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First birthday party - necessary or waste of money? -


The first birthday of a child is a day that most parents and first-time parents look forward to. Some parents obsess over the details of the celebration, some celebrate it moderately and there are the cynics among us who feel it’s a waste of time and money.

Now, it’s easy to call these latter ones cynics, though upon closer inspection and a little bit of reasoning, you find that they have a point as the child won't remember the day and might even sleep through the whole party.

Whichever way you look at it, there is no shortage of debate as to how to celebrate a first birthday or whether to celebrate it at all. Two parents share their thoughts on first birthday celebrations:

Reena Indharaj with daughter Tamieera

Service desk manager Reena Indhraraj, mother to Tamieera, aged six months:

“The memories from my baby’s first birthday will be priceless. This will be a milestone and it’s meant to be celebrated. It's what makes us human. And a first birthday is a huge milestone, both for the child and the parent.
I don't see it as a party; I view it as a celebration of my child's life. All birthdays should be celebrated! So many babies don't ever live to see this miraculous milestone. I would like my baby to be surrounded by everyone who loves her.

We don't have to go overboard in celebrating, but it's her first birthday. She won't remember but we will and we will have the photos to show her. The first birthday may be seen as an event for mum and dad, it's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our daughter's first year, a time to acknowledge how truly blessed we are to reach this milestone. As much as I’d love to keep it as simple as we want, I really feel I will regret letting this day pass without some form of celebration.

My plans are to make her a cake just so she can smash it and take a picture and have a close gathering for her birthday at home. For me, what matters at every birthday is knowing that I am loved. To me, it's another year God has let me live, and I know God loves me enough to let me live. I don't want my child to think her life has to be all about money or worldly possessions. I just want to make her birthday a little special, not spectacular that I have to really try to outdo it year after year.

It’s been a big year indeed, so why not celebrate it? I mean, we only have one first birthday, and that is definitely a milestone to us. It doesn't mean you have to go for broke to celebrate it, but why not make it special?

I am so excited for Tamie's party, though I am sure I will shed a few tears knowing my girl is already one and getting more independent each day. I will be the mark of a year since I delivered her! Although, I do wish she'd stay small just a little bit longer.”

Nazlin Yusoff with daughter Zulaikha

HR clerical assistant Nazlin Yusoff, mother of Zulaikha, aged two (with one more on the way):

“My honest opinion is that it is a waste of money. Growth in different children may vary, but it is still safe to assume that at the age of one, the baby would have hardly mustered the necessary ability to quite comprehend what is taking place. This is very important, because the birthday is celebrated for the baby and if the baby can’t quite grasp what is going on or is asleep when the celebration is taking place, it just doesn’t add up, does it?

I think the ideal age for birthday celebrations of any kid is around the age of three onwards. At this age, the child is normally receptive to what is going on around and is able to appreciate all that is taking place.

There have been celebrations for first birthdays in my family, but I think this is a pretty subjective issue. What one parent may feel is necessary, may just be a waste of time and money to another.

I have attended my fair share of these parties. I think if you can afford it then go ahead. However, I still feel these celebrations are a result of parents being swept away by the excitement more than anything else.”

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