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Planning your child’s birthday party does not have to be overwhelming and stressful. In fact, stress is a result of pressure you place on yourself to do more than what’s needed, or wanted by your child! This is especially the case when it’s for a child who’s 3 or under.

Believe it or not, parents who choose to go all out for a birthday party may end up overwhelming a young child instead. So, if you want a birthday party your child will appreciate and that will be less stressful to plan, check out the do’s and don’ts.

Party Size

For some adults, the bigger the party, the better! But, for children, you should consider your child’s age and temperament. The general rule for children up to 3 years old is to keep the party size to only one or two handfuls of guests. A large bash with dozens of guests can be overwhelming. For older children, consider the general rule of your child’s age plus one. Remember, the smaller your party size, the less work you have to do.


Depending on your party size, it may be easier to host the celebration at a kid-friendly restaurant, museum or children’s play gym. You won’t have to worry about tidying up your home or cleaning up after any major accidents and spills. Also, at a museum or play gym, all the activities needed to keep the kids entertained will be there so you don’t have to do any further planning.


Rather than hovering over the oven to bake a cake and other dishes to keep your guests satisfied, use catering. Catering also takes care of delivering the food to your destination. If you plan on having a party in the Dallas Area, you can find catering in Fort Worth that will take care of all of the details. Keep to finger-friendly foods. Consider pizza or a do-it-yourself sandwich set up as well as box drinks and snacks like pretzels, crackers and bite-sized fruits. Stay away from foods that may be common triggers of allergic reactions like peanuts.


There are some who may spend hours on decorations, but it can be so much simpler. Remember, young children could care less about decorations. Select a theme color with your child and all you need are some matching colored balloons the kids can kick and throw around in an open play area. Add a few streamers and matching colored tableware, like plates, napkins, fork, knives, etc. and you’re set!

Remember, the purpose of hosting the birthday party is to celebrate with your child. It’s not something you should have to stress over.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents wanting low-stress parties.