A baby's first birthday means special parties, smiling faces and happy memories - except for the brother or sister left out. He or she may not understand why the baby, who has already intruded on time with Mommy and Daddy, is now getting extra attention.
As you plan your baby's day, use these tips for including older siblings in 1st birthday party celebrations.
Let Them Help Plan
You will spend many hours planning and getting ready for a child's first birthday; it has to be perfect, right? However, other kids in the family just see you spending extra time and effort on the baby. An older sibling will not feel left out if you let him assist you with party planning and preparation.
Think about these things a young child can do:
Help pick a theme or color scheme for party decorations
Decorate cupcakes or other special treats
Play with the baby while you clean for the party
Choose a birthday gift for the baby
Set up toys, games and crafts to entertain kids during the celebration
Select a special birthday outfit for the baby (provide two or three to choose from that have mommy approval)
Assign Them a Special Task
A first birthday party involves so much hustle and bustle that toddlers can feel stressed out and forgotten about with all the activity. To help an older child feel included in a first birthday party, give her a job that makes her feel needed and important.
One-year-olds have not quite learned the art of opening presents, but a toddler or preschooler knows exactly what to do.
Keep older siblings busy by putting them in charge of passing out favors. They will delight in giving away tiny wrapped packages and you will not have to worry about forgetting them.
When a baby turns one, everyone wants to take part in a wishful chorus of "Happy Birthday." Give an older child the honor of starting the song for her little brother or sister.