Should I throw a big party for my baby's first birthday?

How to celebrate a baby's first birthday is a family decision. First birthdays range from small family observances to large parties with ponies and "smash cakes." Your baby is unlikely to have any real "friends" at this age, will not have memories of the celebration and will not even realize if you skip the big party. However, your child may later appreciate looking back at first birthday photographs, and the first birthday is a good opportunity to start family traditions. First birthdays are more for the family than for the baby. You can even consider it a celebration of your first year of parenting. Whether you have a big blow-out or a more quiet celebration depends on your own personality and interest. Take care not to over-spend and remember to enjoy the moment!

Candace Lindemann

Children's Author & Education Consultant

Candace Lindemann is a published children’s writer and educational consultant. She holds a B.A. from Yale University and an M.Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. You can also find Candace blogging at While Candace’s degrees prepared her for a career in education, she’s found that the best preparation for parenting is on-the-job training.