7 Hacks to a Stress-Free DIY First Birthday Party

I find much stress in party planning. Whether it is a wedding or even a small children's party, there is something about preps that's just a downright hassle for me. Although it is supposed to be a time for families to unwind, relax, and catch up, the preparations involved, and sometimes even the event itself, have unspoken nightmares parents have to deal with.

When it was time for my son to have his first birthday, I was pretty much stressing out on what to do. Usually, Filipinos would have a huge first birthday bash and host a party in McDonalds or Jollibee (Filo version of Maccas). I know for a fact that I wasn't ready to host a huge birthday bash so I had to do something differently and go against the norm (from the Filo culture that is).

My husband and I have always been interested in doing DIY's just so we can "personalize" parties and give our guests something unique from us - whether it be giveaways, event decor, or the food served. On our wedding and our son's baptism, we did a lot of DIY. Hence, for our son's first birthday, it was another DIY project for us!

Now, how do I remove stress from a DIY event?

As a first time mum and children's party planner, I honestly wasn't able to remove the stress on the first go. I was so knackered after doing preps on the day of my son's party that when it was about to start, I was so sleepy! Looking back, I realised that I could have made my life easier had I prepared and anticipated the needs of the party. So here I am writing these hacks for any parent who is planning for a children's party and also for my future self when I plan my son's 2nd birthday party.

Here are my 7 hacks to a stress-free first birthday party. Cheers!

1. Pick an Easy theme 

Circus animals party candles on our homemade birthday cake!

I did not really have a theme in mind when I planned my son's party. Everything fell into place when I saw some party things in Big W. I was able to purchase a themed set of streamers, balloons, bib, paper plates, cake candles, and utensils by Fisherprice. I must say I was quite pleased that themed party sets are available in shops. It allows busy parents to have a theme and acquire all necessities for a party in one go! 

Now, if you are not keen on buying ready made decor, you may opt to make your own from scratch but do schedule decor-making 2 weeks before the event so you'll have ample time to make them. 

Circus Animals party theme by Fisherprice.

2. Opt for Hanging decor

As much as possible, keep decor off the floor to keep things tidy and to avoid accidents like falls or choking. 

Also, if you want to buy balloons for the party, it is better to get helium balloons. It would be so tedious if you have to pump each balloon for the party. Aside from that, helium balloons float so it's safer for the kids to run and play around without the worry of them slipping because of things on the floor. 

3. Keep it short and save the games for the 2nd birthday party

The minimum program for a first birthday party should include eating, blowing the candle, and opening presents. That's it. There is no need to have games because your bub is 1 year old anyway and would not be able to enjoy it.

The last part of the program, opening gifts!

Also, keep the party short at approximately 2 hours to avoid meltdowns from your bubba and other babies in the party. I remember my son was sleepy and cranky after opening presents and we had to cut the party prematurely. 

4. Make food palatable for both kids and adults

Make food palatable for all, especially the kids.

At Yo's first birthday party, we added spicy buffalo wings to the menu and our toddler/preschooler guests were not happy at all. I reckon for children's parties, it would be best to serve food that would be liked by all and just put additional condiments such as chili on the table for the adults.

5. Stock up on quick-cooking emergency food

This is not a must-do but just in case you feel like food is running out, it is best to have something that you could pop in the microwave or oven for a few minutes then serve.

Also, having food for pica like fairy bread, biscuits, crips, candies/chocolates while the guests are waiting for lunch/dinner would also be a good idea.

Our first birthday bib!

6. Get a girl friend to help out

I am just so happy that a girl friend of mine, Mary, came to help me cook, take pictures and videos, and even entertain guests! She's the best and I recommend all mums/dads prepping for a party to get at least one close friend to help out!

7. Invite a small group of people you're closest to

Although we wanted to have a big party, our resources can only accommodate a limited few so we invited our closest friends who lived nearby. I remember we only invited 3 families even if we wanted more. There is no need to get pressured with inviting the whole community anyway. Just invite who you want and can accommodate, even if it's only grandma and grandpa.

Thank you for coming to my party!

Just remember that this party is not about you or your guests, it's all about your baby. So as long as he's happy,  no matter how simple it may be, then that's the best way to go.

I hope these tips help you plan out your childrens' parties!!! Here's a superhero ninja fistbump to you awesome mumma/dada!



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