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22 SWEET First Birthday Party Theme Ideas

Is your child about to hit that HUGE milestone? TURNING ONE! 

This is a big deal, mama. You have been raising a tiny human for a whole year now! 

A baby’s first year of life can seem long. You’ve fed countless meals, taught them to sleep (hopefully), changed millions of diapers, rocked them to sleep, and taught them to babble, crawl, and maybe even walk! 

It’s time to CELEBRATE! 

Let’s be honest though, one-year-olds will not remember this very special day… The color scheme, the party games, the photo booth. So while, yes, it is a big bash for your little one, what you’re really doing is celebrating YOU! 

And what better way to do that than by throwing a big party! And better yet, let’s make it a THEMED first birthday party! 

If this is your first child, you have a lot of freedom here! You can start whatever birthday traditions you want!

Be sure to check out our article on birthday traditions to start this year which will help celebrate each birthday in a memorable way. Some of these ideas include:

-Have a Special Birthday Breakfast 

-Take a picture of your child every year at their birth time 

-Write your child a letter to open on their birthday about what you love about them from that year 

-And lots more ideas! 

We’ve created this list of 1st birthday party themes to give you some unique ways to celebrate your little one and this big milestone! 

First Birthday Party Theme Ideas

1. First Season

Photo credit: Pretty Sweet Event Styling

The birthday kid should definitely have a theme that matches things they love. And while they are only 1 year old, most babies at this age have at least a little interest in something (even if it’s a bit forced by us as parents). 

If you or your child likes any sort of ball or sports in general, then this one is for you! 

Choose a sport and decorate with that sport’s associated ball. For example, if you choose to do the “first season of basketball” then decorate everything with basketballs. 

Have a basketball smash cake and a basketball birthday banner. You can even add in some pictures of your favorite basketball players in their first season mixed in with pictures of your child in his first season. 

Adult guests will have fun guessing who the players are and you might even turn it into a game to win a prize for who guesses the most right. 

2. One Tough Cookie

Photo credit: Laylanassarevents

Sometimes the first year of a baby’s life can be a challenge. Health problems, lack of sleep (for everyone), doctor visits, falls, etc. can make it a tricky year to adjust to. 

This one is perfect for that case (or just if you love cookies like I do). 

This themed party will have cookie decor galore. Instead of a cake, you could use cookies. Or better yet, a cookie smash cake! YUM! 

If your child has seen Sesame Street, it could be a great idea to base it around Cookie Monster. Maybe Cookie Monster and big bird (a family member dressed up) could even show up at the party– This will be a big hit for older kids in attendance! 

3. Wild One

Photo credit: Confetti Yeti Cookies

Have you read the book, Where the Wild Things Are? If so, base the party around this book and have your child be Max with a crown and all of the guests can be the wild things! 

This one is also fun to do with a jungle or animal-based theme. Have everything be focused around animals– the plates, the banner, the balloons, etc. 

Even hiring a face painter to come do animal faces on all of the kids could be a fun idea! If you have a big enough party space to do it outside and it’s the right time of year… I highly recommend it. 

4. One in A Melon

Photo credit: Sweet Love Chicago

Do you love watermelon as much as I do? If your baby was born in the summer, this is the PERFECT theme for you! 

The welcome signs for this one would be darling! And so many fun ways to decorate a cake or cookies. The dessert table could have watermelon cake and cookies, but you could also do actual watermelon slices for the guests. 

Watermelon-flavored candies are another great option here. If you have a little girl, dress her up in a watermelon dress! And don’t forget the pink and green balloons for this one! 

5. Winter One-derland

Photo credit: Eileen’s Princess Party

Do you have a winter baby? This is a great way to do their first birthday celebration! 

Think snowflakes EVERYWHERE. You can make them, or buy them and hang them all over the house. Use white and light blue as your color palette for desserts, banners, and balloons. 

You might even keep it simple and do all white with some winter garland thrown in the mix. Beautiful and classy. 

Polar bears can add a nice touch to this theme as well! A great excuse to get your child a new stuffie! 

6. Lemonade Stand

Again, if your child has a summer birthday, this one is for you! And the little guests will love it! 

Rent a lemonade stand or purchase a pretend play stand. Let the kids be the ones to serve the lemonade to everyone and run the stand. 

Pastel colors are great for this theme. Fresh fruits and vegetables also work well on the refreshment table because they go so well with the color scheme. 

For cupcake toppers, you might use paper lemons and even make a lemon poppyseed baby smash cake! Ah. So cute! 

7. Sweet One

Photo credit: J Design Balloons

Who doesn’t love dessert?! And while your little one might not be eating all of the sweets, your guests will sure love it! 

The best part about this theme is the food options. You can put out whatever treats you would like! Cake pops, brownies, lollipops, candy bars, etc. Whatever you decide, it will all fit the theme. 

Another fun idea with this one is to do a fondue stand. Adults and kids alike will be excited to dip their own treats and fruit into the chocolate. (Tip: borrow a fondue maker from someone instead of buying your own). 

8. How The First Year Has Flown By

Photo credit: Kona Decoration

Anything to do with flying here works! My personal favorites are an airplane theme or hot air balloon theme. 

You might even consider taking your child to an airplane museum or to see a real hot air balloon (maybe don’t ride in it because one year old’s tend to be unpredictable in their movements). 

Purchase some flight materials like old flying goggles and a helmet for decor. You and your spouse could dress up as the flight attendant and pilot and your baby can be the passenger. 

9. My First Rodeo

Photo credit: Confetti Chic

Rodeos are so fun (sometimes smelly. Actually, always smelly. But fun). 

Decorate the party area with hay bales and maybe even hire pony rides to come to your party! The older children are bound to love it! 

Hang up black and white older pictures of rodeos over the years and have your guests enjoy looking through them. 

10. Baby Shark

As soon as you read those words, does your mind go straight to the song… “Baby shark, doo doo, doo doo doo doo” because mine definitely does! 

There are so many cute things to go with Baby Shark now that you are sure to have a cute themed party for this one! 

Have a bakery near you make a shark cake– an open shark mouth, shark cupcakes, etc. It will be perfect for the big day! 

You can make this a swimming party too if it is warm! Have the guests bring swim attire and swim at a local pool, your own pool, or just play with water in the backyard. 

11. O-Fish-Ally One

Photo credit: Main Street Balloons

This is another one that you could do with water– swimming, splash pad, or just a water table outside your home. 

The older kids will love playing fishing games for this one too, so make sure those are prepared beforehand! 

Get out some old fishing gear to use as decor too and make it a fun rustic themed fishing party! 

12. Onederland

Photo credit: Pretty Magical Events

Think Alice In Wonderland here. This can be such a cute theme, especially for a baby girl. 

Decorate everything like the Mad-Tea Party and have fun playing pretend like you’re really there! 

It could also be fun to play that scene from the original movie in the background while the party is going on. 

13. First Bee-Day

Bumble Bees. So sweet, right? Bee decorations are super easy to find and so cute to use for a first birthday party. 

If you have a baby girl, she can be the “queen bee”. Yellow and white will be your go-to colors for the theme and you can create a fun bee-hive for your child to crawl in and out of! 

14. Lucky One

St. Patrick’s day anyone?! My third child was supposed to be born on March 17th. He came out with red hair though, so I am grateful he was born on the 12th instead! 

If you have a birthday near March, this one is for you! 

Use shamrock decor and green and gold as the main colors. Your child could dress up like a little leprechaun and each guest could get a “pot of gold” at the “end of the rainbow” (end of the party). 

Your cake can either be a shamrock or a rainbow! You pick! 

15. Safari Theme

This one is similar to the “Wild one”. But instead of jungle, think an African safari. 

Take a trip to the petting zoo with your guests and then come back home for cake and games! 

A fun idea is to have all of the guests dress up in beige clothing pretending to be on the safari with your child! 

16. Butterfly Theme

Photo credit: Events By Roxy

If you have a butterfly exhibit near you, definitely take a trip there for this theme! 

Recently, I took my one-year-old to see butterflies at the botanical gardens and he did not want to leave. (tip: watch where their little hands go because they aren’t very coordinated yet and might try to grab the butterflies, harming their delicate wings). 

Have fun turning this one into a garden theme too– filled with flowers and butterflies everywhere. You might even try making a butterfly themed craft for the older guests at the party. 

As far as a color palate for this one, I would stick with pinks and purples or yellows and oranges. But hey, butterflies are all sorts of colors so have fun with it! 

17. A Onederful Party

Photo credit: Lux Events

Isn’t your baby just “onederful”? A fun play on words here and the perfect way to celebrate your little one. 

This one can be super simple and classy. The nice part is that you can use whatever colors and decorations you want! 

A fun photo shoot background could be a sign that says “Miss Onederful” or “Mr. Onederful” surrounded by balloons. 

18. Bluey

This show is such a big hit these days! If you haven’t seen it yet, I am sure your little one will be watching it soon enough. It teaches great principles too! 

Have everyone come dressed up in bluey attire (either dressed like the characters or wearing something with Bluey on it). 

You might even have a family member or friend dress up like Bluey and come visit at the party! 

Oh and don’t forget to have all the guests talk in an Australian accent. So fun! 

19. “Berry” First Birthday

Photo credit: Luxe Party

Most one-year-olds love anything berry. They haven’t eaten much sugar up to this point in their lives, so berries are one of the sweetest things they have tried! 

Make yogurt parfaits with Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. You can have berry smoothies or berry popsicles. 

And definitely have a berry smash cake ready to go for your little one! It’s going to make quite the mess and will probably stain though so be sure your baby is prepped for disaster AND fun! 

20. First Down Football Theme

This one is similar to the “first season” theme, but specifically for football. 

Most college teams have something they do for a “first down” that is special to their team. Whatever team you like best, figure out what they chant at a first down and make sure to say that lots throughout the party. 

Similar to the basketball idea, have favorite football players printed out to hang on a banner along with pictures of your baby over the past year. 

A football smash cake is a must for this theme! You could even purchase or borrow a baby football helmet for your child to wear for pictures! 

21. First Trip Around The Sun

Think bright colors for this theme! Everything will have to do with the sun– Sun rays, sun glasses, yellow balloons, sun cupcakes, a sunshine backdrop for photos, etc. 

Your baby will look so sweet all dolled up for pictures with family and friends! 

If you have a baby girl, get her a little white or yellow sun dress to match the party theme. 

For little boys, there are cute sunray rompers that would look darling for this special occasion. 

22. One Sweet Cookie

Photo credit: Mad Batter Cookie Co

One more! Just like our “tough cookie” idea, but this one is “sweet cookie”. 

You can use a lot of the same ideas and decor as you would for the “tough cookie”. 

Try brown and white balloons with lots of different types of cookies for guests to try! 

A fun idea could be to go around to all the different cookie shops (Crumbl, Twisted Sugar, Crave Cookies, etc). 

We hope that one of these ideas will be the PERFECT theme to celebrate your little girl or little boy! And don’t forget to shower yourself with a little bit of love for all your hard work! You will surely create memories that will last a lifetime! 

Let us know if you used one of these ideas and liked it! We love hearing from our readers!