Baby’s First Birthday: Ways To Celebrate Without a Party

Families with babies who turn one in 2020 are finding novel alternatives to the traditional big gathering featuring hats, noisemakers, and candles on the cake. Explore some ways to celebrate baby’s first birthday without a party. Foregoing the party is smart social distancing and will be a relief for sensitive babies who don’t like noise and lots of people around.

Read Your Favorite Books Together

Arrange your baby’s books from their earliest board books to the books about colors, numbers, and animals that one-year-olds enjoy. Your baby will love revisiting the old favorites and enjoy spending quality time with you looking at picture books and making animal sounds.

Make a Masterpiece

The joyful mess of fingerpainting can become a memento of your baby’s special day. Spread out newspaper to protect the table and floor and have at it with nontoxic fingerpaints in all the colors of the rainbow. Make sure one hand stays paint-free to snap photos of the inevitable decorated cheeks and noses. Bath time is bonus time after making your mutual masterpiece.

Make the Baby the Guest of Honor at a Family Meal

Move the highchair to the head of the table and make your baby feel like a VIP at the dinner table. Prepare your baby’s favorites and add a little something the baby can squish, smash, or splash—just be sure she’s fully protected with a special new bib!

Dress Up the Baby and Decorate the House

When your baby wakes up from naptime, dress the baby up in a special birthday outfit. Then bring baby out of the nursery to a decorated house, with happy birthday banners and brightly wrapped presents. Crinkly wrapping paper provides sensory fun when opening presents—so much that the baby may not notice the gift inside and prefer to flap the paper around for the fun of making crunchy, crinkly noise.

Take a Celebratory Stroll or Drive

Weather permitting, you can celebrate baby’s first birthday without a party by taking a socially distanced stroll through the park. If your baby loves motion, a car ride followed by a visit in the stroller to a botanical garden or park provides delightful sensations of movement plus the beauty of trees waving in the breeze.

First birthday parties have always been more for the adults than the babies. Many babies don’t like them, and they won’t remember them anyway. Put your baby first and spend the day doing things together that you know your baby loves. Cap the day with a meal of baby’s favorite foods, and you will have marked a memorable milestone with less stress and less expense.

When your next baby comes along, or your sister or your friend is expecting, choose one of our Milk Snob Disney baby car seat covers, or a cozy Milk Snob baby blanket to help launch her and her newborn on their magical first year.