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1st Birthday Planning

I know Coen is only 6 months, but I think about this from time to time and I wanted to share our thoughts.

We've (my husband and I have) talked about this a few times and every time, we come to the same conclusion.

Coen's first birthday will be a big deal. A huge deal! Our family will all be together to celebrate, but it will (mainly) be a family affair.

We'd love to include everyone, we really would.  We have tons of friends with babies and children that would love to celebrate with him, I know this.  However, it's just not practical.  I don't want to host everyone in my house, because it's just not big enough and I don't want to rent a place. I want it to be about Coen and to invite everyone would just take the focus away and we just can't afford to invite everyone.  Our plan is to invite all of our immediate family, a few of our closest friends and that's pretty much it.  At least for the first one.

In my family, every birthday that comes around, we either have dinner at my parent's house or out somewhere.  (Sean's family is adopting this method too.) It's the way we've always done it and while we don't have to go out for Coen's birthday dinner, I'd still like to have everyone together, just as though he's joining in on the birthday fun.

Some of our friends will probably feel left out.  Some of them might be offended that we aren't including them, but I just don't want to start a trend and I don't want to feel like they would have to reciprocate the same sort of invite.  It's just a lot of work and a lot of money.  It won't always be this way, but I want his first birthday to be small and special for Coen.

I stressed about this when I was pregnant, too.  Who to include and who not to include.  I went round and round about it.  I wanted to include everyone because it just seemed right and I know that they were excited for this moment in our lives.  But after it was all said and done, I felt bad because there were several people that came to my shower that I couldn't even talk to because it was just a lot of people.  (thank you W.)  I don't want to feel that same way with birthday parties and since Coen is so little, I'd want him to have fun at his party and being held and in a chair isn't really his forte.  I want him to be able to be on the floor if he wants or in his pack n' play... whatever and if I have a house full, that won't be able to happen.  It's just what we think will work and we hope that everyone can appreciate this.  We just want Coen to have a good time!

A friend of mine said that for her son's birthday they let him invite the number of friends as the year he is turning.  So if he's going to be 5, he gets 5 friends.  I think this is a great idea. 

What do you do for your baby's/children's birthdays?


M said…
birthday parties can be stressful! It should be fun and relaxing and memorable.... this sounds like a blurb from my planning you need an event planner j/k :)

do what feels right for you and those that matter will not care whether they are invited or not. present company included.
Jeannie said…
For Henry's first birthday, we invited everyone...friends and family. Which meant..70 people! Thank goodness my MIL has a great big yard to hold all the people. For his 2nd birthday, we cut the list, but still 50 people...and there were comments of people feeling 'left out', bu I don't want to do that every year as he's going to start to get his own friends and it's going to get really out of control. I think it's a great idea to never start.
Sassytimes said…
We do just family for 1st birthday's too. Little ones get so overwhelmed so easily and it IS supposed to be about them. I always wanted to make sure my child had a good time and the focus was on them and their BIRTH day. Not me trying to entertain. I will do just family for parties until the child can specifically ask for friends to come (Sophia was age 3 for asking). Then, I also do the as many friends as how old you are rule. So, for Sophia's 3rd birthday, she was allowed to invite 3 friends. Let me tell you, it was crazy! It was so much more relaxing and enjoyable with just family. ;) But, it's what she wanted and SHE had a blast. That's all that matters.

Don't worry about other people...someone will always be offended over something regarding your child. Do what is best for your family.
Mrs. B said…
My little one is a few months older than Coen, but we're planning the same thing - close family and a few friends. I totally agree with you. Otherwise it's just out of control and I've been at too many parties where the birthday kid is completely freaked out. I like the idea of something nice and intimate, too. Anyways, in my family we were always allowed to have a big party every other year. There wasn't ever a person limit, but on odd years we got a "family only" party and on even years we could have a big "friends" party. It worked out pretty well (and there were 7 of us!)
Alyson said…
We had about 40 people at N's first birthday. It was so fun and I don't think he was overwhelmed at all since his friends that he see's all the time were there and his family. He was so tired by the end of the party though. Grandma and gpa had to take him home to nap while we wrapped things up. Not sure about the 2nd birthday yet. We might just do family but we will see. I love planning and throwing parties. :)

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