Etiquette Tips for Attending Toddler Birthday Parties

Since becoming parents to our two darling boys, we’ve been invited to our fair share of first, second and third birthday parties, and from balloon bouquets and bounce houses, to face painting and petting zoos, we’ve attended some wonderful celebrations. C of course loves birthday parties – playing with his friends, devouring a big piece of frosted cake, its toddler heaven! I remember one party in particular, while walking to our car with goody bags in hand, he sweetly told me “it was really hard to leave mama!” because he was having such a great time. Oh how I love that boy!

I’ve also hosted two birthday parties to date, with C’s first birthday being at our house (a summertime theme complete with hamburgers, an ice cream truck, bubbles and pinwheels) and his second birthday (a Curious George theme at his favorite, “Little Gym”), and I had as much fun planning as C did celebrating. I can’t wait to plan his birthday this year, as well as his baby brother’s first birthday party.

Now having experienced both the roles of guest and host, I can say I’ve learned a great deal about the modern manners associated with this childhood tradition. I know I will learn so much more as the boys start school and birthday parties evolve, however I wanted to share my tips (in a two-part post) on how you and your little ones can be your best selves when attending and hosting toddler birthday parties. Enjoy!

Quick Tips

Etiquette Tips for Attending Toddler Birthday Parties

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RSVP as soon as you receive the invitation.

If your little ones are sick come party day, be considerate of the other guests and skip the party.

If the invitation says no gift, you do not need to bring a gift. You can bring a cute card if you’d like.

If you can’t make the party, you are not obligated to send a gift.

Only bring siblings if they are invited (i.e., if the invitation is addressed to them or to the whole family).

For toddler birthday parties and unless noted on the invitation, parents should plan to stay at the party.

Cutting the cake signals the end of the party.

At the end of the party, have your child thank the birthday boy or girl and their parents for hosting you (or you can do this on their behalf if they are too little).

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