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Baby's first birthday candleYou've made it through 365 days of sleep deprivation and diaper changes! But it's all been worth it. It's baby's First Birthday ! !Now it's time to celebrate.

Just up ahead, find out how to throw a memorable first birthday party with tips on party planning, invitations, activities and more :

1st birthday invitation ideas

Purchase invitations as the party store, or cut costs by creating your own invitations using a home computer and printer. Be sure to include a cute picture of your almost-1-year-old with wording such as "This is the BIG ONE! Come join us." or "It will be so much fun as we celebrate our little lady turning ONE!" Also remember to include the date, time, location and RSVP details.

Have your smart phone or camera ready. First photos of cake frosting-covered babies never get old!

1st birthday party themes, food & activity ideas

Simple party themes like Mickey & Minny Mouse, unicorns, a prince or princess theme - or no theme at all - is fine for a first birthday bash. A short, sweet celebration is recommended for your 1-year-old, if only to accommodate baby's all important nap time.

Since first birthdays are not an all-afternoon affair, party food can be an easy buffet of finger foods for both kids and adults in attendance. Gathering around a buffet table is also a great icebreaker, especially when food trays are interspersed with photos of baby's first year to help start a conversation.

Or, save the prep and cleanup for someone else -- at a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant.

Remember that 1-year-olds will have no memory of the big celebration .... although they may appreciate it someday! So be sure to have a camera on hand for the classic photo or video footage of your frosting-covered 1-year-old.*

Along with a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" - and lots of clapping - the only other entertainment necessary may be crayons and coloring books for older toddlers who may be present.

* Some parents prefer to have a smaller cake or cupcake on hand for the guest of honor. Otherwise, present the formal birthday cake and let your baby let loose. It's their birthday!

More 1st birthday party ideas around the Web:

On the Web, check out other ideas for baby's first birthday - including party themes & decorations, tips on planning and invitations, recipes for baby's first birthday cake, and ideas for other goodies to serve your guests...

First Birthday Party Planning Guide - Extensive guide to preparing and planning for the big day including tips on timing, party themes, number of guests, activities and more, with a complete planning checklist to keep you on schedule.

Coolest Ideas for First Birthday Parties - Ideas for a 1st birthday party extravaganza including tips on icebreaker activities and party games for the adults as well as decorations and a free printable invitation.

First birthday party ideas and tips - More practical suggestions for keeping it simple, with ideas for timing, party themes, treats and activities.

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