Gender Reveal Ideas
The bittersweet day all parents must soon approach, their baby's first birthday! Being a mommy myself, I TOTALLY understand the importance of this day. Your once 7 pound, 5 ounce newborn baby is now a walking, talking, sassy toddler. It's kind of a big deal. Our hearts are sad as we say goodbye to the infant, but also excited watching our baby begin the next phase of childhood. We plan months ahead the theme for their first birthday party. Unicorn theme? Elmo theme? Wild "ONE" theme? You decide on one. You stay on Pinterest for HOURS saving all of those décor ideas. You text all of your friends and family a little "save the date" for your baby's first birthday party. You find the cutest, custom made outfits online to match the theme you picked. Then, the best one of all in my opinion, you message your photographer and book their first cake smash session!
Now, you might have some questions about what to expect for your little one's first birthday shoot, and lucky for you I'm here to answer them! Planning their first birthday is a huge deal and you want everything to be perfect, even this photoshoot. It can be a bit overwhelming. As I approach my daughter's SECOND birthday, I thought, "what better than to make a post giving advice on what to expect for a baby's first birthday photoshoot and party?" So here are 10 things I would tell first time parents when planning their little one's first birthday:
1. Pick A Theme and Stick To It
Once you pick a theme, you will find all kinds of ways to incorporate that theme in your baby's photos and party. Cambrie's first birthday was a luau theme, perfect for those summer time birthdays! This was actually the theme I chose for my own August baby last year for her first birthday, so I had tons of leftover decor for this shoot! You can find cute decor all over from Amazon to The Dollar Tree. For my daughter, I painted the "ONE" letters for her photos to match the theme, get creative with this! The "O" I made look like a pineapple, the "N" I used a stencil I found at Hobby Lobby with luau cutouts and painted the flowers, and the "E" I used that same stencil with the flamingo and painted it as well. You can do this with any theme you choose. The letters really pop in photos when you customize them to fit the theme. I always tell parents to bring this particular prop for first birthday shoots. Walmart, Amazon, Hobby Lobby, Party City, The Dollar Tree will all be your best friends in finding the perfect party / photo decorations
2. Create a Pinterest Board
I love party planning, photoshoot planning, just planning in general is fun to me (I know, I'm strange). But creating a Pinterest board for your little one's first birthday really helps bring all of your ideas to life! You will find cute photoshoots similar to the theme you like, easy arts and crafts that will save you money for the party, outfit ideas, and more! So when you need quick inspiration, you can just pull up your Pinterest board and look at all the saved pins you have so you don't forget anything. I mean this app really has EVERYTHING and will show you endless possibilities.
3. Purchase That Adorable Onesie and Tutu You Saw on Etsy
They only turn one once, just buy that adorable outfit! I still have my daughter's and plan to put it in a shadow box. OR you can just sell it afterwards, whatever you want lol! I actually went overboard and bought 3 different outfits, had a shirt made for myself, and made my husband where a luau shirt, but this isn't required I promise.
4. Book Your Photographer at LEAST A Month Ahead.
Book with me of course. (:
But really, photographer's can book up weeks, months, even YEARS ahead of time. I typically take bookings a month or two ahead of time. Sometimes you forget and try to find someone last minute and might be out of luck, so my advice is to message your favorite photographer at least a month ahead of time to have better chances of choosing what day you want to do your baby's shoot. Put away money for your photographer early on because good photoshoots aren't cheap.
5. Gather All of The Props You Want In The Photoshoot
It is highly unlikely your photographer will have every single prop already for the theme you choose, and if they do, well then they have a LOAD of money in their bank accounts. You cannot expect your photographer to have every prop for every single theme in the world, they would need a warehouse to store all of that! SO, find the things you want that would be unique to your little one's birthday theme and bring it with you to their photoshoot. For instance, this little guys birthday theme was fishing, so mom brought the custom banner she ordered, all the outfits she wanted him to wear, a little bucket with "bait" (gummy worms to be exact), a little net, and more! I have a pond in my backyard so it made the perfect background! Photographers will have the basic things: Their equipment, their location, backdrops if they have a studio, and SOME basic props. So ask your photographer what they have and go from there.
6. Make Sure You DON'T Schedule Things Around Nap Time
I made the mistake of scheduling my daughter's party RIGHT at her nap time. She was a crying, screaming, cranky girl during her whole party. Lesson learned. Apply this lesson when booking your photoshoot, too. Sleepy babies don't want to sit there and pose and smile, they want to drink their bottle and go to bed. So make sure to book their shoot either a few hours before nap time, or after nap time when they're awake and happy.
7. Get A Cake With White Icing For Photos
Now, I'm not saying it HAS to be white icing, get whatever color you want! BUT, hear me out here: that hot pink or bright blue icing stains very easily. If you want to save your baby's outfits or props or whatever, I just suggest going with a white or light colored icing that won't stain bad. Have sprinkles added or choose a vibrant cake topper to give it a pop of color. They will find a way to get the icing everywhere, which is fine, but whatever you choose, those photos will still be adorable. This suggestion is just to save you from the hassle of getting those stains out. For their birthday party though, do whatever color cake your heart desires!
8. Bring Dad, Grandmaw, A Friend To The Shoot With You.
Once they can walk, it's game over. Getting toddlers to sit still for photos is quite a task, so prepare for a little workout. I highly suggest bringing along someone with you to help chase your baby throughout the shoot. I have to be in position and ready to snap that perfect moment, so I rely on mom and dad's help distract the little one, make funny noises, wave their favorite toy in the air, play their favorite music, and make them laugh. I also rely on parents to help get the escaping toddler and place them back in their spot, because they enjoy getting up and running away every 5 seconds, and I cannot chase after them AND take the perfect photo. So make sure you bring a helper to their first birthday shoot.
9. Give Your Photographer At LEAST Two Weeks To Edit
Chances are, your little one's photoshoot isn't the only photoshoot your photographer has to edit. Sometimes, all we have to do is make a few tweaks to photos and they're good to go, but majority of the time we have a lot more to do. For one year olds, I'm constantly editing out snot, boogers, scratches or bumps on their faces, you name it. So with that being said, give your photographer a little time. I promise we try to get photos out as fast as possible, we just want them to be perfect!
10. Don't Stress
Don't worry about making your baby pose all perfect for photos, candids look better anyway. Don't worry about one or two people not showing up to their party, they won't remember. Don't worry about going all out and blowing all of your money on decorations, people just want to show up, eat, let their kids play, and leave lol! Don't worry about buying your kiddo a huge, expensive present, they only care about opening the bags up and tearing the wrapping paper. Seriously, I could've wrapped a water bottle and gave it to Brin and she would've been stoked! We bought her a big girl car seat, she didn't care, she's 1. But hey, we finally got a better car seat for our car! Don't worry about little things, just eat cake, let them play, and enjoy the day!
It doesn't take much to please our little babes. These 10 things to remember you can take with you to all of the future birthdays to come! What would you tell first time parents when it comes to planning their little one's first birthday?