First birthday’s are more than just jelly and ice cream! Here’s what to expect at a child’s first birthday party

As friends and family members start to have babies, you tend to find there are plenty of invites that come your way. From baby showers to naming ceremonies, there are lots of milestones that the parents want you to join them for.

One of the big ones is their little one’s first birthday party. If you’ve recently been invited to a small person’s birthday celebrations and you’re not too sure what’s in store, here’s a look at what to expect.

Early Start

Most birthday parties for tiny people and toddlers tend to take place early in the morning. This is to fit around naptime, so expect the party to begin at 9am and for it to be over by 11am so that everyone can get the birthday boy or girl home for a snooze.

Location, Location

what to expect at a child's first birthday partyThe party location is usually either at the family home or at a local soft play. If you’re heading to a soft play, be prepared to spend some time chasing after some tots in a ball pit and navigating a slide designed for tiny people. Pro tip: wear comfortable clothing rather than partywear!

Baby Talk

As you all tuck into jelly and ice cream, you’ll find that the parents in the group are probably going to talk about baby-related things. You’ll hear everything from teething tales and car seat advice to weaning woes and bedtime routine comparisons.

Gift Giving

There may be a brief pause as you all give your gifts and presents are opened. Clothes and toys, books and games are all perfect treats for a first birthday gift, so you’re sure to give something they’ll love.

Party Tunes

what to expect at a child's first birthday partyThe soundtrack at a child’s first birthday party will be lively and tends to include a mixture of familiar nursery rhymes and recent pop songs. Should you be at the birthday person’s house, you can expect one parent to be in charge of the soundtrack to the party. This makeshift DJ must delicately balance playing music that the one-year-old likes with things that older brothers and sisters might want to hear. Therefore, there’s usually a mixture of ‘The Wheels on the Bus’, followed by a rousing rendition of ‘Baby Shark’.

Game Time

To keep older siblings occupied, there may be some games played. Old favourites like pass the parcel and musical chairs always go down well.

Are you heading to a first birthday party soon? What are you expecting when you get there?

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