Planning your baby’s first birthday

Your baby’s first birthday is approaching and doesn’t it seem like only ‘yesterday’ that you had taken him/her home from the birth venue? Time really flies when you have a little one to take care of and now before you realise, it is going to be a year! Your baby will be oblivious to all the fuss surrounding his/her first birthday preparations, of course. It is really a party for you and your guests. You can always capture the fun moments on video or via photographs and share the memories one day. After all, it is a milestone event.

Choose a place that is childproof

As there will be many young guests, you have to find a place that is safe and conducive for them. Home is usually the safest place as your child might feel uncomfortable in a new place.

Choose a time that is right for your baby

Your baby will probably take his/her morning and afternoon naps. Your baby might be cranky if the party clashes with his/her naptime. You have to pick a time when your baby is most sociable. Also limit the time of the party to one or one and a half hours as the last thing you want is an exhausted birthday child.

Choose guests whom your baby will be comfortable with

Don’t invite too many guests as it might overwhelm your baby. Your baby might not feel comfortable amidst strangers and will most probably be happy surrounded by close friends, relatives and little cousins whom he/she sees often and recognises.

Choose a theme and games that are appropriate for the young guests

You can pick a theme based on a cartoon character or a nursery rhyme. Have simple decorations that don’t get in the children’s way. Babies love balloons but make sure they are not made of latex as it can be a choking hazard. Have safe fun games like bubble-catching. Blow bubbles towards the children encouraging them to catch and pop them. They’ll be delighted.

Choose simple food for the little ones

You can have two different menus, one for adults and for the young guests. Finger food works for adults and babies. Check for allergies and also consider some of the young ones might be just teething.

Don’t stress unnecessarily

It doesn’t matter to your baby if you threw the party of the year. All he/she wants is to be surrounded by loved ones. Your baby will love all the attention showered upon him/her by you and the others. Remember to take loads of photographs and create an interesting album to mark the milestone.

Why some children behave aggressively

The habit of biting, hitting and grabbing other children is a common behaviour amongst children. There can be many reasons for some children’s aggressive behaviour. Hands and teeth are their first social tools and they want to experiment with them. When they cannot communicate what they want they resort to actions to communicate their needs. It can become aggressive when they do not get their way. Children also become aggressive to release pent up anger, to show power or to protect their toy in a squabble. If your child tends to be aggressive, you must understand your child may not know he/she is causing pain. It is our duty as parents to show aggressive behaviour is unacceptable.

Prevention is the best cure

The best thing you can do is to avoid situations that bring the worst in your child. It is also important for you to make an effort to understand why your child behaves that way and try to help him/her so it doesn’t happen again.

  • It is good to stay physically close to your child if he/she is in the company of other children so you can act quickly if your child is in the verge of hurting anyone.
  • Motivate and praise your child for his/her positive behaviour instead of always harping on your child’s negative behaviour.
  • Teach your child there are better ways to respond by using words like “It is my turn now” instead of grabbing things from others.
  • Be firm and consistent. For instance, if you take your child away from a playgroup every time he/she is aggressive, your child will know what to expect the next time.
  • Teach your child that hitting and biting hurts by holding his/her hand and asking your child to try it on Valuee11.
  • React calmly. You may be embarrassed by your child’s aggressive behaviour but don’t ever lose your cool as it is not the best example.

Do take time to run around and play with your child to help him/her burn off energy. Don’t stress too much, as most aggressive toddler behaviours will lessen once your child is old enough to communicate by words instead of actions.

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