How to make it a super-special 1st birthday

It’s finally here! Baby’s first birthday is a massive milestone for the whole family. Here are 5 fresh ideas on how to make it super-duper-special.

Baby celebrates first birthday by biting into funfetti cake

The first birthday is as much a celebration for you as it is for your baby (you did it! You made it this far!… Yay!). Of course there’s no way your baby will remember this special day, so focus instead on making it special for the whole family, your tribe. From the theme to the gifts, here are some fresh ideas for putting together a shindig that everyone else will remember… even if the star of the show won’t!


1. Pick an absolutely adorable theme

There’s a wealth of ideas out there for a unique, sweet first birthday theme, and some of our favorites can be found on our Pinterest board, OGG: Baby’s 1st Birthday. We especially love:


You Are My Sunshine

Popular blog, Kara’s Party Ideas, has several different spins on this theme, and we especially love the sweet details featured here.



Also at Kara’s Party Ideas, this vibrant celebration is centered around a jungle theme. With a small, minimalist cake, a striking color scheme, and decor details such as huge tropical leaves and wall-mounted animal masks, it’s an Instagram dream.


Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

Plenty of balloons, bright colors and fun Dr Seuss rhymes make up this classic theme courtesy of Sweetwood Creative Co. Free printables included!


Garden Party

If you love pretty blooms and all things feminine, then this Garden Party theme by Style Me Pretty is for you. Featuring a big floral backdrop, plenty of pink touches, and dainty floral crowns, it’s just all so fabulously girly. We love!


2. Make a Year 1 photo book

Take all the best photos of the first year – baby’s first vacation, front tooth, solid meal, swim, Halloween – and create a photo book of milestone moments (don’t forget to order extra copies for the grandparents!). Look online for highly recommended photo book providers such as Shutterfly, Mixbook, Apple Photo Book and Picaboo.


3.  Take truly memorable pics

Get one of your closest friends – preferably one with a great eye – to take some gorgeous photos of the day (of course, if you have the budget, you can also hire a photographer). Some of the pics you’ll be so grateful you get include:

  • Baby with a ‘1st Birthday’ sign
  • First taste of birthday cake, or that hilarious cake smash moment
  • Baby blowing out their first candle with mom, dad and other close family and friends
  • Pictures of baby with all significant family and friends, in a variety of individual and group shots
  • A shot of that birthday cake and close-ups of all the other decor details that pull the theme together
  • Baby with the kiddie guests.


4. Pick out the right gifts

Your baby is worlds away from the newborn you brought home 12 months ago, and a whole new phase of growing and exploring is about to begin. The first birthday is the perfect time to start adding developmental toys to the mix. Here’s a selection of the best first birthday toys that’ll encourage baby to hit those milestones, all while having terrific, gurgly fun.


1. 5-in-1 Deluxe Activity Hub, 18 months+ ($34.99)  2. Smart Shapes Sorting House, 18 months+ ($26.99)  3. Push-n-Pull Busy Barnyard Train, 3 years+ ($16.99)  4.  Dino Play Tunnel, 3 years+ ($24.99)  5. Radical Racers Spicy Chicken, 18 months+ ($14.99)  6. Rainbow Rings Stacking Tower, 18 months+ ($14.99)

Shop our Baby & Toddler toys.


5. Make a time capsule

This one’s so easy and thoughtful – create a time capsule that can only be opened on their 16th or 18th birthday. The first step is to decide on your capsule – it could be a small wooden box that all the party guests fill with notes, or it could be something larger that each guest is asked to bring something for. Definitely include a First Birthday Stats page, an at-a-glance record this moment in your baby’s life. We love this customizable design from Printable Market.


(Image credits: Kara’s Party Ideas, Sweetwood Creative Co, Style Me Pretty, Printable Market)