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Planning Your Child's First Birthday

One of the most special times in your life will be the milestone of your child turning one. It marks the first birthday celebration of many with your precious baby. Whether you choose an intimate celebration or a grand gala is up to you. The truth is, it is more of a commemoration for you than your baby since he won’t remember the event. But you will have the photos to cherish and share with your child when he gets older.



The first item on your party planning agenda should be to set your budget and work from there. This will dictate the kind of party you will have.



Once the budget is set, work on your guest list as the amount of people you invite will impact the location you choose to have the festivities. Decide whether you want a cozy or grand celebration to fine-tune the list. Always remember to include parents and yayas in your guest count for food allocation and venue size consideration.




Choose a theme. You can be as creative or generic as you like. The possibilities are endless. You can choose your child’s favorite book or character or you can select something that is significant to your family. For both my sons’ first birthday parties I chose to have airplane themes because my family has a long history in aviation. This industry is especially meaningful for us. For Kieran I chose to have a modern theme and Kalon’s was a vintage flier theme. Try to stay away from commercial Disney themes as these will no likely be the kind of parties your child will request when they get older.



When deciding on where to have your party remember to take the following factors into consideration: weather, size of party, traffic conditions, ease of access. Don’t plan an outdoor party during the rainy season. If your child’s birthday falls during the Christmas months expect cancellations due to traffic and busy schedules. Don’t forget to choose a venue that suits the size of your party.



Do you want a party planner? Some moms like to have the extra help and creative input. Others prefer to DIY and organize logistics by themselves. I do both depending on the kind of event I’m throwing. For the smaller celebrations I like to do things myself. But I do order DIY kits from suppliers like Party Starters that include all the printed items you need such as invitations, banners, cupcake toppers, etc. For the bigger celebrations I choose to work with event stylists who can transform the vision in my head into spectacular fruition. A party planner also takes a lot of the stress away from you.



These days there are so many talented entertainers and entertainment options for the kids. It’s always a good idea to include some form of amusement and activity for the kids so that there is a flow to your event. Smart Play provides great entertainment. I love them because they have something for kids of all ages.



I always hire a photographer for my parties. It is one of the best investments you can make for your events. I find that I am always too busy hosting and running around making sure that the party is going smoothly and according to plan. This never leaves me with any time to document the celebration. Plus professional photographers have the artistic talent to frame your special moments beautifully and capture those precious seconds wonderfully.



Decisions, decisions! Catered or not? Obviously having your party catered will take much of the work away from yourself. However it is an expensive option. I always come up with the party menu and food myself unless it is part of the venue package. I enjoy providing the food and have control over the type of food that I provide as well as how much it will cost.



The cake is always a fun and special aspect of any first birthday party. Entrust this to the experts. My favorite supplier is Swell Sweets. She is a genius with fondant and always consistent and reliable.



As a mom, you know what I mean when I say it all goes by too fast. The baby stage is so short, and before you know it they turn into little people. The first birthday party is a special time to celebrate their first year of life.


Holiday 2014: Baby Gift Guide


Hohoho! Finally, the holiday season is here! Time to wear your Santa hat and glide your way through the best gifts in town. But how on earth can you survive aisles and aisles of baby toys, clothes, and gadgets? We here at Hey Mom will help you choose the right gifts that will aid your rapidly developing baby, from 0 to 12 months. Read on and check out our top picks for your tots!



0 to 3 Months

Buy: Playgro Jungle Friends musical mobile and Playgro Fairy Gym from


Musical mobiles can bring a whole new level of excitement to your baby's horizontal view. You can hang it above the crib and you’ll see her following the moving mobile with fondness.


Play gyms are designed to grow with your baby. At first she could lie on her back and observe things. By one to two months, she will start cooing, grabbing, and kicking the objects she sees.


3 to 6 Months

Buy: RealHugs Microwaveable Stuffed Toy and BreathableBaby Mesh Toy from


She'll love shaking and creating sounds with rattles. Pick a clear one so she can see what's making all that cool noise. The ones with hooks or claws are great to attach on strollers and bring around with you.


Plush animals are soft and lovable, and your baby will enjoy holding and hugging them. Avoid anything with plastics or choking hazards.


Rubber toys are perfect for bath time. Get one that squeaks and hear your baby squeal with it!


Buy: Finding Nemo book by Fisher-Price


It’s time to introduce books! Board ones can withstand tearing, drooling, and other baby handling. Electronic books can be pricey but are more thrilling as it has lights and sounds.


6 to 9 Months


Buy: Rainforest Jumperoo by Fisher-Price


Get ready for your baby’s first tooth! It’s a whole new experience to gnaw on soft cold teething rings than her fingers when her gums are sore.


When she has more head control, she can now bounce her way through fun with an exersaucer or jumperoo. She can play independently by pulling, pressing, and making happy noises with her activity center.


9 to 12 Months


Buy: Wide Tracker Activity Walker by Little Tikes


For your little walker, a push toy is like a mobility guide that she could use to exercise her newfound skill. Choose one that is weighted so she could lean on it and not get off-balanced.


It’smore fun to chase balls now that she can run after it. She’ll laugh around bouncing and following the ball around.


Buy: Zoo Shape Sorter & Soft Blocks from DwellStudio (distributed by


Blocks are a must-have for this age! She can practice the art of stacking, but she’ll find knocking it over is equally fun.


Shape sorters are great toys that will improve her problem solving skills, like why the rectangular block won’t fit the round hole.




0 to 3 Months


Buy: Baby clothes by Enfant


She's still used to the warmth of your womb, so clothes such as pajamas onesies, bonnets, mittens, booties, wrap-arounds, and blankets are best for this age.


3 to 6 Months


Buy: Clothes by Periwinkle / cloth diapers by Baby Leaf


Buy clothes that have snap on clips on the side of the neck so it would be much easier to put it on your wiggly baby. Swimming clothes may come in handy for your little water lover. This is also the best time to try cloth diapers if you’re looking into save on cost and help Mother Earth. Her regulated bowel movements will make it easier to wash.


6 to 9 Months



Buy: My Milestones Disposable Bib from / Sassy Crumb Catcher Plastic Bib from


Bibs, wipes, and lots of it! She's now a little eater so you need to have things to limit the mess. Plastic bibs or disposable bibs that catch food are great options as these are easier to clean.


9 to 12 Months



Buy: Shooshoos soft shoes from


She's now more mobile, so go for soft training shoes then switch to regular ones, once she’s an expert. Opt for loose-fitting clothes and separates so you don’t need to redo a whole new outfit if a clothing gets dirty.




0 to 3 Months



Buy: Convertible car seat by Chicco / umbrella type stroller by Maclaren


Strollers and car seats are good investments for safety and convenience. She’ll be more comfortable during morning strolls and car rides. There are tons of options out there, but we recommend a convertible car seat that can grow with your baby (some can take from birth weight up to 80 lbs, and can be rear and front facing). Strollers that are light, easy to maneuver, can carry a toddler’s weight, and have shocks are a plus for us!


3 to 6 Months



Buy: Pack ‘n Play by Graco


Changing pads that are easy to clean and store, large, and with compartments are a must now since you’ll probably be out and about with her. It can even double as a tummy-time mat when you’re away from home. A pack and play crib can be a lifesaver when your baby, who’s now trying to sit, crawl, or even stand, needs a safe place to practice. You can also bring along the light weight ones on your trips.


6 to 9 Months


Buy: Kids Kit Hi Seat Booster Chair from / Oogaa Silicone Mealtime Set from


To protect your crawler, you can get knee pads or her own play mat for her to have a clean place to play, even when outdoors. Eating utensils made of soft plastic without rough edges a high chair or a portable booster chair, and disposable placemats and food containers are also a must now that she’s eating solids.


9 to 12 Months


Buy: Bike stroller by Chicco


You’re mobile baby may want more independence or she may try to copy her bigger siblings now. A bike-stroller is the perfect starter for her to learn the ropes while you safely push her for now. She may want to have her own chair and table too. An MP3 player with her favorite sway tunes, song motion games, or classical music is also a good way to keep encouraging her to dance, vocalize, or even relax while stimulating her brain.




Nursery Must-Haves


Designing your baby’s nursery is one of the more meaningful moments of pregnancy. I find it really makes motherhood a more tangible idea because you have to think of what your baby will need, safety issues, toys, how the space will look, and what theme to create. But most of all it helps you envision your baby as he will be in his room. 


I have outlined my absolute essentials for a nursery (remember this is subjective of course, but it is what I needed with my two boys).


CRIB (or co-sleeper):  My babies co-slept with my husband and I so I had an Arms Reach Co-sleeper in our room. In the nursery I had a proper crib for naps and for later on when my children would eventually start sleeping in the nursery. Choose a crib that works with the space of your nursery and always make sure it has passed safety inspection.


ORGANIC MATRESS (for crib or bassinet): Obviously it is a no-brainer that an organic mattress should be your first choice. Babies are asleep most of the time for the first year of their lives. So they will spend a lot of time on the mattress you choose. You want a mattress that is natural without synthetic materials that have chemicals and toxic glues.


SHELVES: Babies need a ton of stuff. Shelving is always important so you can put everything away. Or if you prefer a cabinet is suitable too (just make sure it is wall mounted to avoid safety issues).


WHITE NOISE MACHINE: A white noise machine is a very helpful tool, which helps lull your baby to sleep.  My favorite is the Sleep Sheep (available at Hobbes and Landes).


SAFETY MONITOR: I like to use safety monitors for naptime when my babies reach the 9-10 month mark because I want them to be comfortable sleeping by themselves as well. Monitors these days even have optional video functions so you can have peace of mind by actually seeing them.


SLEEP SAC or SWADDLE:  Ensuring that your baby sleeps safely is imperative and sleep sacs are one of the most prudent options you have. Unlike traditional blankets, the risk of suffocation in a sleep suit/swaddle is minimal.


MOBILE: I like mobiles because they engage your baby’s attention and stimulate their senses.


PADDED TILES: Babies need padded floor surfaces in the first year of their lives because they are unable to support themselves completely and have a tendency to fall over/down.


ROOM THERMOMETER: The optimal room temperature for a sleeping baby is between 17-20C (65-70F). I had peace of mind knowing the room temperature while he was sleeping so that I knew he wasn’t too hot or too cold.









Your baby sleeping safely should be your top priority. The crib or basinet needs to be as bare as possible. This means that for the first 6 months, there should be no crib bumpers, thick heavy blankets, or toys where your baby is sleeping as these pose suffocation risks. Babies should also always sleep on their backs unless you are watching them continuously.


-          3 fitted sheets

-          2-3 waterproof pads

-          2-3 blankets for crib or bassinet

-          MUSIC: You can create a special playlist just for your baby.



AMANDA’S TIP: I had baby swings for both my sons. If you are a hands-on mama the swings are lifesavers as they rock your baby to sleep when you are bone tired and just want to lie down.