{Baby's First Birthday}

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Well, my little Sweet Pea is no longer, technically, a little baby anymore :'-( She had her first birthday last week.

We had a little baby bash for her on the weekend, with three of her little baby 'friends' and their parents over for brunch. It was really casual, laid-back, and perfect for Baby's First Birthday.

The Invitation: I made an invitation using Smilebox. There are lots of cute designs, both free and with a subscription. We invited people to come for brunch, as it seemed a good time between morning and afternoon naps.

The Guests: We deliberated about whether to invite our close friends and their kids, or just babies of a similar age, and finally decided to just invite her 'friends' from our mommy-baby group. We thought it would be too much of an age range to keep them all happy and entertained otherwise. And let's face it - what 6 or 7 year old really wants to hang out at a baby party with a bunch of little babies? So there were three baby friends, ranging in age from 9 months to 22 months, plus Sweet Pea and Princess Pea - who was excited to play the role of the official Babysitter.

The Menu: I wanted to keep it really simple and easy, and to have something for both the grown-ups and the babies to enjoy. So, we had bagels - perfect for everyone! There were a selection of cream cheeses, jams, cold cuts, and cheese to go on the bagels, plus cut up slices of oranges, mini yogurt drinks, and fruit juice (as well as coffee for the parents, of course).

The Decorations: We hung up some homemade paper flowers, some paper rainbow garland, and a couple of  'happy birthday' garlands. We also had some cupcake-shaped candle holders for the table. All very colourful, but simple. Really, I don't think decorations are needed for a baby party, but we happened to have them on hand.

The Cake: This was another point of deliberation - should we give our baby cake? Neither of our children had ever had anything with sugar before their first birthdays, though Sweet Pea had had some baby rusks, which are very slightly sweet. We weren't too crazy about introducing sugar until it becomes unavoidable! Princess Pea didn't have a cake for her first birthday, instead she had a watermelon, which was her absolute favourite food at the time. But Sweet Pea didn't really have a favourite food like that, so the compromise I came up with was that instead of a real cake, I made banana muffins. For the grown-ups, I added some white cream cheese icing. For babies, plain. I put them in my cupcake stand.

The Music: We put on a little Raffi, one of our kids' favourites. We also left out our basket of musical instruments for the babies to make their own music.

The 'Games': Free play, of course! We tidied away everything except for a few carefully chosen baby-friendly toys - some shape sorters and soft balls, the play kitchen and food items, the musical instruments, our Shiny Box, and the animal figures.

The Favours: Each baby took home a ball, a sand toy, and one of the paper flowers.

I think it was very sucessful - everyone seemed to have a nice time and there were no tears! In baby terms, that's a sign of a good party!

What did you do for your baby's first? Or what are you planning? Who did you invite? Did you give your baby cake? Did you have a particular theme, or did you skip a theme, like us? I'd love to hear others' ideas!