To spend for a party or a go on a beach getaway? One mom shares tips on how to celebrate your baby’s first birthday without having a big party.
What can you read in this article?
- Party or travel? Dilemma on celebrating your child’s first birthday
- Mommy Zendy’s tips on planning an intimate dedication party
- Must-haves for baby’s first beach trip
How to celebrate your child’s first birthday without a big party
First birthday – these two words bring both excitement and anxiety to moms.
It is in our culture to make big preparations for a child’s first birthday. My husband and I wanted to do this to share our joy of having our daughter, Margaux, in the company of family and friends.
But at the same time, we also wanted to have our first family travel with Margaux – just the three of us. Margaux loves the beach and we were very sure that she would love Boracay. So, we were torn between this grand celebration and our intimate escapade.
In the end, we decided to hold a child dedication party for Margaux before the day of her first birthday and travel on her special day.
We wanted to dedicate Margaux to the Lord on her first birthday with the presence of family and friends who will serve as her godparents.
How to celebrate the first birthday without a big party – plan an intimate (but meaningful) celebration instead
It was an intimate setup with around 40 guests. We chose a venue with a cozy ambiance and good food and limited our guests to adults except for the son of our close friends, Thirdy, who we consider as Margaux’s BFF. We did not invite kids since the celebration was not the typical kid’s birthday party.
To make it more memorable, we prepared a time capsule that Margaux will open on her 18th birthday and asked the godparents to write letters of blessing to put in the time capsule.
My favorite part of the celebration was when my husband and I prayed and dedicated our daughter to the Lord. It was a great and comforting experience. I was reminded that I do not hold her little life in my hands and that God is most concerned about her than I will ever be.
Everybody knows everybody so there was really no pressure in making it such a perfect event. This is what I love the most about intimate celebrations – people are present because they love and care for you, and not because of the frills that go with big events.
It was a joyous celebration for all of us. We are grateful that we are blessed with a very supportive village.
Image courtesy of Mommy Zendy
Tips on planning an intimate celebration
Here are some guidelines we adhered to while planning Margaux’s intimate dedication party:
1. Decide on a budget and stick with it.
If you will not decide on a budget, you will always go over what you planned to spend.
2. Create a guest list.
In our case, we invited family and friends who witnessed our journey as a couple and who would love and care for our child on our behalf.
Inform your parents in advance that you are preparing for an intimate party and the venue can only accommodate a certain number of guests. This way, they’ll understand why the other relatives cannot be invited.
3. Select a venue with good food and the ambiance you want to create.
Good food ushers people to good conversation. People will always remember how good or bad the food was.
4. Choose a good baker for the birthday cake.
Book your order in advance because good bakers are usually packed with orders. Choose a baker who cannot only make beautiful customized designs but more importantly, can make tasty cakes.
5. Send out an invitation with RSVP so you can maximize the number of your guests.
You can do this digitally now to avoid additional costs. Let them confirm a week before your party so you can invite the next available person on your guest list.
Image courtesy of Mommy Zendy
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How to celebrate the first birthday without a big party – go on that family trip!
The next day, we traveled to Boracay to celebrate Margaux’s birthday. It was a long drive from home but we took our time. We enjoyed the scenery and relished being with our little family.
The challenging part came when we rode the small boat to Boracay. Margaux would not settle down. She wanted to crawl and walk around the entire boat. Fortunately, it was only a ten-minute ride.
When we reached the island and she saw the beach, we knew that we made the right decision to travel. Margaux was ecstatic. Happiness and excitement were written all over our little girl’s face. It was also the first time that I saw her stand and walk steadily without falling right away.
We were glad she liked our birthday gift. We stayed at a beachfront hotel. We carefully considered the location of the hotel since we have a baby to carry. We enjoyed swimming and eating together as a family.
Image from Mommy Zendy
What to pack for baby’s beach trip
Image courtesy of Mommy Zendy
I love making travel itineraries so I prepared everything in advance – from where will we eat breakfast to midnight snacks. Margaux’s bag was lightweight since she was breastfed. We only brought her clothes and some essentials when traveling with a baby.
If you’re bringing your baby to the beach for the first time, here are some things you should bring:
- Vitamins and medicines for fever, allergy, and colic. You will never know when you will need them so it is handy to have them ready rather than search for drugstores in the middle of the night.
- Sunscreen. The sun has been too intense these days so we always carry this.
- Mosquito-repellent lotion. It is always safe to apply this on your baby when you’re traveling because you do not know if the place has a lot of dengue cases.
- Healthy baby snacks. This is to ensure that she gets the right nutrition and not eat the chips that mommy and daddy stacked in the car.
- Water. Always remember: water is life.
The beach was such a good place to relax and spend time with family. The three days were most enjoyable not only because of the place but more importantly, the presence of people who matter most. I have always loved traveling and it’s best done when you’re with family.
How to celebrate your baby’s first birthday without a big party? Whatever you choose for your child’s first birthday celebration, I hope that you will remember what’s important, and that is being together with dad and mom. Being present in the moment is what matters most.
Big party or a beach getaway with the family for your child’s birthday? What would you choose, moms? Tell us in the comments section!
About the author
Zendy Evans Tamisen is a wife and mom to a very adorable little girl. She’s an Air Traffic Controller by profession but loves to write and play volleyball in her free time.