Education & Family

The icing on the cake

Baby Jared gets stuck into his dairy-free birthday cake Image copyright Tin Stanton
Image caption Baby Jared gets stuck into his dairy-free birthday cake

People in the UK are catching on to a rather sticky craze which started in the US - a cake smash.

Anyone with small children will appreciate how hard it is to get them to sit still for a professional photograph.

But one way to get their undivided attention is to let them play with a cake - the squishier the better.

Although a cake smash session can cost up to £800, BBC News readers have been sharing their less costly photos.

Michelle planned a cake smash for her son Jared in March. Her original photographer let her down, so her friend Tin helped her out for free:

"I provided the props and made the cake. The photos I received are amazing and the total cost to me was about £20."

Image copyright @sandinmypockets
Image caption Campbell's parents held a party with other babies to spread the costs

Glyn told the BBC how his photographer wife prepared for their son Campbell's first birthday in February.

"Because there are several other babies all around the same age in our town we did a multi-baby one. It really didn't cost that much to do.

"We paid for a friend to do a sugar-free, nut-free 'safe' cake for babies. We made the bow ties ourselves and rented a playroom at our local pre-school as we didn't fancy the mess at home.

"I doubt it cost more than about £80."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Twins Amara and Maya "enjoyed the sugar rush"

Twins Amara and Maya were treated to their own pink cake smash by their proud father Bhav.

"Needless to say, they enjoyed the sugar rush although the clean-up afterwards was hard work," he told the BBC.

Image copyright Sweet Pea photography
Image caption Hannah's daughter, Autumn Eden, thoroughly enjoyed her cake

Hannah held a cake smash for both of her children when they turned one which cost around £500 each.

"We even had our pet dogs take part in my son's cake smash! We thoroughly enjoyed both of them and would recommend them to anyone. They are a great way to document their first birthday."

Image copyright Alamy
Image caption Elora's mum made the cake and bought balloon, pompoms and a dress

Lisa thinks £800 was a lot to spend on a birthday, but she says: "If you have £800 to spare then who am I to judge?

"Our daughter, Elora, loved her first birthday. We used a professional photographer and it cost us £40 for the session, including 10 images.

"I made the cake myself, bought balloons and pom-poms and a dress and it all cost under £80.

"I think a cake smash is a wonderful way to celebrate and document the milestone."

Sam took this photo on her daughter's birthday in 2015. "Alanis loved it and so did we."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Alanis had an 'O' so wonderful time on her first birthday

Tanja recalls a party she held in 1984: "We had a lovely party for a group of one-year-old children.

"We made a cake, put it in the middle of the lawn and let them get on with it. They crawled towards the cake, in some cases through it, ate it, got covered in it and had a lovely afternoon.

"There were no photographs, just happy in the moment memories. It cost £5 at the most."

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Media captionA new way to celebrate your baby's first birthday

Half-baked idea?

Not everyone agrees that this is the best way to celebrate a child's birthday, including Andrew, who emails: "Please - we really don't need you to advertise any more American nonsense. Halloween was bad enough, but what's next, Independence Day?"

There are suggestions for different ingredients.

"I really don't understand this, as if the object is messy pictures why not have a soft cake like a meringue. Now that would be a smash-up worth seeing," says Mike Fenton.

Tony and Jan told the BBC this was not about a one-year-old's happiness: "This is about one-upmanship and people who have more money than sense."

And finally, Carol Fenton finds the whole thing unbelievable: "What a waste of money and a disgraceful waste of food.

"What sort of message is this giving to children - it's over-indulgent rubbish and demonstrates a gross lack of values."

Compiled by Sherie Ryder, BBC UGC and Social News, who now wants to eat cake!


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