It’s been almost a year since you gave birth to your precious little one. Meanwhile, the stressful job of planning the perfect birthday celebration is dominating your daily thoughts. You’ve joined the ranks of late night Pinterest parents. You too are now pinning frantically to come up with the BEST birthday party board ideas EVER. OMG—how did this start?? And the time, money and energy spent…

Breathe. Deep breaths. Yes, this birthday party pressure is out of control. However, now is your opportunity to be the voice of reason. Luckily, you can become the courageous and grounded party host by paving the way back to planet earth. After all, she’s turning one and will have no idea what the gathering really means. Ultimately, she won’t consciously remember whether her birthday celebration was held at an event center or if there was an inflatable slide in the backyard. Meanwhile, what she will know is the stress you’re feeling.

So where and how to recognize a first birthday celebration? Consider a simple home party! Most likely, your baby will be most comfortable in her home environment—and you will, too. The rule of thumb used to be to invite the same number of children as the child’s age. This is probably not practical, but a nice thought just the same. In lieu of that idea, keeping it simple is the key. Less is more! Invite family and friends who really are engaged in your lives.

Next, pick a time of day that works best with your child’s nap schedule. Keep the gathering to under two hours and don’t even think about serving a meal. Offer healthful fruits, veggies, finger foods, beverages and a birthday treat for the one year old and other little guests— keeping in mind no added sugar is recommended for children under two. Gather in a space safe for the children to play and adults to comfortably be present, too. And be sure to ask someone to be in charge of photos.

At the end of the celebration, send each little one home with a fun and age-appropriate book as a party favor to enjoy. You will surely you become everyone’s hero and a much needed birthday party trail blazer.

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