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Fancy Parties for 1-Year-Olds Are a Waste of Money!

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Guest blogger Diana Landen: Throwing a fancy birthday party for a 1-year-old is like throwing your money down the toilet. The baby won't remember it, but that's a good thing because they aren't going to enjoy it, either.

Waldorf Hotel
Let me remind you of what a 1-year-old is like. They are learning to walk and talk. They are afraid of strangers. They don't like to separate from their parents. They couldn't care less about playing with other babies. Clowns scare them. They eat balloons and choke on them. They take two naps a day, one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

A momlogic blogger recently discussed throwing a party for her 1-year-old at the Waldorf-Astoria. A three-hour party with lots of guests? Professional entertainers dressed as cartoon characters? A music class and singalong for 1-year-olds? Assuming the kids aren't all in tears and clinging to their parents, what are they singing? "Mama, dada, milk, milk, milk?"

Let's face it: A toddler's idea of fun is finding an electric socket, not sitting in a circle for a music class. They want to explore, they want to play with Mom and they want to eat. As for filling the room with toys, babies can still amuse themselves with a set of mixing bowls or some pots to bang on. Why spoil that?Babies don't need monogrammed labels on their food, either. It could give them a swelled head -- if they knew the letters of the alphabet.

What do babies need for their first-birthday party? Cake, ice cream, some relatives to sing "Happy Birthday" and a present or two. If parents want to do something more to celebrate, go ahead and have a huge party. Just do your baby a favor, and leave them at home with a sitter.

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33 comments so far | Post a comment now
KS November 20, 2010, 9:11 AM

I have the same opinion which is why we have a very simple birthday celebration for the children until they hit school age. Then we throw then the big birthday with lots of guests. On the other hand it is simply my opinion and nobody has ever forced me to pay for their child’s birthday party.

Amber November 20, 2010, 10:15 AM

We had a big party for my daughter’s first birthday, but it was more a celebration of her being alive. After losing her twin during pregnancy, almost losing her during pregnancy, and then almost losing her to RSV after birth, we were just so happy she was still with us. So for us, it was a huge celebration of her being alive, healthy, and here with us. She may not remember, but it was a very important milestone for our family.

Michele November 20, 2010, 11:04 AM

Amber - that is so sweet. What a great celebration!! We’ve always had pretty big parties for the kids until they got to school age and then they just want their “closest” friends there. We used to have parties with close to 50 people each, now she has about 6 girls at her party. We are still in the big parties for our younger ones though - more about inviting all the family,cousins, and mom and dad’s friends and kids.

Melissa November 21, 2010, 2:49 AM

I agree… however… we live in an apartment. If we want to have any sort of party for my daughter, it has to be out. Not that we go to the Waldorf. Frankly, I’m thinking anything you do at 1 should be for the child and not for the family…. I regret doing it at a restaurant, she would have like a kiddie gym much better. But my MIL had something to say about that. Oh well, you live you learn.

???? November 22, 2010, 5:11 PM

I agree. It’s just a reason for parents to show off.

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