A post by Tan Kuan Chuen.
Your child’s first birthday, like all his/her other milestones (smiling at you, learning to coo, blowing saliva bubbles) should be the most momentous occasion, ever.
Here are some steps to ensure the party will be remembered long after the diapers come off and college applications are sent. We did all the thinking, so you can concentrate on celebrating and diaper duty.
The invitation sets the tone
Have you ever received a party invite that was printed by the banquet hall / restaurant, some printer in Chow Kit or worse still home printer? That is no way to kick off your child’s first. Imagine what your friends and relatives will think of these mass-produced cards.
Think something like bespoke hand pressed invites, and please on paper that is from responsibly managed forests only. Our favourite are the guys from The Alphabet Press.
The venue and your sanity
There is no greater joy than a room filled with toddlers and babies. However three is indeed a company: yelling, wailing and crying – are the sounds from happy or irate kids.
This cacophony is to be expected, and hence do choose a venue that minimises all these.
When you check the venue out, get at least 5 people to yell ca cuckoo ca cuckoo at the top of your lungs, if there are strong echoes or reverberations, walk away.
But if you insist, there are things you could do such as draping cloth on the ceiling to absorb sound, or mixing some cough syrup in the punch. Enquire about this at your local pharmacy. Give the measurements of your punch bowl, and how many kids you are expecting, your pharmacist will set you up.
The stats chalkboard for guests to truly know you toddler
The #POTD, Insta Story and FB Live updates of your little one just doesn’t provide enough information of your kid to your family and friends.
Hence it is very important you have a chalkboard with all the milestones and favs of your little one. We don’t recommend an actual board drawn with chalk as people have itchy hands, get a 4A agency to design and print one.
Get two cakes to A) serve guests B) for your little one to smash
Two cakes please. You shouldn’t be selfish and deprive your kid of a Montessori sensorial activity. Smashing a cake shows you are learned in the ways to bring up an all-rounder.
Afford respect to presents
Your guests took so much time picking out that toy/bag of diapers/book for your child and then had to wrap it before thinking long and hard about something cute to write on the card. The very least you could do is to spend 10 hours thinking how to decorate the gift station and another 10 executing your idea.
Choosing a photographer
Hire a professional duh. Get those specialised in child photography. While it is tempting to post pictures on the day itself, refrain. Give your photographer a day to edit and touch up the pictures before you post any. Bad pictures are forever on the internet, remember this.
The obvious basics
a. Theme – Disney, Pink/White, Baby Shark are so 2008. Take this opportunity to teach kids about championing a cause. E.g. Fairies of Lalaland – you may ask parents to dress children in fairy costumes while educating them about Lala clams and how proper cooking is the way to go to avoid getting helicobacter pylori.
b. A photowall – goes without saying your child’s name should be on it, together with the age in case guests mistake it for a two year old’s birthday. These things happen more often than you think.
c. Goodie bags – imagine how your guests’ kids feel just giving. In today’s all children are winners society, you as a host should prepare goodie bags for kids attending too. Make sure you have bags for children under 1, 1-3, 3-6, 6-12 years old. The formula companies got these age brackets right, you should too for their needs are different at each stage.
d. Hashtag for the day – make sure it’s easy to spell. If your kid is named Dashiell or Joaquin, try shortening it to #DashsFirst / #JoaqTurnsOne. Provide WiFi too.
e. Take leave the next day – tagging and thanking everybody on Facebook takes time.
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