How To Make Your Baby's 1st Birthday Special During The Coronavirus Pandemic
Being stuck in your house doing your absolute best to practice social distancing doesn't mean you can't celebrate a birthday — especially a first birthday. With a little creativity, there are plenty of ways you can make your baby's first birthday special during coronavirus.
The first year of your baby's life is definitely something worth celebrating. You made it through countless sleepless nights, dozens and dozens of diaper changes, tantrums (don't worry, those aren't over yet!), growth spurts, and tons of spit-up. You enjoyed so many snuggles, laughed a lot, and spent plenty of time tickling their impossibly tiny toes. There were first foods, first steps, their first tooth — all the firsts — and you made it. Now, it's time for your baby's very first birthday celebration and you're ready to party hard.
Can you get together with all of your loved ones? Unfortunately, no. But can you still have a cake, decorate, and take lots of adorable photos in your baby's perfect birthday outfit? Absolutely. Sure, it may not look exactly like the blowout party you had all planned out on your "Baby's First Birthday" Pinterest board, but you can still incorporate plenty of those ideas and have a celebration to remember.
1. Go All Out With Your Decor
If you're a planner, you may have special ordered a personalized birthday banner, confetti, streamers, and balloons months ago. And if not, there's still time. (In fact, there's ample time.) Place an online order for anything and everything you can get your hands on that you can decorate with. Pick a cute theme, make posters, and just. go. nuts.
If there was ever a time to over-decorate, this is it. Drape those tablecloths, hang the banners and streamers, and toss the confetti. Heck, you could even re-paint your kitchen walls to match your baby's party decor now that you have the time. Your home is your oyster right now, so deck it out to help make your baby's first birthday as memorable as possible. And don't forget to take lots and lots of photos.
2. Have A Smash Cake
A smash cake is a traditional part of a first birthday and for many parents, this is the first time their baby will have a taste of sweet, sweet sugar. Luckily, your baby can still enjoy this tradition despite the current state of affairs. You likely either have the ingredients needed to make a tasty smash cake on hand already or can have them delivered from the grocery store right to your doorstep.
If you're not much of a baker, you can also support a local business during all of this uncertainty by ordering your kid's first birthday smash cake from a bakery. They'll likely be thrilled to help out, and it's highly possible you will end up with a masterpiece of a cake that your baby can smash to bits as they stuff their face.
3. Take Lots Of Photos
First birthday photoshoots are such an adorable way to chronicle this milestone in your baby's life. Set up your own photoshoot at home with balloons and a smash cake, and dress your baby in a special birthday outfit. Then go crazy snapping as many photos as you can to see if you can get a great shot or two to help document the day.
Some professional photographers are even offering safe, social distance-acceptable photo sessions with their massive zoom lenses that you can take advantage of from the comfort of your own front porch. If your neighborhood has a Nextdoor page or Facebook page, try posting to see if any photographers local to you can walk over and shoot a porch session of your family to help remember your baby's first birthday.
4. Have A Virtual Party
Just because you're separated from friends and family right now doesn't mean you can't all celebrate together virtually. This can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Create a Facebook event and livestream your baby's cake smash, or take videos and photos of your decorations to send in a group text. If you're doing a video call on a platform like Zoom, you can even have party "guests" dress up, have their own snacks on hand, or play games together so it feels more like a real, in-person party.
5. Eat A Special Meal
Your baby's first birthday isn't just about celebrating their first year of life, it's also about celebrating your first year as a parent. You can make this occasion extra special by making your favorite meal or ordering in something delicious from a local restaurant. Has it been a while since you had a steak dinner? Are you craving some buffalo wings? Want to pop open a bottle of champagne after they go to sleep? Do all of that. Even though your baby might not eat any of those things just yet, you can definitely indulge in a delectable meal to celebrate their birthday.
6. Get Siblings Involved
If your baby has older siblings at home, they can get in on the first birthday action and help make the day memorable. Depending on their age, big brothers and sisters can help decorate, bake a cake, make cards, or blow up balloons — pretty much anything that helps them feel like they're part of the celebration.
They could even get creative and make up a special song to sing or poem to read that you can video to watch as a family for years to come to mark the occasion. When your baby is older, their siblings can help tell them all about what an amazing day they had celebrating their first birthday together.
7. Make A Video
Remember the episode of Friends where the gang celebrates Emma's first birthday by making her a video with special messages from everyone? You can do the same thing while practicing social distancing by asking your friends and family to tape their own messages for your little one.
Compile everyone's individual videos together to create one big video (don't forget to include yourself!) that your baby can watch years from now to remember how loved they were on their first birthday, despite their loved ones not being able to gather together to celebrate.
8. Collect Letters
Along the same lines as creating personalized video messages, you can have friends and family members mail letters to your baby to celebrate their first birthday from a safe distance. Put them in a box and give it to your child later on in life so that they can know just how much everyone cared about them on their first birthday. These letters will become tangible treasures that they can hang on to for years and years with the actual handwriting of all of the people who wanted to help make their first birthday special.
9. Create A Time Capsule
On your baby's birthday, you can make a time capsule filled with reminders of their first year of life for them to open years from now. Maybe you decide to give it to them when they turn 18, or maybe it's when their first baby turns a year old, but when they finally open it up, they'll get to see all of the mementoes from this year.
You can include items like the outfit they wore home from the hospital, a teething toy they gnawed on for hours when they cut their first tooth, a newspaper printed on the day they turned a year old, photos, or anything else that will remind them of their first year.
10. Receive Gifts Through The Mail
If friends and family still want to give the birthday boy or girl gifts for their first birthday, encourage them to order them online to be shipped directly to your house, or send them through the mail if they've previously purchased something for your baby.