No one to invite to the 3rd birthday.... — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

No one to invite to the 3rd birthday....

What do you do for a birthday party when you don't have any kids to invite? No one from DC ever invites us to their parties, I guess its just not done in this group and I don't know any of the other parents anyway so that would be weird. None of our friends have kids their age (they are either infants...or preteen). I have a little family in town but its my recently divorced parents, my grandmother and my teenage sister. (everyone could get along well enough for cake and ice cream...but things would get tense after a couple hours in the same place). We have avoided this situation in the past by taking them to Disney for 1st birthday and we ended up at Chuckey Cheese with my mom last year (so lame...but we had just moved back to town from being 17 hours away the day before their birthday).

We've tried getting into gymnastics so they could meet other kids their age but my kids hated it so we quit. I'm going to try to get into a Kindermusik class soon and see how that goes...mostly b/c they do birthday parties and I really just want my kids to finally have a regular little kid party with presents and games and everything.

Any other ideas?

Re: No one to invite to the 3rd birthday....

  • For my son's 1st birthday, I invited everyone from his infant daycare class plus his teachers.  There were two kids and their mothers that came to his 1st birthday party.   But honestly, we have not been invited to anyone else birthday party. But I felt it was polite to buy their kids cute gifts of books for their birthday that year, since they came to our birthday party and got us good gifts.  

    And then with my son's 2nd birthday party, we just had a family only birthday party at our inlaws since his birthday was over Memorial Day weekend, and we just had our 2nd child.  We wanted to keep it lowkey.  

    All I can say is that you just have to put yourself out there, and then just be approachable in case someone wants to bring their kids to your kids parties.  I like to joke that I am my kid's PR person, and it is the truth for right now.  

    As well, you have to plan that one parent will be joining their kid as well.  That can be expensive.  We had a $200 bill at a pizza place for my son's birthday party, but it was completely worth it.  As well, if no one shows up, that is fine too--have fun with the people that do show up.  

    I personally love birthday parties, and if we are not doing anything else, it is fun to go to them.  We went to this 1st birthday party at a  fun play zone-it had inflatable huge slide and a bouncy house--it was so much fun.  I also know that for our groups that they is one mom who has a bouncy house, and this is a popular for kids to go to.  I think location, date, and what activites are all factors in it.   

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  • You could just try inviting your LO's day care class even though no one else has done it before.  A couple of DS's classmates had birthday parties just a few weeks into the school year and they invited the class and the parents introduced themselves to each other at the party.

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  • I think it is better to have a party at a fun place as opposed to your house if you are inviting people you don't know very well, it makes it less awkward for the guests and for you... They can go explore with their kids if they don't know anyone. 

    BFP #1: 11/09; DS born 8/01/10 BFP #2: 10/11/11 EDD: 06/25/12 M/MC 11/23/11 @ 9 weeks, 3 days; BFP#3 3/10/12 EDD 11/23/11 Grow Baby! Image and video hosting by TinyPic Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Nursing Bras at Nurtured Family
  • We just do family dinners. 

  • We were in a similar situation, and we just had a small family gathering out of town and then on her actual bday went out to eat with some adult friends of ours. To me, it would be awkward to have a party and invite people I didn't know that well. If your families don't get along, you could do multiple get-togethers, like maybe one lunch and one dinner.

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  • For the first three years, DD1's birthday parties were just her, me and DH (and DD2 when she came along). I'm a SAHM, so she wasn't in daycare, and I didn't feel close to very many other SAHMs. Our family is all very far away. I would decorate around the house, take her to get balloons, DH would take the day off work and we'd do fun things (as DD1 gets older, we let her pick the activities). I'd cook a special dinner and make her a cake, and we'd do presents. 

    We had her first party at four, when we had a preschool class to invite. I'm glad I waited, and I don't know that I want to do it each year, either. I prefer the times when we go do a bunch of fun family stuff all day to celebrate. :) 

    I guess I'm just trying to say that you don't need to have a party with other little kids to make the day special and fun! 


    DD1, 1/5/2008 ~~~ DD2, 3/17/2010
  • We also have just done cake and ice cream with family, and then we take a little outing with our nuclear family on the day-of (zoo, lake, science centre, etc). We're thinking we'll start friend parties once they're in school and have classmates to invite.
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  • Are they asking for a party with kids? I'm just curious why you want to do a party if it doesnt really make sense... I love birthdays & bday parties but I won't be doing a party for them this year (or last) for the same reason- our DC doesnt seem to do the invite the class thing (can't blame them I don't know any of them either & the only one who did do it did it during the time the class naps...?! My mom was in town so I didn't go anyway but I thought that was odd).  We moved this year & know very few ppl w/ kids our kids' age and have not known them long & have not been to any of their parties so would feel weird inviting them to ours. Plus, my kids have not brought it up or asked about it, I don't think they really know what a birthday party is so I am just doing things w/ our family at home, special outings and decorate their doors and fun meals out & whatnot.

    I agree if you don't really know the parents, do it at a 'place' rather than your house.


  • imageCalinsBride:
    We also have just done cake and ice cream with family, and then we take a little outing with our nuclear family on the day-of (zoo, lake, science centre, etc). We're thinking we'll start friend parties once they're in school and have classmates to invite.

    This is exactly what we do.  Out parents are out of state.   We had cake on his birthday and went to the aquarium the following day. We are friendly with a few parents at daycare and just discussed whether to invite a few to his next birthday. His birthday being  in February  doesn't help because it can't be outdoors and we live in a 950 square foot cape.  For the time being, ds will get cake and a special outing. 

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  • We don't have any family so its just us.  My kids do go to DC 2 days a week and there are 3 other kids there.  We do get invited to those kids parties and they are huge- big families, huge production of gift opening, etc.  However, for us that's not possible and I use to be sad about it but instead we just make due and I've NEVER heard a complaint about it.  We also plan a "special trip" for their birthday- the zoo (we only go on birthdays to make it more special), a train museum, jump house, etc. whatever they like.  I still make the big cake and we still sing and open gifts, etc.  I figured once my kids get into elementary school is when I'll finally have to share them on their birthday so I'm just enjoying this time for ourselves.
  • kegkeg member

    Like pp asked, are you kids asking for a party with kids?  If not, I wouldn't worry about it.  Up until this point, we've just done small family gatherings (really small because we don't have any family in town).  This weekend was the first DC birthday party, and it was definitely the talk of the class for the week.  So it's possible that people at DC aren't doing kid parties yet.  Honestly, I wouldn't have wanted to do a kid party before 4ish, because they really don't "get" it.  Now, my girls are all into parties so we may wind up doing something this year. 

    2004-Started TTC; Nov 2007-Lap with endo removed; Jan 2008-Ectopic (mtx); April 2008-IVF #1 (bfp, twin girls); March 2011-FET (cp); June 2012-IVF #2 (bfp, singleton, EDD 3-19-12)

    ***Twin fraternal girls born at 35w6d in 12/2008***

  • Kindermusik sounds like a great idea! Other options are Gymboree or something similar, church, or most of my DDs friends we met in a local moms playgroup. Otherwise just have fun with your family somewhere they will enjoy!
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  • We sort of ran into this problem with DD's birthday this year.  We had JUST moved to a different state and knew literally no one.  I still wanted her to have a special day though and make a bit of a deal over her birthday so I sort of let her plan her day.  

    I told her to think of 3 things that she wanted-it could be anything.  She told me she wanted a cookie (I clarified-no birthday cake-she wanted a cookie), to go shopping and to go to a park with puddles.  :)  So we took her to a pool that had splash pad and a few really small water slides, took her out to lunch and got a cookie and then she got to go shopping (although she didn't end up wanting anything).  Plus we did a few presents that we had already planned for her.  It turned out to be a really special day with just the 3 of us doing whatever she wanted.  

    You could do a party with other kids from daycare though.  You never know if other parents are feeling the same way and someone just needs to rip of the bandaid so to speak and start the habit of inviting each other to parties.   

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  • I would have the party at your LO's DC.  Some parents at our DC have gone all out hiring a magician or clown. Provide cupcakes and maybe plan one game.  So much less stress on you finding a venue, sending out invites,etc... The teachers will probably enjoy a break from their usual lesson plan.

    Gifts can be given by your family.

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  • I was in a similar situation for DS's 2nd birthday.  No friends with kids his age.  Pretty much all family lives OOT.  Daycare kids don't seem to invite each other.  I finally just decided it was fine to have something small.  So it will be us, my dad and brother and my MIL/FIL.  He's only 2.  He won't know any different, and honestly at 3 you're won't either.

    They have plenty of time for parties with friends once they are in school and I'm actually enjoying not having all the stress and expense of planning some big party like I did last year!

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    BFP #1 11/28/09 ~ EDD 8/6/10 ~ DS Born 8/9/10
    BFP #2 8/27/13 ~ EDD 5/8/14 ~ Natural MC 9/18/13 at 6 weeks, 6 days
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