When you reach your twins’ first birthday, you deserve a little celebration. After all, both you and your twins have survived the first year. Congratulations.
You may be tempted to have a big birthday bash with dozens of friends, expensive gifts, decorations, and entertainment.
My advice: keep it simple.
You’ve worked hard over the first year to keep your twins alive and cope with the insanity that two babies can bring into your home. Don’t add to your stress by having a massive birthday party.
Fortunately, the first birthday is the only chance in your kids’ lives when they have no expectations of what a typical birthday should be like. Your twins’ first birthday is therefore your only chance to take it easy. So take it easy!
What should you do about birthday presents for your twins?
One of our daughters was interested in the paper and the other in the actual gift. This worked out nicely but your situation may be different.
You don’t need tons of gifts. Your babies will want to play with the wrapping paper, then the box, and ultimately, the actual gift. This is a new experience for them and they may very well act upset or frustrated if rushed to the next present.
The solution is to have only a few gifts. If you have multiple gifts, spread them out throughout the day to extend the enjoyment.
For example, our daughters opened their presents from their older brothers first thing in the morning. When the grandparents came to visit later that day, the twins each opened a present. We had dinner, and then they opened some more presents.
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Should you buy two of everything? It depends. By the one year mark, you’ll know your twins’ personalities and will know if they can share toys or fight over everything. Plan your presents accordingly.
We made a big deal of each girl having her own cake. After all, each twin is an individual that just happens to be sharing a birthday with her sibling.
While I think separate cakes will be a bigger deal as the twins get older, the first birthday could probably have done with just one cake.
There is one thing that you must do on your twins’ first birthday: get pictures and video of them eating their birthday cake.
Your twins won’t remember anything but you need proof that you did something for them on their first birthday.
How many people should you invite over for the birthday party?. My answer: as few as possible.
Your kids are too young to have any friends and they aren’t expecting to see anybody on their birthday besides those they see everyday.
So the people you should have at your twins’ first birthday party are the people that your kids are most familiar with and the loved ones that want to witness this big milestone (like grandparents).
(RELATED: Don't reinvent the twin parenting wheel. Get my 7 Things Every Dad of Twins Needs to Know.)
Ironically, babies typically develop stranger anxiety right around their first birthday. Even grandparents can seem like strangers. If your twins are beginning to exhibit signs of stranger anxiety, you may want to take that into consideration when planning your guest list.
You’ve survived the first year of your twins’ lives. Now, cherish this day! Take lots of pictures and video. And don’t forget to have someone take a picture of you with your babies!
Soak in the sights, sounds, and yes, smells of the birthday because your twins will never have another one like this again.