I only found about cake smash parties after Emma had turned two and I was bitter and twisted that I had not got the memo sooner. But of course there’s Ben and he turns one in January. So guess what Ben will be having?

Of course any party takes planning, no matter how messy you hope they’ll be. So here are a few tips for a successful cake smash

1. THE CAKE
This really is easy… you can put as much or as little effort as you want into this part.

Not much spare time? Just pick up a simple cake at your local bakery. I recommend getting classic white icing. Decorations on the cake are optional, but I personally recommend it since I feel it adds to the fun of the pictures. If you choose colored icing decoration, avoid red. (Red icing mixed with baby drool can end up looking like blood which is not the look you are after!) All other colors are great and especially green and blue icings for boys. My personal preference is multi-colored sprinkles because everyone loves them and the bright colors keep the baby interested. You can usually find extra large tubs of sprinkles in the baking aisle… grab one!

Have more time on your hands? Make the cake yourself. When my second son’s first birthday rolled around, I borrowed one of those giant cupcake makers from a friend and made a chocolate cake, LOTS of white icing and sprinkles galore!

2. GET READY
Make sure you have everything already lined up before you allow baby to even SEE the cake. Is the camera ready? Are you video taping too? Is the area cleaned and cleared of distracting elements to your pictures and to baby? Maybe you want balloons in the background?

Do you have your cleanup plan???? Never start a cake smash without having your cleanup plan ready… How and where will you clean the birthday boy/girl? Be prepared to give an impromptu bath! And before little hands find their way back into the mess they just created, have your cake cleaning supplies ready to go. (Perhaps an assistant can be working on this while you are cleaning up baby.)

The last thing you want is your newly clean pride and joy making icing footprints down the hallway.

3. READY STEADY SMASH!
My favorite look is the baby on the floor with a fun cake right in front of him, an out-stretched hand just inches away from a fist-full of icing. If your little one is more independent and demands to be on his own two feet, try putting the cake on a small pedestal or stand and let him pick at it while he walks around it.

Don’t be discouraged if your child is not flashing you giant smiles during the session. He or she may be too curious and intent on exploring to pay much attention to you at first. Give the baby a chance to discover the cake, take detail photos such as capturing the hand just as he grabs a handful of the sweet stuff.

Maybe sing the child’s favorite song to him so he look up at your and you can grab that smile that melts your heart… If all else fails, put a dollop of icing on their nose!

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