Birthday parties can be no fun for busy overextended parents. I'm excited to bring you my $100 Birthday Party Series with great ideas for themes, menus, decorations and even gifts for all age groups, all for under $100. Come back every week for more birthday party suggestions.
What an exciting milestone when our babes turn 1 and 2 years old. While we want this to be a special memory, we also don't want it to leave a huge dent in our bank accounts.
The most important thing to remember when throwing a baby's birthday party: keep it simple. Always time the party around nap time - have a morning 'do with a light brunch spread (fruit and cheese platters, danishes and croissants) or an interactive make-your-own bagel bar. Or, have a late afternoon party with finger foods and other noshies. Noontime birthday parties only result in meltdowns and overtired celebrators.
Home parties work best for this age. Hosting it at a children's play centre can be expensive and will be lost on your little one anyhow (you have plenty of years ahead of you to hold parties at outside venues). Themes can vary depending on the child's interest, but it's always easier (and more cost effective) to choose a colour theme and then add in accessories that appeal to your baby (for example, use primary colours like red, blue and yellow, and have a few Mickey Mouse decorations to add in). There's no reason at this age to shell out extra money for themed plates, cups and tablecloths.
When friends and family ask you what they should buy your baby, again: keep it simple. Ask for a small gift so they have something to open (perhaps books to build up their library) and gift cards. There will always be something you'll need or want to buy your babe down the line, and those gift cards will definitely come in handy.
Goodie bags at this age aren't necessary. However, if you do want a little token of thanks for party guests, give out a small box of baked goods or some other treat, a small potted plant, or a cute homemade card with your baby's handprint.
A full-time work-from-home mom, Jennifer Cox (our “Supermom in Training”) loves dabbling in healthy cooking, craft projects, family outings, and more, sharing with readers everything she knows about being an (almost) superhero mommy.