How to organize a smash-cake session for baby

On Khaleeli’s first birthday, we managed to pull-off a successful birthday smash-cake session for him, instead of a full-fledged birthday party.

We decided to go frugal and DIY, so I baked a cake, whipped up a backdrop and hubby was in charge of the photoshoot (well, it was not as amazing a professional photographer, but it turned out quite OK for our keepsake).

Although it was not as big as what Bella had when she turned 1, we had so much fun as a family and it was a memorable session too. We are glad that we decided to allow him literally make a mess out of a chocolate cake; we think he also enjoyed it.

As promised, here I am writing again to share with you some tips if you are planning to have a smash-cake session with your little one too.

Trust me it would be just as fun as parties, and a good and private family bonding moment for everyone.

The key to any successful occasion is to PLAN ahead, so here goes my tips:

1) Decide on the cake
Decide on what cake you want to give to baby (healthy cake, chocolate cake, gluten-free cake, etc) and decide if you want to order or bake it yourself. To be honest, since baby is also a small creature, a little cute cake is sufficient enough for him. Some moms even use just a slice or a mug-cake (more practical right?).

2) Decide on the theme – simple or fancy?
There are a lot of smash-cake themes inspirations on the Internet, all you have to do is decide which one you would like to inspire from. Since we decided to go frugal, we had a simple setup with props that we already have in the home (E.g a pegboard, a reusable banner, toys). I only spent a little money to buy the balloons (I even pumped them myself!). If you are heading in the same way, just be creative and you will be surprised at how handy some things could be.

3) Decide on which part of the day to have the session
A 1-year-old is still a fickle person which can sometimes be unpredictable. So the best timing to do a smash-cake session is when they are full and perky, in our case, right after he woke up in the morning and had his milk. Remember, the happier the baby, the more manageable they are.

4 ) Decide who would be the photographer and who will be the “director”
The frugal way is to shoot the photos yourself, so sit down and discuss who would be the photographer (E.g daddy,friend or relatives). I was the director of the smash cake for Khaleeli, so yeah, be prepared to get “messy” too. Have a napkin on standby, in case baby wanders off and stains other places (yikes!). As a director, you have to make sure that baby stays focused on the smash cake area, and the challenge is to try to attract their attention to stay put and eat that darn cake! Haha.


1) Prepare everything as early as you can (I prepared mine the night before)
Get the cake, backdrop and most importantly the camera gears ready early. You do not want to waste your time preparing when the baby is all ready to go.

2) Get baby ready
Once everything is ready, dress your baby in their costume or outfit.

3) Be prompt
Try to ensure that everything goes promptly. For example, once baby is ready, immediately get them introduced to the cake. Get ready with the camera by then, and snap as much photos as you can. Photo shooting a child is always tricky as they are not really cooperative and can be unpredictable.

4) Don’t stress out
All in all, relax and have fun. Don’t get tense and stress out as it will impact everything. Let baby play and enjoy himself. After all, it is his birthday! :)

Have anything else to add in? You are most welcome to add them in the comments!

All the best with your smash cake session!


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