The first year of parenthood is nearly done. You’re beginning to see glimpses of personality forming in your little one and you’re now faced with the looming question: do you, or don’t you, have a birthday party to celebrate your baby’s first birthday??

The case for a first birthday party

Here at Shepherds Friendly, we don’t need much of an excuse to throw a party! The arguments abound as to why you should use a first birthday as an excuse for a party:

What a milestone!
You’ve made it – when those sleepless new born nights had you begging for rest, and those hours spent cleaning baby food off the wall, you dreamt of this moment. Turning one is a massive milestone – not just for baby but for their parents too.

There are few things more adorable than a cheesy grin of a one-year old’s toothy grin on their first birthday. This is a memory-building moment for parents, family and friends, even if your baby doesn’t quite appreciate the effort just yet.

Family time

You’re probably becoming aware that carving out family time can be extraordinarily tough. Use a first birthday as an excuse to have a celebration and ring-mark a date in the diary. Family love to come together to celebrate, and they will want to celebrate this milestone together.

It’s once in a lifetime

Your little one is only going to turn one once. By their next birthday you’ll be dealing with a wilful toddler who knows their Paw Patrol from their Peppa Pig. With this party, you get to set the agenda!

Good times
On that note, the second birthday onwards heralds a time when games and activities need to come in to the mix. The first birthday is a good time, with the focus on cuteness rather than organised fun. This is a fun birthday to celebrate with those you love.

The case against a first birthday party

So, you may be wondering, isn’t time to move over and get on with the planning? Maybe, but consider some of the arguments against having a first birthday party.

Wasted money?
Let’s face it, a birthday bash for a celebrant who won’t even remember or appreciate the day, some may say is a bit of a waste of money. Perhaps that money would be best used placed in their Junior ISA for when they turn 18 and can appreciate the money spent a lot more.

Family politics
The first birthday party isn’t about inviting little playmates, it’s about inviting the family. This means “Family Politics Central”. You’ll need to mix both your side and in-laws, and it can all get a bit overwhelming for some.

Little people big emotions
Babies are generally creatures of habit. They have their routine and they like it. Add to this that it’s the prime time for separation anxiety and a first birthday party means crowds of adoring attention, and you’ve got ripe territory for tears. Big, throw yourself on the floor in your first tantrum level of tears. At the age of 1, there is no guarantee that your little one will enjoy the party.

You’ve got enough to do
Let’s face it, having a little one (potentially one who is newly mobile) equals a busy life. There’s always something you could be doing. If you hold a first birthday party, then you’re adding another bunch of stuff to do to an already crowded plate.

As you can see, it’s going to come down to personal choice as to whether you throw a first birthday party. Weigh up the arguments for yourself and be confident that your own decision is right for your family.