Families splash out on baby's first birthday...

The new status symbol: baby’s first birthday bash …

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First birthday parties are one of the most important status symbols for young families these days, reveals a survey, with many families keeping up with the Jones via children. Families splash out on baby's first birthday...

Who’s invited, the food that’s served, the entertainment on offer and the perfect goody bag are more important considerations than what car to buy or where to go on the family holiday. And despite the economy, parents are happy to splash out…

The research carried out by Micro Scooters UK surveyed 750 couples throughout the UK with young children aged 5 and under and showed over half of parents will spend between £200 and £750 with some spending up to £1200. The full result of their survey are shown below…

How much money will you / have you spent on a 1st birthday?

– Between £200 and £750 52%
– Between £100 and £200 30%
– Over £750 10%
– Under £100 8%

Some respondents had spent up to £1200 on a first birthday as costs had included a commemorative photo shoot.

How many people will you invite to a 1st birthday party?

– 15 – 20 33%
– 10 – 20 30%
– Under 10 29%
– Over 20 8%

Those who limit numbers keep invites strictly to the family. Most people invite friends with young children as well as family and friends with older children or who don’t have a family.

The majority of the 8% who invite over 20 people will hire a venue to hold the party.

What food will you offer at the party?

– Separate menus for adults & children 48%
– Healthy party food 39%
– Themed party food 11%
– Traditional party food 2%

Gone are the days of sausage rolls, crisps, jelly, blancmange and fairy cakes. Wholemeal pizzas, crudités with dips and fruit platters seem to be the healthier order of the day although a birthday cake is still “de rigueur.”

Themed parties are popular so food has to match accordingly e.g. Mickey Mouse-shaped sandwiches for a Disney party or only blue drinks for a Seaside party.

What entertainment will you provide at the party?

– A children’s entertainer 34%
– A bouncy castle or ball pool 25%
– Simple party games 20%
– All of the above 11%

Children of this age cannot really play games so they are kept to short, simple activities like ‘Simon Says”. Some games are aimed entirely at adults and don’t really involve the children.

Parents also liked the kudos of being the first to discover a new entertainer or theme.

What else is important to make a party a success?

– Goody bags or mementoes 40%
– Invitations 30%
– Decorations 15%
– Photos of the day 15%

People will spend up to £20 per goody bag and agonise over the perfect contents as they want to offer something unique with “WOW factor”.

What type of present would you choose as a first birthday gift?

• A play item that will develop with your child 39%
• An electronic toy or item e.g. Baby Laptop 33%
• A commemorative item which is added to each 18%
year e.g. a charm bracelet
• Clothes 10%

Grandparents are particularly keen to give a present which offers ‘instant gratification’.

Which of the following did you spend the most time planning?

• A child’s first birthday party 45%
• A family holiday 32%
• A large one-off expense e.g. a car 12%
• Christmas 11%

A first birthday party is viewed as an occasion when your family’s lifestyle is put ‘on show’, hence the reason it received more planning time.

Other than close family, few people were seen as involved in the other decisions final outcome so less time was allocated to planning them.

Commenting on the findings, Micro Scooters UK’s Ben Gibson said:

“Spending on children seems to be the last thing that is cut back during a recession. Parents throughout the UK want to make sure their children have the very best and will go without themselves .

About Microscooters

All our scooters have been designed to grow with a child over a number of years and at under £100, they represent excellent value-for-money in financially tough times. The 3-in-1 microscooter starts life as a ride on as it has a seat and stem that attach to the deck of a Mini Micro Scooter. It then transforms into a small scooter for toddlers before finally transitioning into the familiar Mini Micro.

More info: www.micro-scooters.co.uk

PR: Mad As a March Hare

Is spending so much on a first birthday a good idea or a waste of money? We would love to hear from mums and dads who’ve really splashed out on their child’s first birthday for a fun article in a newspaper or magazine. If you would like to be featured – and paid for your time! – then contact us here: Sell my baby’s first birthday story.

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Alison Smith-Squire

Alison Smith-Squire is a writer, journalist and media agent selling exclusive real life stories to newspapers, magazines and TV. She owns the sell my story website Featureworld.co.uk, which was set up to help ordinary people sell their stories to the press.

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