baby crawling with first birthday cake next to her

What To Do For Your Baby’s First Birthday

A baby's first birthday is such an exciting milestone! It's a time to reflect on the incredible year gone by and, of course, to celebrate. If you're looking for ways to make your little one's big day special, you're in the right place. We've pulled together our favorite ideas to help you plan a memorable and joyous celebration.

Why Celebrate your Baby’s First Birthday

baby's first birthday with birthday cake

Celebrating your baby's first birthday is a special tradition that marks a significant milestone. It's a joyful opportunity to reflect on the incredible journey of the past year, filled with countless firsts and unforgettable moments. This celebration isn’t just about the baby—it's also a moment for parents and loved ones to come together and appreciate the love and support that has nurtured this tiny human.

A first birthday party is a wonderful way to create lasting memories. Even though your baby might not remember the day, the photos and stories will be cherished for years to come. It’s also a chance to start family traditions that can be carried on for future birthdays.

Plus, it’s a great excuse to gather friends and family, share joy, and watch your little one’s face light up with excitement.

How to Celebrate your Baby’s First Birthday 

1. Planning the Perfect Party: Small or Big

baby's first birthday party table deocarations

When it comes to celebrating your baby's first birthday, deciding on the size of the party is key. Whether you opt for a small, intimate gathering or a big, lively bash, both have their unique charms.

A small party can be cozy and stress-free. Invite close family and friends for a relaxed celebration at home or in a nearby park. This setting allows you to focus on quality time with your baby and loved ones, making it a personal and heartwarming occasion.

On the other hand, a big party can be an exciting way to share your joy with a larger group. Renting a venue, setting up decorations, and organizing fun activities can turn your baby's first birthday into an unforgettable event. Just remember to keep your baby's comfort in mind—ensure there are quiet spaces for naps and breaks.

Ultimately, the best party size is the one that feels right for your family.

Organizing your baby's first birthday is a thrilling milestone! Yet, it can also seem daunting at times. To make things easier, we’ve put together a FREE First Birthday Checklist

Download your Free First Birthday Checklist Here. 

2. Delight in a Cake Smash

baby enjoying first birthday cake smash

A cake smash is a delightful and messy way to celebrate your baby's first birthday! This fun tradition involves giving your little one their own small cake to explore, smash, and enjoy. It's a perfect photo opportunity that captures the pure joy and curiosity of your baby as they dive into the cake.

To set up a cake smash, choose a simple, baby-friendly cake with soft frosting. You can even opt for a healthy version made with natural ingredients. Place the cake on a low table or directly on the floor, and let your baby go to town!

Be sure to have your camera ready to capture the adorable, messy moments. It is a baby milestone you’ll want to record! You might also want to have some wipes and a change of clothes handy for the inevitable cleanup.

A cake smash is a fantastic way to let your baby have fun and create precious memories that you'll cherish forever.

3. Celebrate with a Getaway

mom and baby on first birthday getaway

Why not celebrate your baby's first birthday with a family getaway? This can be a wonderful way to create special memories and enjoy some quality time together. Whether it's a weekend at the beach, a cozy cabin in the mountains, or a staycation at a local hotel, a change of scenery can make the celebration extra special.

When planning a getaway, choose a destination that is baby-friendly and not too far from home to avoid long travel times. Look for places that offer activities for all ages, including baby-friendly amenities like cribs, high chairs, and play areas.

Pack all the essentials, including your baby’s favorite toys, snacks, and comfort items, to ensure a smooth trip. See our baby travel checklist for tips on what to pack. 

A getaway allows you to relax and enjoy the milestone in a new environment, making it a memorable and enjoyable experience for the whole family. Plus, it’s a great excuse for some much-needed family bonding time!

4. Capture the Memories with a First Birthday Photoshoot

mom taking photos of baby on first birthday

A photoshoot is a wonderful way to celebrate your baby's first birthday and create lasting memories. Professional photos can capture your baby's personality, the joy of the milestone, and the love of your family in a beautiful way.

Choose a theme or setting that reflects your family's style—whether it's a cozy at-home session, an outdoor adventure in a park, or a whimsical studio setup with fun props. Dressing your baby in a special outfit or using favorite toys can add a personal touch to the photos.

To make the session enjoyable, schedule it around your baby's routine, ensuring they are well-rested and fed. A relaxed and happy baby makes for the best photos!

A first birthday photoshoot is more than just a photo session; it's a celebration of a year full of growth, love, and precious moments. The pictures will be treasured keepsakes for years to come, capturing this special time in your baby's life. Just be sure to do something special with baby first year photos

5. Create a First Birthday Time Capsule

Creating a time capsule is a meaningful and fun way to celebrate this special baby milestone.  This special project allows you to capture memories, milestones, and mementos that you can look back on in the future.

Start by choosing a sturdy container to hold your items. Then, gather special keepsakes from your baby's first year—such as their hospital bracelet, a favorite toy, a piece of clothing, and photos. You can also include a letter to your baby, describing your hopes and dreams for their future.

Invite family and friends to contribute notes or small items that have special meaning. Seal the container and store it in a safe place with plans to open it on a significant future birthday, like their 18th or 21st.

A time capsule is a beautiful way to preserve the joy and love of your baby’s first year, creating a treasure trove of memories to be cherished in the years to come.

6. Cherish the Memories with Footprint & Handprint Keepsakes

Creating footprint and handprint keepsakes is a heartfelt way to celebrate your baby's first birthday. These keepsakes capture the tiny size of your baby's hands and feet, preserving this precious stage of their life forever.

To make these keepsakes, you can use non-toxic ink or clay kits designed specifically for babies. Gently press your baby’s hands and feet onto the ink pad or into the clay to create the prints. You can frame these prints, make ornaments, or even design a custom piece of artwork for your home.

Involving older siblings or other family members can make the activity even more special. You can also add the date and a sweet message to make the keepsake even more personal.

Footprint and handprint keepsakes are not only adorable mementos but also wonderful gifts for grandparents and loved ones. They serve as a beautiful reminder of your baby’s first year, capturing the essence of this unforgettable milestone.

7. Enjoy Quality Time Together

mom holding baby in the air

Spending quality time together is a simple yet meaningful way to celebrate your baby's first birthday. This special day is about creating lasting memories and cherishing the bond you’ve built over the past year.

Plan a day filled with activities that your baby loves. This could include a trip to the park, reading favorite books, playing with toys, or even a relaxing day at home with lots of cuddles. You could also consider a family outing to a baby-friendly museum, zoo, or aquarium.

Involve other family members and close friends to share in the joy and make the day even more memorable. Remember to take plenty of photos and videos to capture these precious moments.

Ultimately, the most important thing is to focus on the happiness and well-being of your baby. Spending quality time together, showering them with love and attention, is the best gift you can give on this special day.

8. Record and Preserve First Birthday Memories

mom creating baby book on app

Recording memories from your baby's first birthday in a baby milestone book ensures that these special moments are never forgotten. To make this process easy and fun, use the Dujourbaby Baby Book app. This handy app allows you to document memories, upload photos, and create a beautiful keepsake—all from your phone.

The Dujourbaby Baby Book app is designed to simplify the process, making it easy to preserve your precious memories. You can download and try the baby book app for free today, ensuring that the magic of your baby's first birthday is beautifully documented and cherished for years to come.

Download & Try Baby Book App for Free

Making Memories: Celebrating Your Baby's First Birthday

mom kissing baby on first birthday

Your baby's first birthday is an exciting milestone filled with endless possibilities for celebration. From intimate gatherings to adventurous getaways, there are so many ways to make this day memorable. Choose the activities and traditions that resonate most with your family, ensuring the celebration reflects your unique style and values.

Amidst the festivities, take moments to reflect on the incredible journey of the past year. This day isn't just about your baby—it's a celebration of your growth as a parent and the love that surrounds your family. Be proud of all that you've accomplished together and look forward to the beautiful memories yet to come.

Whether you opt for a heartfelt photoshoot, a messy cake smash, or a quiet day of quality time, cherish every moment. Your baby's first birthday is a milestone worth celebrating in your own special way. Here's to love, laughter, and many more joyful milestones ahead!

Capture moments before they become blurry.

Beautiful moments with your precious baby won’t be ingrained in your memory forever. Ensure you document the wonderful early moments with your little one before it’s too late.

The Dujourbaby Memory Book App is a much easier way to build a baby book.

Download & Try For Free