Birthday party etiquette

You might have partied hearty in your younger years, but these days, the only bottle you might chug is Baby’s when you don’t have time to pour your own cup of juice. The era of birthday parties is fast approaching in Baby’s life, so you might want to brush up on the etiquette for birthday party attendance before they get their first invitation. You’ll be perfect guests in no time.


Imagine planning a party and not knowing who was going to show up – now, imagine planning a party and not knowing if 30 kids and their parents will show up! It’s important to let the host know if you and Baby can attend, so RSVP as early as you can.

The gift

If you’re having a hard time deciding on a present, don’t feel awkward phoning the party’s host to see what they think the birthday boy or girl would like. They can probably offer some suggestions, or at the very least, they can tell you what they already own. And if you’re phone-shy, there’s always the beloved gift certificate.

The preparation

Since Baby has no idea what they're getting into, it could help to have a little pep-talk before the day arrives, and then once more before you leave the house. Let Baby know where you’re going, why you’re going there, and what the rules are – for example, sharing, listening to directions, and waiting your turn. Baby is obviously young enough to forget all these things once they see balloons and other toddlers, but it’s still worth saying.

The arrival

In a few years, Baby will probably be okay to stay at a party without your help. But right now you’re expected to stay alongside (or at least pretty close to) them for the length of time you’re at the party. Wouldn’t it be nice if this expectation could extend to Baby’s teenage years?

The departure 

You might be the last to leave, or you might have to depart early when Baby can’t seem to let go of the birthday boy’s gifts. Either is fine, and anyway, parties at this age shouldn’t run much longer than 2 hours or so. Don’t feel like you have to stay until the crack of dawn.
As you head home, take a moment to think about what you liked at the party – soon enough you’ll probably be hosting one of Baby’s own!

Related Topics

Get the Ovia Parenting app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store