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Throwing a picture-perfect first birthday party

Although it's often hard for new parents to believe that their newborn will likely be walking and talking within a year of coming home from the hospital, the first year of a baby's life is marked by rampant transformation and tends to fly by very quickly. Several accomplishments are made during a baby's first year and celebrating these milestones during a one-year birthday party can be an exciting time for family members and friends alike. If you're looking to throw a party for your soon-to-be toddler, here are some tips and tricks that can help to make the day go off without a hitch.

Invitations. Though the party is meant to be a celebration of your young child, one-year-olds do not often have a very long attention span and are usually still accustomed to taking a daily nap, so the birthday bash will likely be geared more toward guests than the actual baby or babies invited. Sending out Save the Date photo magnets instead of formal invitations is a unique way to tell guests about the big day and can give hosts an opportunity to share their favorite baby pic with invitees.

Decorations. As extremely young children are not quite yet able to play actual games, decorations should be the main focus of the event with bright colors and loud noises that will attract the attention of a one-year-old. Make sure that any decorations placed around the house are not dangerous for a young baby in any way or small enough for little mouths to choke on! Stuffed animals like Happy Daisies (flower-shaped soft toys) are an easy way to add color to a room and are a fun item for small children to play with throughout the party. For kids who display a patient attitude, small craft projects, like decorating a jigsaw puzzle kit, can be done with the help of adults.

Food. Many families choose to withhold non-baby-food items from their children until the first birthday, making the birthday cake the first confectionery treat that the one-year-old has ever tried. The tasting of the cake is often a picture-perfect moment, and babies should be given an individual mini-cake that differs from the treat served to guests, as they are likely to get their hands dirty when sampling the newly discovered item.