How to Celebrate Birthdays So Close to Together

Updated on June 14, 2011
K.B. asks from Saint Clair Shores, MI
14 answers

What would you do or have you done when your children have birthdays so close together? How do you celebrate - one big party, separate parties, parties only for those with millestones? Do you give your children a party every year? This year my children will be 1, 4, and 5 (my 2 oldest have all the same friends - I'm sure this will only be true for another year or 2 when they will have separate school friends). The 2nd birthday is 2 weeks after the 1st, and the next one is 2 weeks later, so all within one month - very close together. I had a large party at our house for each of my first 2 children's birthdays, so I feel a little guilty if I don't do that for my 3rd. And, then I kind of feel that 5 is a milestone and my 5 year old is at the age where he realizes more that others are having parties and wants one too. I don't know if I would want to have a party for all 3 together, because I would not want people to think they had to bring gifts for all 3 and I don't want to do all 3 separate, because some of the same people would be invited and that is asking alot of time from them. I think some of my family and close friends would be bummed if we didn't celebrate with them at all though. We always have cake and ice cream at home with just us on the actual birthday no matter what. Anyway, I am just curious what others have done or think they would do or want someone to do in this situation. It is probably not a big deal either way at this age, but I am wondering if it will be harder as they get older too? Would be interested to hear any experiences others have had at different ages with kids' birthdays this close. Thanks!

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answers from Detroit on

I've not read all the other posts, but I have a friend with a very similar situation, although her 3 kids are 2, 3, and 5. She just had a joint party over the weekend with friends and family, and it worked out fabulously. If they're summer birthdays, you can do an outdoor party. Since she has 3 kids, my friend's invitation said that no gifts are necessary, as the kids have plenty of toys, but if you feel you must bring a gift, please bring something that the kids can share (or a joint gift, rather than 3 separate gifts). I think most people brought joint gifts, as I know we did. She hired a girl to help out with everything, and I think everyone had a great time. I think everyone also appreciated not having to go to 3 separate parties. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Denver on

My kids were born 3 days apart, so I empathize! There was also a gap of six years between them, which meant two separate parties, even if the gender difference didn't have an effect. I generally had friend parties for each of them and any adult friends who were available were welcome to attend. I also discovered the joy of Chuck E. Cheese's and other places where they took care of everything, including cleanup, for me. As they got older, they were each allowed sleepovers, which took place in the basement and had one major rule: after midnight, keep it quiet enough that Mom gets to sleep! We generally served delivery pizza, pop, cake (I did make that), and ice cream. The ice cream ceased to be available once Mom went to bed.

You'll find what works for you and your crew with time. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

My grandchildren's birthdays are 2 weeks apart. Last year, when they became 10 and 7 their mother had one party and it worked well. It was a swim party at a community center. Each child could invite several friends. Relatives also were invited. She served cup cakes. The center tried to play games with the kids before they went swimming but the kids just wanted to swim.

Of the several friends my grandchildren invited none showed up for my grandson and only two for my granddaughter. There was only one response to the RSVP. The mom said they'd be there but didn't show up. Go figure! Disappointing but because there were cousins and younger neighbor children there both grandkids had fun.

Because kids didn't show up my daughter has told each child that they can invite 2-3 friends and they'll do what the child would like to do. My grandson wants to go swimming which they'll do at a friends house this year. My granddaughter wants to go skating. We'll do the cake and ice cream away from the pool and rink. Haven't decided about that yet.

The year before my granddaughter had a swim party at a community center and had 3 friends. We were going to have cake and ice cream at the park but it rained. We had some sort of goodies, I don't remember what, in my van and opened gifts and handed out "prizes" without playing games.

My van's seats fold down to make a large open area. The girls loved it and asked to do it again. It was just the girls and me.

We went out to dinner with family for my grandson's birthday. He wasn't much into friends then.

It seems to work to have a party together because the kids split up anyway based on who is whose friend and family goes back and forth between the two groups. It does mean having an activity for which that works. Another birthday we celebrated both by a bar-b-cue at the park. My granddaughter had friends but my grandson was young and didn't care. Grandpa played games with the girls and my daughter entertained him and family.

They always share a cake and don't seem to mind. But then they get cake periodically throughout the year.

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answers from St. Louis on

all 4 of our bds are within a 6 week period!

My younger son is 1st....& he gets a separate party. Last year for 14, he decided he wanted to go to 6 Flags with his fav cousin....& no adults. Totally cool with that...& then, since we were on vacation, we did a family dinner afterwards with the immediate family. Previous years, we did a friend party & then a family dinner on the closest wkend.

With our older son, he was born on my we've always shared our party & thrown my husband in on it too (2 wks earlier). Our older son would then have a friend party on one of the wkends.

It worked & our older son never complained! & no matter how the wkends/bds fell, we always made sure the actual bd was a special day!

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answers from Washington DC on

For this year I would do the following:
5y birthday- have cake on his birthday with just family
week in between 5 and 4, have a big party with the friends
4y birthday - have cake on his birthday with just family
1y birthday - have seperate birthday with family. Baby is turning 1!

For future years, I would have a joint party for the kids that share a birthday month, and a standalone party for the child in the other month.

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answers from New York on

My DD and DS (3 yrs apart) have their birthdays 2 days apart in the Summer. When they were little we shared the family party with two separate cakes. We didn't always have a friend's party for each kid every year - it gets to be too much and they'd collect too many presents that really weren't useful. There were years when my DD would just have a few friends to sleep over & I'd do manicures, we'd have sundaes at midnight - or my son would have a few boys have pizza & carvel and then go to the movies. Only once did we have both kids have a big party (10 and 13 hit the same year) so we did a week apart on Saturdays - both had a pool party so it wasn't too expensive. Pizza, soda, lots of bags of chips & doodles, ice cream and homemade cupcakes. Done.

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answers from Kansas City on

I only have 2 but their birthdays are one week apart. My son is only going to be 2 this year, my daughter 4, but last year they had separate parties. My daughter had more of a friend party which did include the family that wanted to attend. My son's was a week later and it was the big at-home bash. My daughter did get some presents at that party too from people who didn't want to or couldn't come to her party. My goal is to always give them separate parties, I had/have some of the same concerns you listed. A large portion of the guest list was invited to both parties. Most of them came to both, but I also said that they shouldn't feel obligated and should do what they want to do. When they are both old enough to be having friend parties, I will probably let them choose what to do for their own party and then have a cake and ice cream only gathering for both kids and invite just family. We have a huge family so inviting them anywhere would take up a lot of space! Family wants to be included, but I also want my kids to feel like they can have a party they want. Right now with my little one he doesn't have an opinion really so he gets the big BBQ bash and everyone is invited. I think we hits 3 or 4 he'll graduate to a smaller more intimate party if he wants.

I know a bunch of people that have kids with the same or close birthdays and everyone I know who had a joint party has a some sort of resentment. Some are more resentful than others. One of my good friends has 2 siblings and their birthdays are all right close like yours. I talked with his mom at length about this topic and she said she always gave them their own party and they were all thankful she did. She did say, however, that she learned quickly to only make small, 1 layer cakes for each of them b/c they had cake around all month! ;)

Do what you can do in terms of space, time and money...but my opinion is that if you can give them separate parties, you should.

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answers from Dover on

I would have family dinner and cake on each of their birthdays with immediate family only (parents, grandparents, and the three of them) or maybe take them to the place of their chosing. As for the party, I would combine them except for special ones (such as 1st, 13th, 16th, & 18th). In those years, I would do the special one separately.

My husband's aunt has four children. Two born in Jan (middle two) and two born in Feb (oldest and youngest). She always had one party for all four but did something for each on their own day.

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answers from Tampa on

May is like that for our family. Mother;s Day, 4 birthdays and 2 anniversaries. We usually do one huge party to celebrate then my parents (2 of their 3 kids are included in that list) would cook a special meal or take us out to dinner on our actual birthday. I think that's the best way to do it. I don't know how you family works, but doing everything separate in our family would be an every-weekend thing. Since you have 2 milestone birthdays I would make sure they are acknowleged in some way. A smash cake for the 1yo, mabe a really awesome "big kig" toy for the 5yo.
Just have fun with it :) And happy triple birthday! :)

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answers from Denver on

I would agree that at a year of age you do not have to do much to make the child happy. Both of my kids had a family only 1 year party because they just didn't know other kids that well or notice at that age. My birthday is 2 weeks and 2 years apart from my older brother's and my oldest brother is years and 1 week older than my sister. I cannot remember ever combining our parties unless it was family only and that is because getting together as an extended family more than once a month was difficult to arrange. I would say do each kid's party separate. I know it could add up to more money spent but unless the kids at both parties would be the same group and the theme for both parties is totally agreed upon it just seems like a recipe for disaster. Don't get me wrong, we didn't have tons of money growing up and we actually didn't have tons of friends but each of us got our own celebration. I would think of it this way, if two of your kids had parties two months apart you would not try to split the difference and celebrate in between the two dates why do that even though they are closer together?



answers from Atlanta on

A good friend of mine has one child with a birthday at the beginning of May and the other in the middle-a boy and a girl two years apart. They've always done a big outdoor combo party, but she told me that next year, when the boy will be six, she's going to start scaling back to things like "Invite your six best friends" for him and a play party for her.



answers from Omaha on

All six of our birthdays are within six weeks of each other. January 24, February 5, 7, 9, 17, and March 5. EVERYONE of my kids got a separate birthday party every year. We just plan ahead to know that that time of the year will be very busy. Now that most of my kids are grown, we do birthday dinners. Birthday kid gets to choose the meal and we all meet together for family time/meal. There is always a cake of the honorees choice.

Birthdays come but one time a year. We have never been big on giving our kids presents, especially when they were little and at parties got all kinds of stuff, but now I usually do buy something $50 or so. Celebrate like crazy!


answers from Jacksonville on

Well, I would say, at least for this year, that your 1 yr old isn't going to care WHAT you do. The First Birthday is all for the parents' anyway. Isn't it? ;)

As for later years... I know people who have done multiple birthdays at the same time. They just had two cakes. If your older 2 have the 1st and 2nd birthdays (not the ones farthest apart from each other) you might consider doing that in future years. The parents generally are not going to expect to bring gifts for both kids. In fact, I have seen many posts about just such questions posted on this site before. You'd just send out separate invitations for the kids you are inviting for the older child and another set for the younger child. All the INFO can be exactly the same: date, time, locations, rsvp, etc... But they can each have their own theme if you want. You'll just probably want to have major help on the day of. DEFinitely have Dad on hand, and maybe a super good friend to help you run interference when one is blowing out candles and opening gifts (let your "helper" keep the "other" party attendees entertained --it won't be necessary for ALL the guests to watch the gift opening/cake cutting/blowing out candles. Just the ones invited by THAT particular child).
It is doable. And it doesn't really matter if you have both girls, both boys or one of each when you do it this way.
BUT, your youngest child has a much larger age gap, and would make it more problematic to have co-parties.



answers from Detroit on

my kids were born 4 years and 4 days apart and my cousin had her oldest 3 days after my youngest soooo it is a very busy week. Each of my kids gets a seperate birthday party every year. I only invite friends once they hit 5 years old (if the parents want to stay that is up to them). I contact my cousin to make sure we aren't doing the boys parties on the same day. We also do a family ONLY dinner (just the kids and us) and the birthday person chooses where we go eat.

By the way one of the reasons I choose to do seperate parties for my kids is because I know a couple sets of twins and one of their pet peeves is not having their own special day for their birthday. While I understand being a twin is slightly different I also don't want my kids to feel slighted. I am also keenly aware that the main reason my youngest gets parties is because "what you do for one you must do for the others"...we try VERY hard to make everything as even as possible.

good luck

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