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Best time for a first birthday party?

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BeeAnn:
Not sure where to post this so feel free to move it if necessary.

My DD will be 1 year old in mid-December and I am starting to think about her birthday party.  Problem is that I don't know what would be a good time for a birthday party as I don't really have any idea what kind of routine she will be on by that age! 

Can anyone give me an idea of when is the most likely time babies that age will be awake (and happy!) and also what sort of length of party would be good.  I did have a look at some of the sample routines but they all seem to vary so much!

I am happy to do finger foods for a meal or snack.

She is currently 8 months old with about a 3 hour A time so WU just before 7am, bedtime at 7pm with 1.5 hr naps at 10am and 2.30pm.  So I think quite a textbook routine - and she is a textbook / angel baby (with a textbook liking mum!) so I would expect her to be on quite a standard routine by that time.

Also - if anyone wants to throw in what they did and if it worked / didn't work that would be great because I am not sure what we should do at the moment!!

*Ali*:
Well I think 12mo is a really tough time to predict a routine so far in advance.
DS1 was doing one 3hr nap at 12.30 and sleeping 8-8 at that age.
DS2 was still on 2 naps then though and didnt move to one nap until 15mo. He was sleeping 1.5hrs at 10.15 and 30-40 mins at 3.20. Then 7.30-6.30 (with some EW as early as 5) at night.
So complete opposites really.
Do you have commit to a time now?
How flexible is she usually? Does she handle OT well or would she fall apart if she missed a nap?
Maybe a morning party would be safest around 9.30am so that even if she usually does 2 naps still she could wait until afterwards? I think 1.5-2hrs would be the longest you would want to plan the party to last.
For both of mine we just did party buffet with a few family and friends at our house. We played some fun kiddie music and did dancing and balloons. They won't be up to any organised games like pass the parcel or musical bumps at that age.

MJ&N:
I think we did ours after the second nap, so mid afternoon. I think! Between naps could be an option too?

We went to a small sensory play centre and it was lovely - shared the party with one of the antenatal group as we had mostly the same friends.

We Three:
We did after the second nap too. Just my family...her grandparents and my siblings and her little cousins...I think there were 12 of us.  Finger foods, veggies/dip, sandwiches.  It was very low-key and all about 'her'.  At about 6pm I put her in her jammies and everyone held her, played with her, took lots of pictures. She was surrounded by love and we truly celebrated her.  In bed at her normal time, I think about 7:30 or so.  She was content, not overwhelmed or OT.

It was perfect.  :)

Lindsay27:
We did ours at 3pm so I could fit 2 naps in before if I needed to, or have 1 long nap mid-day.  I think he had a morning nap and a short nap around 2:30pm before guests arrived.

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