When planning a baby’s first birthday party, there will be many questions that you have about the content and schedule for the day, but one of the most important queries you might have will be how long the party will last for.

Fitting naptimes around your baby’s 1st birthday party

By the time your baby is 1, he or she will probably be having 1-2 naps a day and might be quite predictable about when these naps take place, so if your baby is in a fairly rigid routine then it will hopefully be fairly easy to try and plan a party around these snoozes.

If your baby normally has a morning nap and a lunchtime nap, then the obvious time to schedule a first birthday party, would be after your baby has awoken from his or her second nap. You’ll probably want to leave a little time (20-30 mins should do it) for your baby to wake up before being overwhelmed by all the extra people and noise in the house.

As far as how long a baby’s first birthday party should last for, there are no set rules as to when it should end. Parents of fellow 1 year olds will probably want to be leaving after 2 or 3 hours as they’ll have their own routines (teatime, bath, bedtime) to fit into their day too, so you probably won’t have too many issues with them.

Dealing with guests who don’t want to leave your baby’s birthday party

Family and friends who don’t have a pressing need to get back home, may be harder to get rid of, particularly if they don’t usually get to see a lot of your baby and want to spend as much time with him or her as possible. If you’re comfortable with this, then great! So long as they don’t mind entertaining themselves whilst you’re doing bath and bedtime then arguably they could stay later into the evening if they wanted to.

But the problem of course comes when your baby has had enough of all the strangers and noise in the house – his day has been disrupted and he feels a little overwhelmed and is letting you know about it. So it might be that you need things to get back to normal as soon as possible and that may mean that you need the extra bodies out of the house as soon as possible. A polite way to suggest to people that they should start packing up, would be to start tidying the party things away and then mention that you’re about to start bathtime soon. If your guests are still not getting the hint, then you should be able to get away with saying that your baby has loved today but is now a bit overwhelmed, so things are going to have to end a little sooner than you’d hoped. Follow this by saying that you’d love to catch up over the next couple of weeks.

Of course another reason why you might not want the birthday party to carry on with adult guests too late is that you and your partner might want to spend time reflecting on the day, putting your baby to bed together and then having a lovely evening remembering that exactly one year ago today, you welcomed your beautiful baby boy or girl into the world.

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