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Preparing for Baby’s First Birthday

Who doesn’t want their baby’s most special birthday, their first, to be as perfect as possible?

However, when it comes down to planning, who truly knows :-

  • what to do?
  • when to do it?
  • how to do it?

But here’s the good news Mum and Dad – we’ve got you covered 🙂

The secret to success is knowing what to do when, so just follow this checklist and baby’s special day will be stress-free and successful!


  • Invitations
  • Decorations – balloons, banners, streamers, hats, ribbons, confetti, inflatables, chair covers
  • Tableware – plates, napkins, cups, cutlery, candles, trays, serving utensils
  • Party favours – boxes, bags, candy, games
  • Food – cake, cupcakes, appetisers, drinks, ice, snacks, entree, ice cream, grown-up food
  • Activities – music, piñata, prizes, bouncy castle, face paint, slides, water pool, costumes, games, photo booth, placemats
  • Thankyou notes


3 – 4 months before

  • Outfits – Do you want a customised outfit made for baby? Best to design, consult and order AT LEAST 3 months before, there are great boys and girls outfits available online.
  • Photographs – Do you want to hire a photographer, or do it yourself? Allow time to find a recommended photographer and decide on requirements.

8 weeks before

  • Consider party theme, location and options.
  • Think about timings – time of day, how long (most are 2-3 hours)
  • Draft guest list.

7 weeks before

  • Finalise party theme and location.
  • Rent/order any special equipment (tables, chairs, etc.).
  • Send invite list (ask if any food allergies).
  • Research food, games, decor, activities.
  • Consider costumes – will baby wear a special outfit, or will it be a general theme?
  • Book entertainment.

4 weeks before

  • Work with entertainment on timings, order of events, logistic needs (power/electrics, changing rooms or lights etc.)
  • Compile music/playlists/videos.
  • Finalise food list (consider allergies), tableware and party supply lists.
  • Order cake/cupcakes.
  • Order smash cake – speak with supplier for ideas?

3 weeks before

  • Buy non-perishable foodstuff, drinks etc.
  • Collect tableware, party supplies, birthday favours, gift bags
  • Plan activity list

2 weeks before

  • Choose party outfits.
  • Finalise activity list.
  • Ensure everything is in order for food table (tableware, decorations, candles, etc.).
  • Finalised planned guest attendance list.
  • Print out any documentation, maps, greeting cards etc.
  • Collect all decorations.

1 week before

  • Double-check RSVP list, invite any extras for declined invitations guests
  • Pay deposit and finalise entertainers
  • Check cake delivery times and assembly

2 days before

  • Double-check all tableware, food, menus, cake are available.
  • Purchase any last-minute omissions or oversights.

1 day before

  • Pickup smashcake
  • Collect ice, flowers, gifts etc.
  • Set tables and displays
  • Chill drinks
  • Check play areas are safe (place down any mats or protective coverings)
  • Decorations up – photographs, greeting cards, themes etc.
  • Prepare gift tracker sheet – so can thank parents at a later date
  • Check music, any electronics (lights, computers etc.)

The big day

  • Set up high chair and table/chairs
  • Take photos/videos before, with guests, and after party
  • Finalise setup of decorations, balloons, food, entertainment and activities
  • Prepare an area (away from activities and foods) to safely protect gifts.

After the party

  • Clean up after guests
  • Send birthday and gift thank you notes

Finally, and most importantly, RELAX !

You’ve succeeded in making baby’s first birthday party a special one 🙂

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