Your baby’s first birthday party is coming in a few months, and you are elbow deep into your plans, thinking of ways you can make the event special and budget-friendly at the same time.
The thought that your baby is never going to have a first birthday party again pressures you into thinking: will my baby ever forgive me for not going all out on their birthday or should I just shrug it off and spend all that I can on my baby’s first birthday party?
First of all, a fun and memorable party does not need to be fancy and expensive. You can definitely throw your little one’s first birthday party without digging holes inside your pockets.
And if people (a.k.a. other mums) judge you for not going all out, then you should pay them no mind. This is your kid. This is their birthday party. Your kid will love you for what you will do no matter what.
And with that confidence boost, let’s now get down to enumerating budget-friendly first birthday party ideas for your little one.
1. Get a Budget-Friendly Venue
Skip the function rooms, the pavilions, the multi-purpose halls – these venues for your baby’s first birthday party will cost you. You can save more if you hosted the party at your home.
Plus, your guests most likely know where your home is. You’re not going to get calls minutes before the start of your party of lost guests looking for your venue. Host it at home, and they’ll know exactly where to go.
If you’re worried about the clean-up, the hassle of decorating, or not having the help of caterers, don’t sweat, because the key here is not to work harder but to work smarter. Let’s start off with your decorations.
2. Send Digital Invitations
Ditch the costly paper invitations. Not only are you saving money, but you are saving the environment too. And you can go crazy creative designing your paper invitations. You can turn them into GIFs or short videos. The best part is you can use Facebook to send your invites and have them RSVP digitally. How cool is that?
3. Do DIY Decorations
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Say it with us – minimalist. No need for those hundreds of balloons like the ones you’ve seen at a baby Kardashian or Jenner birthday party. They’re not good for Mother Earth and they’ll annoy your guests to no end. Instead, go for wall decorations.
What’s the cheapest but coolest way to transform your boring wall? Adorn it with your baby’s framed pictures. If your phone is stacking photos after photos of your little one from their first month until their 11th, now is the perfect time to use them. Print them, frame them, and hang them up on the wall. You don’t have frames? That’s fine. You can get a crafting twine and hang your baby’s photos on the twine like shirts on a clothesline.
If you think the framed pictures are not enough, you can hang a Happy Birthday balloon banner, which is becoming increasingly popular nowadays.
You can customise the message of the banner if you feel like “Happy Birthday” is too generic. Plenty of online shops sell customized party decorations. You don’t need to hire a decorator. You can hang the decor yourself because these online party decors are structured in a way that they’d be easy to DIY.
4. Set the Party at Snacktime
Again – the idea is to keep the party simple and stress-free. And one of the things that make house parties a big hassle is the fact that you think you need to serve mealtime food.
Don’t schedule it at 12 noon or lunchtime; do it at a later time, so your guests will already have finished eating lunch and will come to your baby’s first birthday party hungry only for snacks. Doing so makes the preps much easier for you because you don’t need to cook much when you’re serving snacktime food.
5. Serve Easy-to-Prep-and-Eat Food
Speaking of food, we suggest you opt for finger food or food that doesn’t need much cooking like salad, tacos, nachos, sandwiches, chips, individual pizzas, and doughnuts, to name a few.
To make it less hassle for you and more fun for your guests, you can set up DIY pizza or salad stations. Put the ingredients in individual serving dishes.
If you’re serving DIY pizza, you can set up your toaster or mini oven nearby as well, so guests can get their pizzas fresh and hot from the oven. Your salad station can be set up in a big cooler. Fill half of the cooler with ice then lay out your salad ingredients in plastic or glass containers. Put the cooler on top of your serving table.
Another type of food that’s easy to prep and set up is skewers. You can have fruit skewers or cheese and cold cuts on skewers. Stick the skewers on watermelons to make them easier for your guests to get.
For more party food ideas, also read: 10 delicious kids’ birthday party food ideas.
6. Make or Bake Your Baby’s Cake
For your baby’s cake, you have two choices: (1) go to the grocery store and buy a generic happy birthday cake. Get creative with toppers – a card that says happy birthday, additional sweet toppings like Oreos and M&Ms. Or, (2) bake one yourself.
The second one is going to be a lot more successful if you practice baking a cake beforehand. Doing a DIY birthday cake for the first time at your kid’s first birthday party might make it a “memorable” experience. But, if you want to avoid that kind of memory, practice beforehand.
7. Don’t Stress Over Loot Bags
The great thing about kids is that they’re not like adults who judge the gifts you give to them. So, as long as your loot bags are filled with things that will keep them amused and having fun, you have given them the best loot bag ever.
Also, you don’t need fancy and cute little paper bags to put your goodies in. A sandwich paper bag will do. Why? Because kids don’t care about the packaging. They care about what’s inside.
As soon as your little one hands over their loot bags to their kiddie guests, those fancy paper bags will be torn open. So save yourself the hassle and just use plain sandwich paper bags. If they’re too plain for you, by all means, decorate them with stamps or write “Thank you for coming” on the front.
As for the contents, go nuts with cheap little trinkets – stickers, candies, crayons, play-doh, bubble wands, 3-D glasses, and tiny toys. Don’t bother trying to think of giveaways that match a theme. Again, the kids won’t care and won’t even notice, so being random is key with your baby’s first birthday party package.
8. Host a Virtual Party
If using your home as a venue (or any kind of venue for that matter) really is not doable or your budget just can’t cut it, you can always opt for an online Zoom birthday party. All you need for that is your trusty internet.
While it may be a party pooper for your kiddie guests because they won’t get to play, you can design the program to make it fun for them. The best part is you can invite guests from all over Singapore – and even those abroad, and they won’t miss a single beat of your little one’s first birthday party.
So, you see? There’s nothing fancy schmancy with any of these ideas. Your wallet will truly appreciate you for trying these budget-friendly tips. And, frankly, no matter how your baby’s first birthday party turns out, your baby will love you no matter what. So, don’t sweat.
Image Source: iStock
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