First Birthday Parties


Alright, first let’s wrap up last week’s poll, shall we?

Do you have a Twitter account/ How do you feel about Twitter?

-I do have an account and I love it! - 6 (26%)

-I have an account, don't use it that much - 4 (17%)

-I have an account, but I don't really "get" Twitter - 7 (30%)

-Don't have an account, prefer other social media - 0 (0%)

-Don't have an account, don't understand the point of Twitter - 6 (26%)

Votes: 23

Wow, I was a bit surprised at the results this time!  I guess I’m surprised at how many people don’t really get Twitter.  But I shouldn’t be, because it took me about two years (?) to understand it. And I’m still not an expert.

Twitter can actually be pretty helpful to bloggers (more so than for the general public, I think), but it is way easier to get into if you have a smart phone.  If you have a smart phone and you’re a blogger, you definitely need to give it a good try. No excuses for you!

Any bloggers out there who consider themselves adept at Twitter?  Because I think the results of this poll call for a post on understanding Twitter, but I’m not sure I’m the person to write it.  But I would love to have you write a guest post for me on the subject.  I’m serious.  E-mail me at if you are interested!


Okay, on to today’s topic, and the subject of the next poll – first birthday parties.


(From Wyatt’s first birthday party. I just realized that one of the lights in our chandelier was out.  Ignore that.)

I’ve been thinking about first birthday parties a lot lately.  Maybe because I’m only four months removed from Wyatt’s first birthday party.  Maybe because it seems like lots of babyies in the mom-blog world are hitting “One-derland”!  Maybe it’s because I still find cute ideas for parties that I pin to my party Pinterest board.

There are some amazing party ideas out there.  Seriously.  Just search “first birthday party” on Pinterest and take a look at what comes up.  It’s hard not to want your own child’s first birthday to be just as fabulous as all that.

The cute themes.  The birthday banners.  The artfully decorated smash cakes.  The highchairs.  The party hats/outfits. The food tables.  The favors.  The guestbooks.  The presents.


(Wyatt’s birthday guestbook.)

Anything that can be done for first birthday parties seems to be done these days.

I’m not necessarily saying it’s a bad thing.  You all have seen Wyatt’s first birthday party post.  You know the effort I put into it, and I had such fun doing it.

But what I’m getting at more than effort is the money that goes into all of this.  Or at least the pressure for all the money to go into this.

A few months before Wyatt’s first birthday, I got the catalog in the mail.  The first birthday catalog.  Filled with tons of decorations, accessories, and pretty much anything you could think of wanting for a party.

I’m sure you all got the same catalog.  How do these people get our names, anyway?

Sure, they had a ton of cute stuff in it.  But I sat down and added up all the things that you could buy for one party, based on what they were selling in the catalog.  And it was a lot of money.  At least it was a lot to me, but maybe I have unrealistic expectations about what it takes to throw a first birthday party.



After I threw Wyatt’s first birthday party I sat down and added up how much I spent on everything, including outfit, decorations, presents, and food.  At first I thought what I spent was a lot, but not after looking at the catalog.

And it made me wonder, what is the average amount that is spent on first birthday parties these days?  I really want to know.

Because let’s be honest, people, the kids aren’t going to remember any of it.  First birthday parties are often more for the parents and family than for the kids, just because of the fact that they won’t remember.

Wyatt won’t remember his first birthday party.  I will.  But he won’t.

I don’t remember my first birthday party.  I like looking at the pictures.  It was a circus theme, and I had a cake shaped like a circus train.  But that was the extent of it – no elaborate decorations or any of that.

And I looked perfectly happy, thrilled even, with my little party.


(Wyatt at his first birthday party.)

And yet it seems like there is all this pressure to have an amazing first birthday party for our kiddos.  Probably more so for us blogging/pinning people.  And aside from the outside pressure we also put the pressure on ourselves, because who doesn’t want everyone to “ooh and aah” over our creativity? 

I know I’m not immune.  And I really don’t think it’s bad to spend a bit of money and effort making your child’s first birthday party special.

I just think there should be a balance.

So, in light of that, what do you think is a reasonable amount to spend on a first birthday party?  How much would you/did you spend on your child’s first birthday party (including decorations, presents, outfits, and food)?

Tell me below if you feel comfortable, otherwise you can be anonymous and vote to the left!  I’m going to leave this poll open a little longer to last through next week, and I'm allowing multiple answers for those of you who have multiple kiddos.

I’ll tell you how much I spent on Wyatt’s party when I do the wrap-up of this poll in a couple weeks!

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Jessica said...

I don't know how much I'd spend on a first birthday party since I've never really had a reason to think about it before. However, I have already felt pressure to make first birthday parties way over-the-top, and have felt a bit stressed out about it. And for all I know, I won't even need to think about it for years yet! Haha...I think there definitely is the temptation there for first time moms especially to go all out. My sister, who doesn't really read blogs and doesn't have a Pinterest account, was absolutely shocked by my cousins' birthday parties for their 1-year-olds this past winter, because she had no idea people were making it such a big deal these days. Again, there is nothing wrong with it...I just think it's very different than it was when we were younger. I'm curious to read other comments and see the results to your poll this week.

Nicole said...

I was also shocked after adding up the $ from Marco's birthday... we spent about $500!!! Thankfully my mom and MIL threw in $100 each to help cover the cost. That said, it was his THIRD birthday... he was really excited, he grasped the concept and I think he'll remember it, for a while at least.
I think that at times the first birthday can become a bit of a mompetition... especially if you're a blogger. We have to be sure that our motivation and intentions are not to show off how amazing and creative we are. At some point, you just have to say, "it's good enough". Really, I'm no Martha Stewart!

LeAnna said...

First of all, Wyatt's party was SO CUTE! And from reading your blog for a while, I just can't "see" you spending multiplied hundreds of dollars on a birthday party. You always strike me as thrifty, but obviously that doesn't affect the cuteness factor! And rightly so! Needless to say, I'm interested to see your party cost breakdown.

We don't really do a "party" for the first birthday. I do make a nice lunch or supper (brisket, soup, salad and bread, etc) cake and cupcakes, and we invite family only. For Q I blew up balloons, but Sprig didn't even get that luxury. ;)

Now that Q is older (he'll be four in January) I'm pretty sure we'll do a party for him. He has a few friends now, and while I doubt I'll do a big themed party, we'll jazz it up a bit more than I have the past 3 years. I grew up with big birthday parties only every couple of years, and my Hubby never had a birthday party (not even for family!) so we take a pretty low-key approach.

The Life Of Faith said...

First of all, you have a lovely blog! I'm so glad I stopped by for a visit:) Secondly, your son is adorable! And finally, I'm glad you pointed out your chandelier...I love it! Don't worry about the light being out...I can't seem to keep all five of the bulbs in my chandelier alive at the same time!

Happiness Is... said...

I am just getting into Twitter but LOVE it!! I agree there is no reason not to check it out!

As for the party, I didn't spend an outrageous amount but it still adds up - I don't know the exact total honestly, but it wasn't horrible and I did it over time. Either way, it all adds up to be a lot when you consider what it is for.

Did you see my giveaway? Wyatt would look cute in one of the shirts :)

Sarah said...

Hi Callie!

hmm...for Luke's first b-day we just had a homemade cake (carrot-oat) and gave him some presents. He didn't have any friends yet because we were living out in the middle of nowhere then and he didn't really have any place to meet no big party. We wanted it to be at least a little memorable so we had the cake, a balloon or two, and the presents, which probably cost about $5! He enjoyed eating the cake and liked his presents, so we were happy with that.

When he is actually old enough to enjoy a party where there are kids and games, I will probably do something more planned out. Usually the state of our checkbook determines these sorts of things. :P

Your party looked very creative and fun!


Natalie said...

I would love to read a post about twitter! I Don't get it. And why a blogger w/ a smartphone should use it :) Share the twitter knowledge, please!!

My Dear Gs... said...

I definitely agree that the party is more for everyone else & not the baby. However, I decided with my first born that we would have a bug 1st bday party & then small family parties until she turns 5 or 6. So, it's easier to handle the stress of a big 1st party knowing I won't have to do anOther for a while!!

Unknown said...

haha I love having a twitter as well! I seriously love it and you're right, it is handy for bloggers!
and omg that will be a fun party even if he won't remember it! As long as you do!

Amanda said...

I've started pinning ideas for Natalie's first birthday party just because everything is so darn cute, but in reality, I plan on just having a small family get-together. Is it just me, or do the food tables and cakes from these elaborate (and beautiful) parties resemble wedding receptions??? And I'm sure they have a price tag to match said receptions! It's so much fun to get the creative juices flowing, especially when it comes to making things for your own child(ren), but this mama's budget is the size of a shoestring, so I'm all for the thrifty homemade stuff, even though I'm sure I'll take a peek or two at that catalog you're talking about if it comes in the mail.

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

I truly believe Pinterest has changed our party planning. People used to be able to go to a party store and purchase all of the items for that specific theme (banners, paper products, etc) for a minimal amount of $$. We used to be able to grab some pizzas and a cake from the store. But now, there are so many cute ideas, that it's just "expected" to throw an amazing, well-crafted bash! No matter what the occasion-- wedding showers, baby showers, birthday parties, any kind of party. I love to party plan, but it does get super expensive and there is a ton of pressure.

Kate Craig said...

I've actually been thinking about this a lot, but from a different angle. I've gone to a couple first birthdays this year. No one went crazy with themes and decorations, but they did invite a number of families with small children. And I think that really took away from it (maybe they loved the chaos? I'm just not there). The focus really couldn't be on the birthday kid, and they had to worry about entertainment for multiple ages. Josh thinks the whole thing is crazy anyway, so we will probably just invite our best friends and their daughter and see if either of our parents want to come down. And that will limit the cost. Of course if you have a lot of local family you probably have to do the big party thing!

Melanie said... know I'm not sure what I ended up spending on Makayla's first birthday party! I had to be thrifty since Damon is unemployed at the I know however much it was definately didn't 'break' us by any means! Her gifts were a little pricey (I ordered her bookshelf) but I had been saving back for that. All her decorations I made and really...shouldnt have added up to more than $25 or so. I think it all is the way you go about doing things..whether like you said you order stuff from a catalog (yeah I got one too..what is up with them finding all of us and our babies first birthdays?!) or make it yourself. I find making it yourself (or most anyways) you get more pride from the overall expereince. Like you said..its more for the parents..not the kiddos..cause they can't remember it! And I TOTALLY agree..being a blogger adds more pressure because we're all sharing what we've done for parties..etc..and I guess we want to 'live up' to our own expectations! I dont know why that is..but it is!! :-)

Julie S. said...

For Brayden's first birthday party, I really went cheap. I didn't even know if my own family would make it since it was our busy season, so we did cake and ice cream, a smash cake for him, cute invites that I did through Shutterfly, and drinks. That was it. His 2nd birthday we did actual food, but Brandon's grandma made most of it. I try to keep it around $100 including invites/postage (we have a HUGE extended family close by) because honestly, I just can't justify spending more. Kenley's might be more just because she is a girl (ha!) but in all honesty, I will try to keep it the same. I don't think there is anything wrong with doing more, but I just have to keep it simple for me! Our kiddos both have birthdays during busy seasons, so I don't have much help planning and preparing.

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