in opening one gift then playing with it for a while. Or not playing with it at all but not wanting to open any more. One thing we did at both birthday parties was to give the child a present every 20 minutes or so, and if s/he wasn't into it-then not letting relatives push the issue.<br><br>
One big advantage to the smaller party was that my ds was very relaxed and I think he had a really good time. You might want to consider the temperment of your ds, would he prefer lots of stimuli or not so much?<br><br>
Either way, keep it simple so that you have a good time too! There will be plenty of birthday parties to come!</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">: what she said! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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We did as small party at our favority restraunt. Which just so happens to be a vegan restraunt and I had the food served chinese banquet style so there was only food I was ok with DS being fed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> . I had wanted to invite other babies/toddlers for DS to play with, but it didn't work out, so it was just family. I think it was easier anyway since all the grownups could get as much attention from DS as they wanted without interupting him playing. He pretty much just clung to his new xylaphone (gift from MIL) and stuffed his face anyway.<br><br>
My sister had a huge first b-day party for my nephew. It was thrown by her ILs. There were kids of all ages. DN was completely over stimulated and sis kept trying to get him to nap which seemed like an obvious lost cause to me.<br><br>
I definitly was happier with the way we did ours. Since we were in a restraunt there was a specific start and stop time. I made sure DS had his nap ahead of time. Every thing was at the restraunt so we came home to a clean quiet house. As I mentioned before I could controll what food was there (the restraunt has very strict rules about what comes in so they can maintain their kosher/parve status) so I didn't have to worry some family member would decide to bring food I didn't want DS having and DS could eat everything everyone else was having. This was important to me b/c people had been talking about seperate cake for DS (we were on a dairy free elimination diet.) I didn't want DS to feel exclueded at his own party.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, all. I love the restaurant idea...(especially the part about coming home to a clean house!!) <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I know the 1st bday is really about the parents (who, in this case, are pretty hermit-like), but for some reason I'm getting OCD about the whole thing and am feeling like I *should* do a big celebration, for the memories, photos, etc.. (12-15 people is big enough, to me, too!)<br><br>
ds is pretty social...but now that I think of it, he does get a little shy at bigger family get-togethers. BUT... he does well outside (and we potentially would have the big shindig outside in our community bbq area...)<br><br>
anyone else as neurotic as me?? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">: (any and all ideas and advice still welcome...)
 

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WE did a small party, grandparents adn aunt & uncle. My sister & her kids were missing because they were sick. I'd keep it small. Ds didn't understand birthdays at all. THe party was more for us & pics to put in his photo album.<br>
I'm saving big parties for when he gets a bit older. hth
 

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Another small party person here! I agree with pp that you really have to evaluate your own dc and decide what would work best for your family. For us, that was a no-brainer, my dd gets easily overwhelmed with lots and lots of kids and noise. So we had a very small party (only 6 people and 1 other baby).<br><br>
I also had some guilt about not having a huge "birthday bash"... especially when I talked to the more mainstream moms I know. But that's not my style either... and it sounded sooo overwhelming to me. So I wouldn't change a thing, I have tons of pictures and it was a very relaxed and fun environment for dd. I would go with your gut, not with what you feel everybody "expects" of you. hth! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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With my youngest, when he turned 1 last summer we had a huge outdoor party (summer birthday). We have a really big family (my partner is one of 7, I'm one of 5) so it really couldn't be avoided.<br><br>
But - we had it outside on the lawn so it was very manageable (we have a tiny house, but 3 acres).<br><br>
In the future, we'll try to keep it smaller (maybe just Grandparents) but for the first birthday it was a lot of fun to have a big gathering and celebrate his day. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Someone once told me a child should have as many guests as years he/she is turning. so one guest for first birthday, 2 for second, etc. we have for the most part stuck to this and I really like it. You just don't need the birthday party insanity. but for the first birthday, he won't really know the diffrence so do whatever you feel like doing. you shouldn't feel you HAVE to do anything. as long as ther is a picture of him with a cake, it doesn't matter how many people are there.<br>
have fun whatever you decide to do and remember to celebrate yourself, a whole year, wow!
 

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I'm letting my MIL do it. I'm not into planning parties (didn't do a "wedding", didn't have a big party when baby was born, etc.). She loves it, dotes on the baby ridiculously, and is probably already making arrangements. LOL.<br><br>
Most of our relatives (and even some of my college friends) are where MIL lives. DD is very social, so, a crowd of 25-30 won't phase her (we've gone to grown-up parties before, and she's great...a big flirt). We're hoping to finagle it into a "vacation" weekend from DH's job, as our anniversary is two days before DD's birthday (last year, as I was already six days late, there wasn't too much celebrating going on).<br><br>
I've a feeling it will be large, loud, and ludicrous, but will make MIL, Katie, and other relatives happy, so...I'll let her have at it. If I have to, if Katie gets overwhelmed, I'll just take her someplace quiet for an hour or two, and explain that the "diva" needs her beauty sleep. :)<br><br>
Funny thing is, my MIL is a devout Jehovah's Witness...no holidays, birthdays, not even for her own kids, attends JW bible study class (or whatever it's called) every Friday...at least, she was until Katie came along...now she skips classes if Katie's visiting, makes a big to-do about holidays, etc. etc. I think Katie's her new religion now. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol">
 

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We took a family bike ride -- Papa, Mama and Our Boy. We ate a picnic in the park by the water and took pictures and rolled around and played and ate a cupcake with a candle in it. It was a very happy day. I think kids get kind of stressed from those huge gatherings and I feel like it's silly to give a small child so many presents.<br><br>
In fact, that day was so nice that we are thinking of always doing trips, small or big, for birthdays and skipping gifts entirely.
 

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We had 60+ people at Gwen's first bday party.. it worked out well.. she doesn't mind crowds or anything, so she had fun too! She might have been a bit shocked when we sang happy birthday.. but she didn't cry or anything!
 

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I think it depends on your child's personality and yours.<br><br>
Liam is really outgoing, as we are, so we invited most of the families w/ kids that we know. I think there ended up being about 15 kids and their parents.<br><br>
B/c he was born in Nov and our house was under renovations, we had it at Gymboree. I loved doing it there-it suited all the kids (whose ages ranged from 8 months to 4 years), I didn't have to clean before or after, and I didn't have to sit around and wait for people to leave my house.<br><br>
My only recs would be to keep it short. 1 1/2 hours was perfect for Liam's attention span, even at Gymboree.<br><br>
Also, we didn't open presents at the party.<br><br>
Carolyn
 

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we had a big bash for ds's first birthday...about 60 guests at a park where i reserved a pavillion...i had a great time decorating and it was very fun...we waited until after the party to open presents...in fact some presents we didn't even open until the next day...<br><br>
as much as i enjoyed having a big party i won't do it again anytime soon...it was a lot of work and it cost a lot of money...and ds would have been just as happy with no party at all...lol
 

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I read somwhere a good rule of thumb, invite as many kids to the party to as how old ds will be. So if she/he will be two years old invite two friends etc. This way ds will not be too exhausted. I think big parties are mainly done for us the adults rather than the little ones, it is overstimulating for most of them.
 

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We did small. We had a few close family members and 1 friend. It was nice. but even with such a small party DD only lasted so long. Overstimulation was an issue. But DD is high-need and I was kinda expecting that. We might go a bit bigger for #2(maybe inviting a few more kids her age) but we will see how things go.
 

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We had a big party and it went great. DD's b-day is in August, so it was outdoors in our backyard. She's always done just fine around a crowd and LOVES being around all the other kids. And I love to entertain, so we're a great match! LOL
 

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For ds -- no fuss, no regrets. despite not planning any fuss the evening ended up with friends over for other reason, toddlers playing bumper boxes with their parents pushing them all over the kitchen floor & cupcakes appeared from neighbor.<br><br>
For dd -- tried joint party for both kids. Boat day at park with canoe rides and picnic. also no regrets. however, this more forced celebration was less memorable than the organic one that pretty much created itself on ds's 1st.<br><br>
Whatever you do, enjoy!
 
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