Happy Half-Birthday, Baby!

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The half-birthday party is a new bona fide trend that has parents celebrating their baby’s half year — but remember, the cake’s NOT for her to eat!

When Kelsey Bridges’ baby, Maddy, turns 6 months old in June, she’s throwing her a proper birthday party to celebrate her half year.

“Maddy’s the second of my kids to be born in December,” Bridges laughs. “With all the craziness that the holidays bring, I know trying to get that together will be crazy, so I’m thinking ahead.”

Birthdays happening at difficult times may be just one of the reasons why there’s a new trend going around where parents are throwing half birthdays for their babies. It’s all over Pinterest, and new moms looking for fun ways to plan get-togethers with their friends with babies are taking notice. So far the trend seems to be for babies only, but should it stick, you may start seeing it seep into older kids’ lives — especially if they’re away from home for sporting events or other things on their special days.

“I love being with people, and I want Maddy to love it, too,” Bridges says. “So, why not? We’ll have a fun little get-together and celebrate her life … in December we’ll let her try some vanilla ice cream.”

Some parents aren’t on board with the new idea.

“Oh. come on!” says Ann Cascio, a Nashville mom of two. “It’s over the top. I really have no interest in stressing myself out over something like half birthdays — really?”

She doesn’t have to worry. So far the trend seems to be limited to 6-month-olds. Pinterest boards show adorable half birthday cakes and ideas for “half” themes … never mind that babies younger than 1 year aren’t supposed to have cake — the treats are for the mom friends and other guests to enjoy.

A Good Reason Why

“I’m looking for a way to make time with my baby count,” says new mom Shelly Hatry of Fairview. “I saw a Pinterest board about half birthday parties and I thought, perfect. You don’t have to like it, but for me it always helps to have a reason for a get-together and my baby is growing and changing so fast,” she adds.

That’s true. Typical babies grow astonishingly fast in their first year. By the time they’re 1, they’ve tripled their birth weight and grow up to 10 inches in length— of course, the timing of growth varies baby to baby.

“A child grows more rapidly during his first 12 months than in any other period of his life,” says Gregory Plemmons, M.D., medical director of the pediatric primary-care practice at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital.

“My granny keeps telling me it all goes so fast,” Hatry says. “So, OK, I hear it. I’ll tease her with it, too!”

Easy & Stress Free

Where throwing kid parties can be anxiety producing, with a baby’s half year party it shouldn’t be. There’s no need for games or activities beyond having your friends over with their babies and letting the little ones enjoy being around each other and the adults, too. Keep it friendly, low key and just have a fun time together.

“I think it’s important for children to grow up with each other, to be socialized as much as possible so they’ll learn to talk and speak up for themselves. This is just a fun way to get that started,” says Bridges.

Not convinced? You don’t have to be. But for the moms out there who love the idea, happy half birthday parties to you all!

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Susan Swindell Day is the editor in chief of Nashville Parent and the mom of four amazing kids.

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