If your baby is turning one soon, you’re likely struggling to accept the fact that your baby is getting bigger. I know I am. However, the first birthday is just as much for the mamas out there as it is for the babes. We pour our blood, sweat, and tears (all three, quite literally) into getting our baby through those first few weeks, then it all just sorta snowballs until next thing you know, you’re sitting down to plan their first birthday with one killer first birthday party theme.
People tell you that it goes fast, but that first year was likely the longest and shortest year of your life. That’s a paradox that makes perfect sense to us mamas. It can’t be understated how some nights felt like an eternity, but months rolled along so quickly.
Don’t start crying yet, because you still have some time before that little baby really does turn one. Instead, take some time to plan a fun and entertaining themed party to celebrate that precious first year with your family and friends.
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When you are choosing a first birthday party theme, you’ll want to consider a few factors:
- Time of year
- Personality of your baby
- Interests of your baby
- Location of your party
And now, let’s get started looking at some themes I’ve rounded up from other fellow mama bloggers and dear friends that have written about, photographed, or designed their baby’s first birthday party experiences.
I’ve covered a lot of different themes, so the post is long, but it is a super-helpful jumping off point for anyone planning a first birthday. Slow your scroll when you see the inspo you’re looking for!
1. You Are My Sunshine
This is the theme I used for Lily’s first birthday, and I added a Dreamworks Trolls flair. It seemed fitting to add the Trolls into my Sunshine theme, especially since that was the one and only movie Lily really ever enjoyed before she turned one. There were lots of pinks, yellows, and oranges as the main color scheme. It turned out so cute!
I ordered some of the main invitations and tableware online at Zazzle. com. They had plenty of affordable decorations that also matched our theme and color scheme.
I also made the smash cake myself and topped it with a big “1” candle and a Poppy statue. It was simple to do and affordable – they smash it anyways right?
2. Wild One
A fellow mama I met on Instagram created an awesome “Wild One” jungle themed birthday for her little boy, Eddie. Anna-Rae even vlogged about the whole party planning process and day-of on her YouTube channel. There are lots of helpful party prep and budget friendly ideas in here.
3. Honey Bee-Day
Kylie, the creator behind GoodnightFox, the brand, blog, and illustration studio, designed a gorgeous Honey Bee-themed birthday celebration for her little one. Her little girl, Sofia, turned 1/2 during the pandemic, but Kylie found a way to create a gorgeous birthday celebration for this milestone anyways. I am simply awe-struck just looking at the pictures!
Check out the whole party in her blog post!
There’s nothing that incites more joy than little babies and all the colors of the rainbow. Which makes a rainbow-themed first birthday a perfect choice to celebrate. Jessica, the mama and teacher behind her blog, School of Smart Cookies, created a perfect rainbow-themed birthday for her little girl, Ella, even despite the quarantine times it fell under.
Check out her beautiful backdrops and read about how she made the day special on her blog!
A flamingo-themed birthday brings out some of the best vibes – flamingos, little babies, and summer. This party, also designed by Jessica, the wearer of many hats and creator of School of Smart Cookies, combined minimalist organization with pops of pinks and natural greens. Complete with a tray of gorgeous flamingo cut-out cookies decorated beautifully.
Check it out for yourself on her blog!
6. Puppy Paw-ty
Babies and puppies…need I say more? When you put these two together, you get a whole lot of heart-shaped eyeballs falling out of their sockets. If your kid loves all things dogs, a puppy-themed birthday party is the way to go. And McKenzi, mom of cute little Vail, created a gorgeous pink puppy paw-ty for her babe. This one even came complete with a Create-Your-Own-Pasta station. Now THAT’S a party I could get into.
Check out her gorgeous puppy paw-ty decor and recommendations on how to make the party work for both boys and girls in her blog post!
7. Unicorn + “One of a Kind”
A friend of mine, Julie, celebrated her daughter, Brynn’s, first birthday with a gorgeous Unicorn-themed party. She decorated the house with whimsical colors with pops of gold and bought a beautiful layered cake topped with the iconic unicorn horn. They wore unicorn headbands and even had an awesome, humongous unicorn sprinkler too! It was a perfect August birthday celebration.
8. Woodland Creatures – Girls
This theme works for both genders, and it is super cute no matter how you do it! First, let’s take a look at the girls version. A fellow mama I connected with over Facebook vlogged about her daughter, Cassidy’s, gorgeous and girly woodland themed first birthday. She takes us on the journey through making decorations to enjoying the actual party. Take a look for yourself on her YouTube channel, Tarably Inspired!
9. Woodland Creatures – Boys
This theme also works great for little boys, too. My good friend, Eden, homeschool teacher + mama by day and crafter/childhood author by night, designed a woodland theme for her son, James, when he turned one. It was a perfect party outside at a local park (very fitting for this theme). We had lots of delicious homemade food. She even created a really delicious, fun, and rustic trail mix bar!
10. Tea Party
What’s cuter than a little girl and a tea party? Not much, that’s for sure. This was a theme that my longtime friend and fellow mama of two, Julie, used to celebrate the first birthday of her daughter, Mia. She had lots of delicious food to match the theme (think little sandwiches and cute handhelds), and she even found super cute tea-shaped paper cups like these. I mean, how cute is that? And the cakes even came with little tea cups on top.
What a fun and unique theme!
11. Little Blue Truck
Most moms of tiny humans are familiar with the famous kid’s book series Little Blue Truck. Many might not know that this book series is actually a GREAT idea for a first birthday theme. Color scheme? Easy. Blue. Decor? Easy. Blue trucks. Every little boy from here to there will be darting his eyes at all the truck glory with this party.
12. Ice Cream Social
One thing (wait, there’s just one thing? HA) that’s great about ice cream is that it is baby-friendly. I know many babies that just go crazy for the stuff. Which makes an ice cream party a perfect theme for any first birthday, boy or girl. You can choose to do it old-fashioned or modern, sprinkles or chocolate, sundaes or scoops, sweet or savory. The options are endless with ice cream.
Fellow blogger Susanne, creator of Lil Tigers lifestyle blog, created this awesome DIY ice cream bar, stocked with a variety of flavors and many delicious toppings, that you’ll absolutely want at your party!
13. Mr. One-derful
If it’s time to celebrate your little man, you’ll want to do so in style. And what’s more stylish than a bow tie and some suspenders to make your little man into the perfect gentlemen for his big day. You can continue playing on a the classic idea behind the theme, using whites and blacks as your color scheme. Or you can choose a classic little man party, with navy and silver. This theme has endless potential.
13. Isn’t She ONE-derful?
Isn’t she lovely? Isn’t she ONE-derful? This classic lyric provides a great play-on-words and elegant theme for any one-year-old’s celebration. You could choose to continue with the music theme and choose a black and gold color scheme, or you could go with a classic girly look with sparkles, pinks, and whites. My friend, Hayley, designed this custom, sparky theme for her daughter, Sophia. She got a pink, gold, and white balloon arch on Amazon and put it together herself to make a perfect backdrop for the smash cake session. The whole party turned out elegant and gorgeous!
What’s cuter than little boys in kilts? Okay, you’re right, not much. And when you design a first birthday as a nod to the origins of your kids’ names, you’re just creating some really meaningful memories. My friend, Eden, chose a Scotland theme for her son (and my godson!), Andrew. She even served homemade soups using ladles that looked like Nessie (seriously, these are real, and you need them in your life).
And let’s just talk about these cakes for a minute.
It’s such a cute first birthday party theme to pay homage to your kids’ heritage or namesake, and it usually makes for one easy (and fun) party to plan. You’ll have the color scheme, decor, and food choices already done!
15. Some Bunny is One
Little babies and soft bunnies seem to go together like milk and cookies. They all just make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, so you might as well combine them into one adorable theme. You’ll be swooning over more than just the baby at this party, because the decorations are equally as cute. Victora, mom and lifestyle blogger behind Motherhood Life Balance, created a whole DIY party around this theme for her daughter. Lucky for us, she detailed the whole process in her blog post for us to follow along!
16. Alice in ONE-derland
This first birthday party theme is a great way to add whimsy and fun while still hitting the Disney nail on the head. There’s the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, and Alice herself to add to your decor, and there are lots of ways you can integrate these characters into your party. This party can be classic, vintage, or bold in color.
Check out some of the affordable decor that goes well with this theme below.
17. Pro or College Sports Team
Those that grow up in sports-enthusiast households might find these parties enjoyable to plan. When you center your baby’s party around a sports team that you love to watch, you likely can grab some decor you already have lying around the house. Also, if you plan this on game day, you have the entertainment taken care of – I admit that I’ve done this before and it’s been nice! You can create other entertainment – like games or contests – that center around the sport as well. In our home, we celebrate everything Pitt and Steelers.
A fellow blogger, Nicole, wrote about her son’s LSU-themed birthday party on her blog, Organized Chaos. She truly thought of every last detail to make her little Grayson’s celebration one to remember! Check out her details and pictures on her blog post!
18. Everyday is a Gift
Nicole, mama of two, also created an awesome party for her second little baby, Audrey, using this unique theme. Everything in the party was girly, whimsical, and elegant, including the tiered cake that looked like an actual gift itself. Check out her blog post listing all of her party details for this unique first birthday party theme on Organized Chaos Blog here!
19. Baby Shark
The kids have gone crazy for this first birthday party theme, so it is SURE to be a crowd-pleaser. And I don’t think anyone can do it better than Minh, mama of three boys and creator of In Pursuit of Chic. She created a Baby Shark birthday party for her son, Lincoln, by using yellows and grays to make a party perfectly planned down to every last detail. It turned out beautifully! Check out all the details, included themed foods and gorgeous cut-out cookies, in her full blog post here.
20. Hawaiian Luau
This is perhaps one of my favorite first birthday party themes. I’m a big fan of anything tropical, colorful, and sunny, and this theme hits on all those and more. A Hawaiian luau is a great idea for any summer birthday. You can host family and friends outside with cute pineapple drinkware and umbrella straws. If you’re one of the brave ones, you can even get a pig to roast! This event will surely have people talking for years to come.
21. Our Little Monster
Little kids, little monsters, they’re all the same, right? This colorful first birthday party theme is sure to please both kids and adults. With bold colors and limitless decor options, this is also an easy DIY party. You can buy googly eyes and make just about anything into a monster! From cupcakes, to cake pops, to rice crispies, the dessert options are endless.
22. Construction Zone
Little boys love all things trucks, bulldozers, tractors, and heavy machinery. They love to dig and build, so why not center their party around their favorite things with a construction zone first birthday party theme? This theme is sure to keep all the kids happy. Get the sandbox ready with toys and tractors, and they will stay busy for hours!
Your little one’s first birthday party is a celebration to remember, and you’l want to make it special. These friends and fellow bloggers have done such a wonderful job capturing the memories and making it a day for the books. Here are a few more themes for you to consider.
23. One in a Melon
24. Squeeze the Day / Citrus Fruit
25. Mickey or Minnie Mouse
26. Teddy Bears
28. Our Little Pumpkin
29. Jungle Safari
32. Barnyard Animals
34. Outta This World / Space
35. Hot Wheels
36. Toy Story
38. Fairy Tales
39. Donut Grow Up
40. Sailor / Nautical
42. Hello Kitty
44. Under the Sea
45. Fairy Garden
46. Sesame Street
47. Rookie of the Year / Baseball
48. Curious George
49. Berry Sweet Birthday
50. One Happy Camper
Hopefully you’ve found something that sparked inspiration or got you thinking about how you can make your little one’s day special. And don’t forget – this is also a day for you, mamas! You made it one year, and that’s worth raising a glass to.
How did you celebrate your little baby’s first birthday? I’d love to hear about your celebrations!
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