Celebrate Your Baby’s First Birthday

If you’re like most new moms, you want your baby’s first birthday celebration to be magical. Sure, your new baby won’t remember the day, but luckily the pictures and videos you take will capture the moment forever. To make the party unique, incorporate birthday traditions from around the world into your festivities. These ideas will be fun for everyone involved -- including the birthday boy or girl.

Start the day with gifts. 
In some countries, parents place presents around their child’s bed at night. The birthday child gets to open the gifts as soon as he wakes up. Opening presents in the morning (even if you’re the one unwrapping the presents for your new baby) is a fun way to kick off the birthday celebrations.

Fly a flag.
In Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, parents hang the country’s flag outside their homes to recognize the birthday child’s big day. You can find birthday flags at most craft stores. Let it wave outside your home along with a few balloons to direct neighbors and friends to the birthday festivities.

Pop a piñata.
This Mexican-inspired birthday activity is a favorite of children everywhere. For this activity, blindfolded kids use a stick to whack away at a papier-mâché object until it bursts open, spilling candy and toys for kids to collect. If your child is too young for the game (and the candy), decorate the party with piñatas instead. They’ll add a fun pop of color to the celebration.

Slurp up some noodles.
In Asian communities, extra-long noodles are served at the birthday meal to symbolize the family’s hopes for the child’s long life. Noodles are the perfect finger food for your new baby, so serve some up in addition to your usual fare.

Make your child king or queen for the day.
The birthday child in Holland is honored with a specially decorated chair at the dining room table. Family members adorn the chair with flowers, streamers, and balloons, turning it into a special birthday throne. Do the same with a high chair on your baby’s first birthday -- it will look wonderful in photographs!

You can start your own family birthday traditions by incorporating some of these global baby games and activities. However you choose to celebrate, your baby’s first birthday will bring many smiles to you and your child and will be fun to look back on for years to come.