Celebrating the Fourth Birthday!
Another birthday, another reason to plan a party! Let's review party-planning tips to keep you sane and your child happy:
- Keep the number of guests to a manageable level. The more bodies and voices, the more stress for you and your toddler.
- If weather permits, host the party outside. Children love being outside without four walls to constrain them.
- Try to resist opening gifts in front of all the other children. These young guests have not developed the etiquette to just "oooh" and "aaah" from their seats. If they see a present that they must handle, there will be an altercation for sure.
- Respect your child's reaction to whatever entertainment you decide to hire: a clown, musician, etc. If he is scared, don't expect him to overcome this fear just because it is his party. Hold and talk to him about the performer and keep him at a safe distance.
- Give him a taste of his cake. Even you moms and dads who are against offering sweets can let down your guard for this occasion. Some bakeries make very small cupcakes, which are easy for small hands to hold. (Read these other tips on throwing a healthier birthday party.)
- Keep your child to his nap schedule. Try to plan the party so that he can have his nap at the usual time.
- Have a good time, yourself: Spending the whole time doing food prep or cleaning is not our idea of a party. Plan easy food—maybe even splurge by ordering prepared food—so you can enjoy yourself. After all, you're celebrating your years of parenthood, as well!
More Development Help
As you're considering your child's development, keep in mind that all children are unique. Whether your child reaches milestones early or late, she has her own developmental path to follow. The dividing lines between these months are very fuzzy. If you have any concerns or questions about your child's development, please check with her health care provider.