5 Ways to Give Back With Your Baby's First Birthday

While there's nothing wrong with lavishing your little one on her big day, this occasion is also a great opportunity to give back. Here's how.

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Your baby's first birthday is one of the most fun and festive milestones of childhood, so it's no wonder that parents can sometimes go a little over the top when it comes to planning celebrations. But while there's nothing wrong with lavishing your little one for the day, this occasion is also a great opportunity to give back. Here are some ways start your child on a lifelong path of generosity!

1. Host an Animal-Themed Party for a Cause

Use one of your baby's favorite animals as inspiration for a wildlife-themed birthday party where guests are encouraged to donate to a related charity. If your tot loves whales, throw a party benefiting the Oceanic Preservation Society; if she's obsessed with tigers, raise cash for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

2. Spread Birthday Joy

Not every birthday boy or girl is fortunate enough to get balloons and gifts. Set up a donation box by your child's cake for The Birthday Project, which hosts monthly birthday parties for kids at homeless shelters and transitional living facilities across the country.

3. Register With Good+

Give guests the option of bringing gifts or donating to the Good+ Foundation, which partners with a national network of programs to fight the cycle of family poverty.

4. Throw a Storybook Bash

Choose party decorations and snacks related to some of your baby's favorite stories and ask guests to bring books for donating to a local library, shelter, or daycare. Be sure to include story time as part of the festivities. (Kids can even dress up like their favorite characters!)

5. Make Birthdays Brighter for Sick Kids

Having a birthday in the hospital can be rough. With the help of The Confetti Foundation, guests can help fund a celebration for a "birthday buddy" (a sick child with the same birthday as your kid). Sometimes a party is the best medicine!