They spend a fortune for a party the child will never remember

by Ilaria Lonigro - 2016.07.05
They spend a fortune for a party the child will never remember
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From Korea to Italy, a very expensive craze is affecting thousands of families, who are spending a fortune on first birthday parties that their baby will never remember. According to a survey by babycenter.com on a sample of 15,000 parents, the cost for a 'respectable' party can range from $500 for a quarter of families, or between $250 and $400 for the most thrifty 25 per cent of parents. For most of the respondents, the biggest costs are the buffet, the decorations (an expense for 14 per cent of mothers and fathers), the cake (9 per cent), the rent of the premises (8 per cent) and entertainment (5 per cent). Not to mention gifts for the guests.

Even though few would go as far as reality star Kim Kardashian – who put a ferris wheel in the garden for North's first birthday – they are not far off. In the US and in Italy, it's fashionable to hire bouncy castles and, just to make sure gender stereotypes are established young, princess costumes for girls and superhero outfits for boys. Others with more imagination prefer to spend just $150 to give their child a ride on a horse wearing a fake unicorn horn.

Baby's first birthday seems, in some cases, to be a vanity fair for the dads, seeing as they are more concerned with stereotypes and social pressures, rather than having fun with their child. In Korea, for example, it's tradition to guess the future of the baby by putting objects on the ground, ranging from a ball (athlete) to a stethoscope (doctor) and so on. The baby will foresee his or her own destiny by crawling on all fours to one of these "prophetic" objects. Just like Paul the octopus did when predicting the results for the 2010 World Cup.

There are doubts over whether the babies actually enjoy this debut in society. The only certainty is that a lot depends on the child's nap time. Because, as a well-known toy brand explains on its own website dedicated to such events: “Try to time it so that your child is in a good mood, such as after a nap. This is the perfect time to get the party started!”

Published in Families in numbers.
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