The big ONE | First Birthday Party Ideas

I can't believe it, my little girl is ONE! We celebrated by having a small, casual, relaxed BBQ with close family, and were so lucky that her actual birthday fell on the Saturday of our recent long weekend. Lots of special milestones closely followed - her first real paddle at the beach, a ride in her Papa's boat at the river, her second tooth! And we're almost at the stage where 'stepping' turns into 'walking'.

First birthday parties can vary these days from casual to elaborate - but of course all are very special in their own way. Here are some of the ideas I used, and I'll include some helpful links as well if you're looking for more inspiration. Already had your little one's 1st birthday? Some of the ideas below could be applied to a 2nd, 3rd of 4th birthday - I think that's the beauty of it! There is always another birthday party just 365 days away (or sooner of course if you have more than one child!)

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Once again Vistaprint was my first stop for invitations, but I did a bit of browsing on Etsy as well before I made my final choice of this cute little number with adorable bunting...

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I love banners and the 'clothesline' look for photos & cards. We hung the "Happy 1st Birthday" banner between two posts (click here to visit the Etsy shop I got it from) and did the same with her birthday cards inside. We also showed off her 'monthly photos' (here's a separate post I wrote all about Photo a Month).


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I am a lover of photos and photography. A photo display definitely adds something special to a child's party. But it's also important to think about capturing the day! I found this link useful when considering and planning photos to take of the day. Think about "A day in the life of..." your little one. Photograph them when they wake up, open presents, having meals, eating cake of course, playing with their new toys, photos with various family members and friends, bath, bed etc... We did the typical presents before and after shot!


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Our little girl was very spoilt with many special gifts on her first birthday. I'm quite often asked for gift ideas and this is regularly a popular topic amongst my Facebook mother's group. So here's a little list of my top 8 gift suggestions for a one year old (or toddler).



1. Stacking rings
2. Clothes in the next size or pyjamas 
(the outfit pictured is by Sooki baby - one of my favourite brands)
3. Nesting cups
4. Puzzles
5. Wooden blocks
6. Balls in a variety of sizes, sounds and textures
7. Musical instruments
8. Books books and more books!

Here's my ULTIMATE 'gender neutral' gift guide for children aged 1-5...

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For my little one's party I had composed my own video compilation of her first year (using iMovie on the mac) - our family loved watching it and it'll be something special to show our daughter in years to come. I found iMovie really easy to use!

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Finally - the cake! It was very simple and made with love by me! Found the idea on...you guessed it - Pinterest.

This is not the actual cake I made, just my inspiration from Pinterest - this photograph is much better.
Original source no longer available

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Well that's it! Her first year flew by and now her birthday celebrations are done and dusted! I'm really looking forward to planning 'kids' parties for her in years to come!

Thanks for reading this very special post,
Lauren :)

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