Making a baby’s first birthday magical and memorable is all any parent wants. The first birthday is momentous for the baby, but a victory celebration for the parents surviving the first year of parenthood. Apparently a cake smash is the perfect way to capture lovely memories of your baby on their birthday. So having done this once before I’m becoming slightly dubious about this tradition that’s come from across the pond. The thought of going back to one’s childhood and being able to sit in front of a cake and go to town in theory seems like the best thing ever. Getting gorgeous pictures of your bundle of joy covered in cake and wearing a smile is virtually impossible. It’s much more realistic to accept capturing the cute pictures of them all rearing to go. As the frowning faces and looks of disgust as they get their hands dirty is far from ‘instagram-able.’
Initially we had grand plans of a beach set for the cake smash in Dubai. Perfectly poised baby in front of the iconic Burj Al Arab on Jumeirah Beach, but we soon abandoned that idea. When you add sand, wind and the elements to contend with, with all the other variables of nap time, and the crazy baby eating sand. Capturing the baby sitting still for even a moment without getting into mischief was quite an achievement. The cake smash on the beach however is really is one to leave to the professionals to set up.
To set up at home is far easier. Start with bunting and balloons for a backdrop. Set up on the floor so there’s no risk of falls and ideally on a large disposable tablecloth. If all goes to plan it should be quite a messy affair. Have gifts and lettering with the baby’s name or age. Have a fresh cream vanilla cake, as smeared chocolate can look rather distasteful.
There’s no need for half naked babies for a cake smash. Yes it will get messy, but how much damage can some cream and a cake do? We put baby in a super cute bow tie cotton sleepsuit that was easily washable but looked rather adorable.
But if your baby is anything like ours the best pictures you are likely to get are before the actual cake smash. With that in mind we took the opportunity to have baby pose with his birthday presents in his Audi TT.
Next on his rather sophisticated personalised rocking chair next to his cake. These were totally the best shots.
Then we put him on the floor to demolish the cake, and boy was he totally unimpressed. He actually just crawled off and went to play with his toys. So after capturing him and insisting the cake was far more exciting than his ball pit, he needed a fair bit of coaxing to even touch the cake. We were hoping he would squeal with delight. Instead there was a total look of disgust as his little fingers got dirty. He looked like he was ready to cry. That is definitely not the picture that will be framed. After a little poke around he just crawled off and escaped again totally oblivious of our agenda.
After all the hype of this cake smash the cake wasn’t even smashed. Til now it had all been quite civilised and not even that messy. Until we decided to give baby a helping hand, and live out our childhood dream, and force his his whole hand into the cake. Okay so that was a bad idea. Once the kid covered in cream crawls off onto the uncovered carpet it’s time to put the camera away and just get the bath running.
Whilst the pictures are priceless one might ask was it worth the hard work? In reality all the babies I know have been rather underwhelmed by the whole cake smash process. It’s messy and you don’t even get to eat cake. Truth be told we are beginning to feel a little ambivalent about this cake smash tradition. Let us know what you think? How did your cake smash go? Did your baby love it or hate it?
Top 5 tips for a DIY Cake Smash
1. Make sure your baby is well rested, fed and happy as cranky, tired one year olds don’t look good in photos.
2. Set up on the floor to prevent any falls.
3. Use bunting and tassels and balloons to create an effective backdrop.
4. Choose a colour scheme and put your baby in a lovely outfit that you don’t mind getting dirty.
5. Take most of your pictures just before the actual cake smash.