by: Kimberly Bowman

It is tempting when your baby is approaching a year to plan a big bash to celebrate this amazing milestone. Certainly, it is accomplishment that you have made it through the first year and letting that day come and go without marking it would seem wrong. After all, your pride and joy smiles, babbles, maybe scoots and possibly walks. They are the picture of adorable and who wouldn’t want to show that off and celebrate? In truth however, if they were able to truly understand the ramifications of such an event they would probably say, “No, thanks, Mom.”

At one, babies physiologically need at least one solid nap per day. It will generally last at least two hours and is a harbinger of good nighttime sleeps. In addition, their diet at this point has probably consisted of breast milk, maybe formula, perhaps bits of the different food groups, some of which may have actually entered their digestive systems and not their hair. They are used to a certain amount of stimuli – books, toys, music, balls, clapping, baths. To take them from this routine kind of day and to instead have one where mommy is preoccupied setting up the margarita machine, they are surrounded by 25 close friends, they eat a large slice of refined carbohydrates and may have had a poor nap, is a major shock. They may even spend a good portion of their birthday in tears and exhaustion.

A better plan would be to keep it simple. Even it you want to celebrate this day with your friends, and that is understandable, make sure that the rest of the day is spent per normal. Have a wee cupcake ceremony with a few family members when it makes sense for the birthday girl, for example after the mandatory nap and long before dinner. The “cupcake” can be anything you wish it to be. Wearing a birthday hat, Mommy and Daddy singing and getting your picture taken will make a blob of plain yogurt with a blueberry on top seem like a cupcake. Besides, have they ever seen a cupcake? If you do plan on going the cake and icing route, be sure the remaining meals of the day are top notch. Invite your friends over after bedtime and have pictures to show them of the babe in his birthday hat. Make some margarita cupcakes for yourself.

Babies and children will not remember birthday party celebrations until they are considerably older. Save your energy and their peaceful days by waiting.