First Birthday Decorating Ideas

A baby's first birthday celebration is more for adults than for the baby. Keep decorations colorful and simple, camera-friendly and baby-proof. Photography is the best way to capture this event, and when the child is older she will appreciate seeing her first birthday celebration. Keep decorations timeless for classic first birthday pictures.

  1. Wall Hangings, Streamers and Balloons

    • Table decorations are bound to frustrate the birthday baby if you won't let him eat them. Wall hangings and streamers are a good way to go, because they will stay decorations rather than toys. To decorate the table, use a paper tablecloth instead of plastic which is a choking hazard. Decorate the table with presents and a cake, so the baby can play with the decorations. Balloons are a classic and festive decoration, and can double as toys for a little one. Choose mylar helium balloons rather than latex balloons, because latex balloons are a choking hazard for young children.

    Paper Plates and Napkins

    • For paper plates and napkins, go with colors and patterns that are simple and sweet, but don't feel obligated to put ducks and teddy bears on them. Keep the decorations plain to ensure they will not look dated in the photographs several years down the road. Use bright summer colors to give an upbeat feel to the party.

    Personalized Birthday Decor

    • Take advantage of modern technology with personalized birthday decorations. Print photos of the baby's first year of life and string them chronologically on a length or ribbon for a personalize banner. Buy a bouquet of brightly colored gerbera daisies and place small photos of the baby in the flowers with paper clips or small clothes pins. Make small drink tags by printing out a recent photo of the baby, cut it in a circle shape and place it on colored paper. Then tie it to the stem or width of the glasses with a piece of natural twine, lace or ribbon.

    The Cake

    • The birthday cake is one of the few decorations that the baby will really be able to enjoy. Go all out with the cake, and make it colorful, baby-oriented and small enough to give the whole thing to the little one. Try making a baby bootie cake, so you can give a whole bootie to the baby. A baby block birthday cake is simple to make with fondant and icing inscribed letters. For a simple cake that a baby will love, just ice a cake in white icing and make stripes with multi colored icing dots. Just remember to be careful in your selection of cake toppers, as some small decorations can be choking hazards.

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  • Photo Credit Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

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