Is your little one’s first birthday approaching? If so, you’re probably considering how to mark the most special birthday and you’ve also probably considered a cake-smash portrait session to celebrate! It’s one of my most popular session types and for good reason. For starters you actually get three sessions in one! I take some pre cake photos before your baby gets messy, then baby gets into their cake, and finally baby ends their session with a bath to clean up (this is usually their favorite part). Cake smashes are so much fun – and messy!!

But how do you prepare your baby—and yourself—for this messy, adorable, and oh-so-memorable event? Dive into some tips below to make your baby’s cake smash a smashing success!


First and foremost, the cake! Opt for a cake that’s not just visually appealing but also baby-friendly. Soft, moist sponge cakes are easier for little hands to smash. Avoid hard icing or decorations that could be a choking hazard. Some parents even go for a healthy cake option made from baby-friendly ingredients like bananas or sweet potatoes. TOP TIP: avoid chocolate cake and instead opt for vanilla sponge as chocolate cake has a habit of looking like something less pleasant in your images! 


This is a photo-op you’ll cherish forever, so make sure your baby looks the part. Many parents opt for a cute but simple outfit like a onesie or a tutu. Remember, it’s going to get messy, so choose something that you don’t mind getting covered in cake. You can even bring two separate outfits if your baby does not mind changing. Also, make sure it’s comfortable for your baby to move around in.


The backdrop and props can add a lot of fun and color to your cake smash photos. Popular themes include “Mermaid,” “Fishing,” or even just a simple, elegant setup with a balloon garland.


If your baby has never tasted cake before, it might be a good idea to do a little test run a few days before the event. Let them try a small piece of cake or even just the frosting. This will help you gauge their reaction and make any necessary adjustments to the cake or schedule.


Be prepared for a mess! I always tell parents to bring a change of clothes for baby and possibly themselves, and a towel, a drink for baby, and snack. Oh, and you don't want to forget the cake and outfits for their session. Also, some parents bring a cake topper.


Every baby reacts differently to a cake smash. Some dive right in, while others might be a bit hesitant. That’s perfectly okay! The most important thing is to let your baby explore and have fun at their own pace. Don’t rush or force it; the best photos often come from genuine, unscripted moments.


There you have it—your guide to preparing your baby for their first cake smash. With a bit of planning and a whole lot of wipes, you’re all set to make this first birthday celebration a memorable one. So, let them eat cake and let the memories roll! 🎂🎉

I hope you find this blog post both informative and entertaining. Happy first birthday to your little one, and may the cake smashing be epic! 🎂📸