Should I Cancel My Sons First Birthday Party?

Updated on August 24, 2019
M.B. asks from Columbus, OH
15 answers

he’s been to the doctor and the doctor said it may be his teeth or a viral bug. He has thrown up the last couple days but has no fever. We have friends with older kids coming but they will mostly be outside playing. What should I do? It’s supposed to be tomorrow.

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answers from Los Angeles on

If he doesn't have a fever, typically he's not contagious.

However, if vomiting? that's no way to have "fun" at a party. The first birthday party is typically for the parents, not the child.

If you can postpone stating he's been vomiting and you don't want to get others sick. That's what I would do.

5 moms found this helpful

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answers from Abilene on

Your son won’t remember this party at all. This is mainly for the people who love him and to celebrate his first year. Lots of fun pictures.

I would cancel/post-pone. Your son is fighting something and probably needs rest more than anything. You probably do too.

If you’ve already bought groceries that will spoil and want to continue with plans, I would call each family attending and let them know the situation. They then get to decide whether they want to take the chance of exposure or not. To me, that’s a courtesy recognizing they would love to come, but updating on the circumstances.

I also admit that it’s a pet peeve of mine for parents who’ve had a kid throwing up or ran a fever within the last 24 hours to bring them to whatever event because they don’t want them missing out. So I know I’m biased when it comes to this. My daughter was exposed and subsequently got sick with strep throat twice because as she was holding a kiddo in her lap, her mother declared she had been to the doctor that day and was diagnosed with strep but was on an antibiotic so not contagious. 😑

i hope he feels better and you guys have a great celebration no matter what you decide. ❤️

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Welcome to mamapedia.

I'm so sorry your son isn't 100%! I wouldn't cancel it - I would postpone it. I would call the people I invited and tell them that my son is sick and we are moving the party to a different date and hope they can make it.

I had to do this for my oldest son's 2nd birthday - he had a fever of 102 in the AM on the day of the party. He was sick. Poor guy. While it was short notice, everyone understood. We ended up having the party the following week. My parents weren't able to make it. But we did do something small that evening while they were still here.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

I think given the choice, almost everyone would rather celebrate under better circumstances.

Viral stomach flus can be awful for families with multiple kids. The parents can get run down, and then get it themselves.

ETA - Just thought again. I wouldn't think of it as cancelling, but just postponing - I think if you were to call your friends, and say "Billy been sick the last couple of days, and we think it would be best to reschedule" most would appreciate it.

You might get the odd person who would say "Oh that's ok we'll come over" - but 9/10 I think would rather do it on a different weekend. I don't think anyone will feel put out.

I just think it's a slight hiccup. I think in the end, he'll enjoy it more and you won't have this worry. If it is flu, he's likely contagious.

I would just keep it simple, and reschedule. I mean, you could leave it to everyone's discretion - and let them decide, but then you might only have a few come. Or you could not tell people and keep him off to the side, but then you'd have to make sure he wouldn't touch the same toys, everyone meticulous about washing hands, etc. To me, it makes more sense to just reschedule for another weekend.

Where it's not a big scheduled party-room event kind of deal, I think it's totally ok in this case, and the smart move.

That would be my advice :) Hope he feels better soon.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Baton Rouge on

He will not remember his first birthday. If he hasn't been feeling well, why subject him to a bunch of relatives and other kids for an event that means nothing to him?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

All things considered, postponing it seems like the best option. As a 1 year old, he has no idea what day is his birthday, and he'll probably enjoy having lots of people and food around if he hasn't been throwing up. The other parents/guests will probably be more comfortable knowing they aren't possibly being exposed to a bug. Pushing it off to next weekend seems best. Just my impression, of course. Happy Baby's birthday to you!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Postponing it seems tricky - next weekend is a holiday weekend, and after that, with school starting and such I think it could be difficult to reschedule.

I can't tell from your post if just those friends with the older kids are your only attendees or if you are just mentioning them specifically as the only one with kids? Personally, I'd keep the party and just let folks know and they can decide for themselves if they want to attend.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I had to cancel my daughter's first birthday party for the same reason, although my daughter had a fever too. If he is sick I think you should postpone it...can you reschedule for next weekend? Wait and decide tonight....if he seems perfectly fine then let the party go on. If he still seems miserable then call everyone and tell them it has been postponed. You can even decide tomorrow morning before the party if you have to.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I'd say it depends on how he feels. If he's vomiting everything and is miserable and cranky and having a bunch of people around paying attention to him will make him feel worse, then I would postpone. If it's one of those things where he's eating and drinking and otherwise seems fine other than getting sick/vomiting once a day or when crying or whatever (and no one else in your house has symptoms), then I'd stick to plans but wouldn't have a day of "pass the baby" where other people are likely to get really close and pick up germs in case it is viral. Maybe give the other families a heads up in case any are really skittish about being around possible viruses and make sure everyone washes their hands before eating but I think most people with older kids understand that every environment their kids are in from the play ground to daycare to school is a petri dish of viruses.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Postpone. He's only 1, so he won't remember. But if he's miserable and vomiting, or if you're worried that he's about to, it will be awful for your family. And the other parents will be really annoyed if you bring them into a house with either a virus or a bacterial bug. These things happen. Kids get sick, plans change. You'll learn that as you have more experience as a parent. Wait until you meet the parents who send their kids to preschool or kindergarten when they're sick - then the whole class gets it, and the teacher. Don't be that parent.

Having large parties for very young children is always fraught with problems - kids get overwhelmed, they get tired, and all the parent's dreams for perfect photos and themed parties evaporate.

He's been throwing up for a few days - he is in no shape for a party. Cancel.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

Just postpone it until next weekend. Would YOU want a birthday party if you were vomiting? Ugh.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Just something to think about.....
When my son started preschool a mom invited the whole class to her party that was on a Saturday. My son did not attend.

On the next school day following the party, there was only one other child present for school. All the others had attended the birthday party. Turns out the poor little Birthday girl had the flu. The parents had the party anyway, and all the guests also ended up with the flu....except my son and this other child (who were not at the party).

I vote to try to postpone/reschedule. Can’t imagine your child would have a good time, and then what if your household gets sick or the other guests?

You know your child and situation best.

It’s been 10 years since that preschool party............

I felt so bad for that mom and Birthday girl, but man was I relieved we avoided the flu (at lest that time).

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on

Besides the probability that your son will be cranky, do you want to go down in history as the party that made several kids sick....and have to stay home from school/daycare which then obliged parents to take off work? It's probably too late now and the party is I would discourage anyone from kissing or holding the baby....and hope for the best. Happy 1st birthday, baby!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I would have cancelled sooner, after seeing that the vomiting wasn't going away, rather than waiting until you have less than 24 hours for the party to begin, but if you have no choice, I would mention he hasn't been feeling well and you think he'd be miserable at the party, so you're rescheduling for 2 weekends after, due to Labor Day being next weekend, or just forget the whole thing. He's only 1, he won't remember that there was a time in his life where his birthday was cancelled due to his illness.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,
I am so sorry to hear that. This happened to my daughter at one. Maybe it is better to have him rest and go to the drug store to buy antibiotics.

1 mom found this helpful
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