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Party Planner Primer

by Lori Sciame | July 4th, 2011 | Infants/Toddlers

Parties. Lots of them!

If you just had your first baby, there are countless celebrations in his or her future, such as baptisms, naming ceremonies, and birthdays. Whatever religious and cultural traditions you follow, you will soon invite family and friends to your home to help celebrate your precious little one in a number of ways. Successful party planning should include a consideration of the following.

1. Include Introductions

Make sure to introduce your guests to one another. Of course you know everyone, but think about your aunt or uncle who may be hard of hearing – meeting new people may be difficult for him or her. Also think about your friend from work that you adore, and who was brave enough to attend your party, but who is also painfully shy. Try your best to make sure she has someone to talk to.

Recently I attended a party after a baptism. It proved quite stressful, as the host and hostess – both quiet and shy people – failed to introduce me to anyone. Being a person who hates awkward silences, I overcompensated by becoming the “life of the party.” I know it may sound strange, but if you hate making introductions, consider cute name tags. Save guests (like myself) from making a fool of him or herself!

2. Consider Other Children

Invariably, other children will attend the many celebrations you will host for your baby. To avoid hurt feelings, make sure that each child feels like part of the party. You don’t have to go overboard, but simple treat bags at birthday parties or coloring books and crayons can make your youngest guests happy.

My saddest party memory happened when my children, at the time 10, 9, and 4, were not made part of the celebration at their cousin’s bat mitzvah. I felt terrible that they had made it through the lengthy ceremony, only to be excluded from the kids’ table at the restaurant. Not only that, other young guests received gifts, while my own children did not. Of course my brother and his wife had every right to choose how to celebrate their daughter’s special day, but to purposely exclude a specific group of children seemed quite cruel.

3. Remember, Your Guests Are Hungry!

Sometimes, parties occur after a religious or cultural ceremony. Because of this, consider when you serve food. If your guests have attended a morning service, they will be hungry once they arrive at your home. I’m not saying that all parties must include food, but some type of snack, including a beverage, will be appreciated by your guests. Another food issue you may want to consider concerns guest who may be vegan or on a diet. To make sure they have something to eat, include simple offerings, such as fresh fruit and salad.

4. Relax and Enjoy

A key component to a successful party for an infant or toddler is a relaxed and smiling host and hostess. Have fun! If you act stressed, your guests will be uncomfortable. Don’t sweat the small mishaps (like colic); just enjoy your company, and your wonderful child.

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