It’s Okay Not to Throw a Birthday Party for Your Baby

If you're the member of just about any mommy group on Facebook you’ve no doubt seen post after post asking for recommendations related to a baby’s first birthday. Whether the poster is asking for first birthday themes, recommendations for venues or activities, or snack and party food ideas, it can seem like there’s a lot that goes into throwing a first birthday party. After seeing all the responses, theme after theme and idea after idea, it can seem that just about everyone is throwing their baby the first birthday party of their dreams.

If you’re not planning to throw your baby a party it might even feel like you’re doing something wrong. Whether you’re not throwing a party because money is tight, life is busy, friends are hard to come by or you’re just not up to it, I’m here to tell you unequivocally, that it’s just fine not to throw your child a first birthday party. Check out the reasons below that it’s alright to skip the bash on your baby’s big day.

birthday party
Image via Unsplash/ Freestocks.org

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It’s expensive

There’s no doubt about it, even a budget bash is likely going to cost more than a lot of families are willing or able to spend. Skipping the party can help you stay on track with bills, keep up with groceries, save up for something special, or even splurge on a big gift or experience for your little one.

They won't remember

While the pictures will probably be cute, there’s absolutely no way that your baby will remember their first birthday. If you’re wondering if your baby will be somehow missing out if you skip the first birthday bash, rest assured that they’re not. Your baby is totally unaware that birthdays even exist and, I promise, if you take them to a park, snuggle up for an extra book, get them a balloon, or even spend a few extra minutes making giggly faces in their direction, they’ll have as much fun as they would at a birthday party.

Parties can cause serious stress

Throwing a party is stressful in the best of times but, if things in your life are tough in other ways, it may bring a level of stress that’s just too much. Parties can also cause undue stress about totally normal things, like not yet having found your ‘mom tribe’ or having friends in a new city to invite over. Skipping the party and focusing on your baby is likely going to cause much less stress than trying to pull together a bash that your heart's just not into.

Sometimes, quiet reflection is more meaningful

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Your baby’s first birthday is a big day, not just for them but for you too. You’ve been parenting them for a whole year. Growing into being their person and learning how to take care of them. Changing diapers, wiping their nose, and rocking them to sleep again and again.

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While a party can be fun, sometimes some quiet reflection – a few moments where you really, really study their little hands and ears, an afternoon at the park where you push them on the swing and watch the breeze push back the hair on their forehead or, even just taking a few minutes to journal on the past year can serve as a wonderful celebration of their first trip around the sun.

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It’s Okay Not to Throw a Birthday Party for Your Baby

Julia Pelly has a master's degree in public health and works full time in the field of positive youth development. Julia loves hiking after work, swimming during the summer and taking long, cuddly afternoon naps with her two sons on the weekends. Julia lives in North Carolina, with her husband and two young boys. You can find more of her work at JuliaPelly.com ... More

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