The first thing you need to do is send out invitations for this party of the year. You will want to keep the guest list small as too many people may overwhelm your baby. Family and maybe a few friends. Home-made invitations are great and store-bought invitations are also suitable. While you can send out invites through social networking sites, these invitations cannot be kept so mailed out paper invitations are better. Then you have keepsakes.
You will want to keep decorations and games and activities low key and simple. Some party streamers and balloons are ideal and you can use colours you know your child likes. Bright colours are great for any one-year-old. You can also use a theme, such as Winnie the Pooh, dinosaurs, or a princess theme. You can try to plan a few games, but a one-year-old isn't able to do very much. You will have plenty of family to entertain the little one and you can also have your child's favourite television show or film handy in case you need a distraction. You can plan some traditional games for older kids and baby bottle bowling and guess how many animal crackers are in the jar are two fun games for any age. You can also leave out a framed photograph of your child with some markers and then the guests can write messages to your little one.
Food can be simple. Finger foods and juice for your child and for other children and guests. If you are having a lunchtime celebration (we'll get to timing later) you can serve lunch foods or have a barbecue. Of course, you can't have a birthday party without a cake and since this is your baby's first birthday he or she needs to have a great cake to dig into. The best plan is to have a small cake, chocolate is best, that is just for your child. Then you can serve your guests a proper birthday cake with all the trimmings. Everyone will have fun watching baby tear into the small cake as they enjoy eating the big cake.
Finally and maybe most importantly, time the party well so that your little one won't be cranky or ready for nap time. Late morning or over lunch time is probably the best, when the guest of honour is well rested. You also need to remember that if there is a lot of noise, laughter, and attention on your baby, he or she might actually be scared when the birthday cake is set out. After all, chances are your baby hasn't had much in the way of sugar and cookies and this is an unusual food in an unusual setting. Go easy and encourage your baby and it will happen. Most of all, have fun celebrating your little miracle that has been with you for a whole year.