What Age Should I Start Having Birthday Parties For My Kid?
by Ann Mifsud
Life is beautiful and passes quickly. The years kids spend as kids pass even quicker. Every occasion in your kid’s life worth celebrating, should be celebrated. Each birthday, starting from the very first one, is a good reason to celebrate with a party, as it brings family and friends together. Birthday parties promise fun and excitement, and help build lasting memories for all to cherish.
By celebrating a kid’s birthday with a party from age 1, you will be cultivating positive feelings for your child and creating opportunities for your family to celebrate your child’s progress. Eventually, kids will love watching photos of all of their parties, even though they don’t remember anything from their first and second birthdays.
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You will find there are tonnes of opinions out there when it comes to answering this question. While none can claim to have the perfect answer, we find it’s always nice to celebrate and lean towards celebrating kids birthdays with a party from age 1.
Of course, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to when you should start having birthday parties for your kid, as it depends on a number of factors, which we will discuss below.
Most parents experience the transition to parenthood as “being one of the most joyous, exhausting, life-changing experiences of their lives”, according to Psychology Today.
And with good reason too. As a parent, you want to get it right. And so, you are constantly seeking answers to the many questions you face. Sometimes this may feel overwhelming and confusing, because it seems the world is divided upon almost every issue or pressing question that exists.
The question “what age should I start having birthday parties for my kid?” is no exception!
But take heart. We genuinely wish to help you and make your life easier. Although there isn’t a black-on-white rule on when you should start having birthday parties for your kid, we firmly believe, life is worth celebrating. Without a doubt, kids’ birthdays offer a great opportunity to celebrate. So, don’t miss that chance.
Especially with your first child, you may be wondering whether or not to celebrate the earlier birthdays with a party. You don’t want to just get planning a birthday party simply because other parents are throwing birthday parties for their kids.
It is good to keep in mind that every single day in your kid’s life is worth celebrating. But then, when it comes to those special moments, especially if they are milestones, celebrating with a party is even better.
Why celebrate if the child won’t remember?
At the same time, do be aware that, for the first couple of birthdays, kids will be oblivious that the party you have spent so much time, energy and possibly money on, was actually for them. In terms of what they will remember from it, there’s not much to dispute.
If you decide to throw a birthday party for your young infant, do make sure to take plenty of photos, especially candid ones, as alas, they will not remember their first or second birthday parties.
Still, even though babies won’t know that you’re celebrating their turning one or two, they are amazing milestones, too precious not to be celebrated with a party. For the parents, they offer perfect opportunities to celebrate with close family and friends who have been there in their baby’s first couple of years.
Inviting the most significant people for the child
During these first two years, children connect mostly, to family members and their parents’ close friends. These are the most significant people in your child’s life really at this age. So, most likely, these are the people you would want around and your kid would want to be around anyway.
If you’re thinking of throwing a birthday party for your kid’s first and second birthday, keeping it simple is key. This is not to say, you can’t go all out and have an over-the-top party if you want. Whether small or large, it is really up to you, as it very much depends on your social network rather than your kid’s.
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In any case, there’s much to celebrate in the first three years of your kid’s life. For one thing, your child is a unique being. Never before has anyone existed like him or her, and never will be, in all of history’s humanity. That uniqueness in itself, is worth celebrating.
Celebrating your child’s incredible progress
On top of that, there is good reason to celebrate the incredible progress made in the first 12, 24 and 36 months.
These are months in which so many milestones have been reached, often too many that they are overlooked…from learning to smile, to observe, to babble, to point, to communicate, to talk, to hold on to things, to crawl, to walk, to scribble, to sing, to count, to draw, to empathize…the list is endless!
“Recent brain research indicates that birth to age three are the most important years in a child’s development”.
As kids start exploring the world, they start taking interests in the environment around them. They may be fascinated with flowers, bees, ants, trees or nature in general. If only we could see things from a child’s eyes, we would be marvelling at everything around us!
Take your kid’s cues to help you in planning a party that he or she will enjoy too, by having his or her most favorite things in the decorations you choose.
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Creating positive feelings for your child
We believe that throwing a birthday party, however big or small, for your little one can serve to enrich your child’s overall experiences. Especially if the event is pleasant, and as a parent you were not all stressed out about planning and preparing for the event, then it will create positive feelings for your kid, even if the child won’t remember the party first hand.
Throwing a party when your child starts school
Of course, if you decide to throw a birthday party for your one, two or three-year old, make sure you have age appropriate expectations. Don’t expect your baby or infant to want to socialize much as this only happens the older they get.
This is exactly the reason why some parents go by the rule of throwing their first kid’s birthday party when they start school, which in most cases is around age 5.
This is the age when your kid will most likely start having some friends. So, if you’re inclined to wait till your little one has friends before throwing him or her a birthday party, then you probably don’t need to worry about it at all till your kid is four or five.
If your kid attends preschool or daycare, you may start noticing that your kid repeats certain names regularly. This is a good indication that these are the peers he or she relates to most and you may want to invite them to the party. Just keep it simple.
How To Celebrate A First Birthday Without A Party
Whether it’s due to budget constraints, time limitations, or other personal reasons, there are plenty of creative and meaningful ways to celebrate a first birthday without a traditional party.
Final thoughts on what age should I start having birthday parties for my kid?
We find it impressive that our first son has memories that go back to when he was just 30 months old. We never regretted throwing parties for him or his siblings from age 1, as we always saw it is an opportunity for their social and emotional development.
Every so often, our kids love watching photos of all of their parties, even though they don’t remember anything from their first and second birthdays. When they do, they smile all along and you can tell it evokes many positive feelings.
So in a nutshell, we firmly believe…if you can celebrate your kid’s birthday with a party from the very first one, then probably you should. 😊
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Hi I'm Ann
Mom to three kids, I am the proud co-founder of Easy Kids' Parties. After a career in journalism and education, I diverted my skills to creating this website, with the aim of helping all those parents out there who wish to organize amazing and memorable parties for their kids but feel overwhelmed at the idea. Discover more...