1 Great Reason to NOT Celebrate Your Baby's First Birthday

pink birthday cake

When my daughter turned 1, people assumed I'd celebrate with a birthday party. On the contrary: I did nothing for my daughter's first birthday. No gifts, no cake, no party. Nada.

Am I a monster? For the record, I did consider doing at least something to mark this occasion, until my husband pointed out the obvious.

"She's 1," he said. "She won't remember it."


I could see his point. The earliest birthday I vaguely remember from my childhood was at age 4, at a fast food restaurant with my nursery school class. I remember blue icing on a white cake, a "behind the scenes" tour of how French fries were made ... but that's it. Or maybe my mind fabricated those memories from photos I'd seen of the event years later.

Whatever the case, the fact remains that I have no memories, fabricated or otherwise, of any of my birthdays before my 4th. And so, it goes to reason that any birthday parties before the 4th -- 3, 2, definitely 1 -- would be a total wash. My daughter wouldn't remember one lick of it. So why drive myself nuts putting some elaborate celebration together?

I know plenty of parents who did just that. One mom I know pulled off a first birthday party that probably ate up more time and money than it took to plan my wedding. Did her 1-year-old care? Not in the slightest. In fact, she was terrified of all the fuss ... so then who, exactly, was this party for?

Let's get real: Birthday parties for 1-year-olds aren't for 1-year-olds. They're for moms. Period. If a mom can throw a great first birthday party, she can feel like she's a Good Mom, and if there are clowns and cake pops, maybe she's even a Great Mom Who Can Do It All.

If you're a mom who threw a big birthday party for your 1-year-old, hats off to you. But if you're a mom who wants to do little or nothing, don't feel guilty or give in to worries that you're being selfish, lazy, or inept. Maybe you share my feeling that kids' birthday parties have just spiraled way out of control. Between the goody bags and the "invite everyone in your kid's class" rule at schools, these parties have become an epic drain on time and finances that many modern-day moms can't afford.

Case in point: You know that mom I mentioned who threw that huge, wedding-level first birthday party for her kid? For her child's second birthday, she did nothing -- she was still burnt out from planning the first! So save your energy, mamas. You're going to need it soon enough.

Did you plan a big first birthday party for your child?

Image ©iStock.com/Vesivus

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