Birthday party etiquette
Age: 1 year 2 months
You might have partied hearty in your younger years, but these days, the only bottle you might chug is your baby’s when you don’t have time to pour your own cup of juice. The era of birthday parties is fast approaching in your baby’s life, so you might want to brush up on the etiquette for birthday party attendance before she gets her first invitation. You’ll be perfect guests in no time.
Imagine planning a party and not knowing who was going to show up - now, imagine planning a party and not knowing if 30 kids and their parents will show up! It’s important to let the host know if you and your baby can attend, so RSVP as early as you can.
If you’re having a hard time deciding on a present, don’t feel awkward phoning the party’s host to see what they think the birthday boy or girl would like. They can probably offer some suggestions, or at the very least, they can tell you what they already own. And if you’re phone-shy, there’s always the beloved gift certificate.
Since your baby has no idea what she’s getting into, it could help to have a little pep-talk before the day arrives, and then once more before you leave the house. Let your baby know where you’re going, why you’re going there, and what the rules are - for example, sharing, listening to directions, and waiting your turn. your baby is obviously young enough to forget all these things once she sees balloons and other toddlers, but it’s still worth saying.
In a few years, your baby will probably be okay to stay at a party without your help. But right now you’re expected to stay alongside (or at least pretty close to) her for the length of time you’re at the party. Wouldn’t it be nice if this expectation could extend to your baby’s teenage years?
You might be the last to leave, or you might have to depart early when your baby can’t seem to let go of the birthday boy’s gifts. Either is fine, and anyway, parties at this age shouldn’t run much longer than 2 hours or so. Don't feel like you have to stay until the crack of dawn.
As you head home, take a moment to think about what you liked at the party - soon enough you’ll probably be hosting one of your baby’s own!
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