It’s Baby’s First Birth­day!

And it needs to be the best. Moms who’ve been there and done that share their valu­able party-plan­ning les­sons so you can throw the per­fect cel­e­bra­tion.

Parents (USA) - - Contents - by GAIL O’CON­NOR

Use th­ese party-plan­ning do’s and don’ts to throw a mem­o­rable cel­e­bra­tion.

What I Did Right

“There is an over­whelm­ing amount of con­tent out there. The best thing that I did for the plan­ning process was shut down my lap­top, toss my phone across the room, and bust out a pen and pa­per.” —Lind­say Tier­ney; Hud­son, MA

“We had two par­ties: a din­ner for close fam­ily so that they could have spe­cial time with my son, and a full party for ex­tended fam­ily and friends an­other day when kids could play. I’m so glad we have mem­o­ries from both days.” —Chris­tine An­drew; Salt Lake City, UT

“I had plenty of easy en­ter­tain­ment for my baby’s friends at our back­yard party. We set up pic­nic blan­kets and laid out shal­low bas­kets filled with kitchen uten­sils, mu­si­cal in­stru­ments, balls, and blocks. They were a huge hit with the lit­tles!”

—Alli Wit­tbold; Amherst, MA

“We had a cir­cus theme for our daugh­ter’s first party, and my hus­band dressed up in cos­tume as the ring­mas­ter. He’s been dress­ing up for the girls’ birthdays ever since!” —Erin Zier­ing; Los An­ge­les, CA

“My most mem­o­rable mo­ment was the smash cake! I had so much fun search­ing on Pin­ter­est for the mini-size cake I wanted.”

—Emily Jack­son; Salt Lake City, UT

“The sig­na­ture num­ber 1 bal­loon was my best move. It’s so sim­ple and worked great as a photo back­drop, and hav­ing a gi­ant bal­loon was just fun!” —Marcy Fitz­patrick; Rincón, Puerto Rico

“I rounded up friends for a DIY night to help make some dé­cor like plas­tic cups dipped in glit­ter and mem­ory jars with pho­tos from the first 12 months. Who doesn’t love craft­ing and wine?” —Erica Hartwig; Boca Ra­ton, FL Oops ... Learn From My Mis­take

“I wish I’d done a bet­ter job plan­ning around my kid’s nap­time. She was a bit pooped dur­ing the party, but she was fine after a quick nap.” —Demia Doggette; Or­lando, FL

“I would have set an end time for the party. A few guests lin­gered later than we an­tic­i­pated, and a clear time win­dow on the in­vi­ta­tion would have made it less awk­ward to wrap things up.” —Alli Wit­tbold

“I’d give my baby some cake be­fore the big day to warm her up to the sweet­ness. I set up a pic­ture-per­fect scene with bal­loons, dec­o­ra­tions, a tutu, and a dreamy pink cake. We put down the smash cake, and she wasn’t in­ter­ested. We ended up eat­ing it our­selves!” —Sar­a­lyn Ward; Golden, CO “Don’t for­get to ask ev­ery­one to send you their snaps and cre­ate a shared dig­i­tal al­bum post­party.” —Marcy Fitz­patrick

“I’d have made a bud­get first. The food and dé­cor costs can add up fast. It’s easy to get car­ried away.” —Aria Morgan; Wood­stock, GA

“I was hav­ing so much fun be­ing in the mo­ment that I didn’t take any pic­tures. Luck­ily, my sweet friend was snap­ping away the en­tire time. Next time around, I will del­e­gate pho­tog­ra­pher du­ties.”

“I’m so happy I made a cake. It was my mom’s tra­di­tion to bake some­thing for me each year, so I loved the idea of car­ry­ing that on with my daugh­ter.” —Emily Schu­man; Los An­ge­les, CA

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