While talking to my friend, she asked me if I had any ideas for gifts for a one-year-old. Her daughter’s upcoming first birthday was quickly approaching. I thought since I was putting a list together for her that I would share it with you, too!
My son was
unfortunately born right before Christmas so when we created his birthday Wish List, we had to add items that would last him the year.
Remember: First Birthday Gifts Don’t have to ALL Be for Right Now!
When we created both of our boy’s first birthday lists, we asked for gifts that would be good for any time in the next year. Kids change SO much between 1 and 2.
That means there are gifts that may not be appropriate for them at one but would work great at 18 months. So don’t forget when making your list, to think ahead!
Plus – you can spread the toys out throughout the year. This helps to give them something new to discover.
Transitioning from Baby to Toddler
As you prepare for having a toddler, remember that things are going to be a lot different. Gear their gifts toward the “toddler them” vs. the “baby them.”
Need more help transitioning from being the parent of a baby to the parent of a toddler? Here’s my toddler survival guide!
Is your child/the child closer to two? Check out the list of 15 Gift Ideas for Two-Year-Olds.
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10 Perfect Gifts for a One-Year-Old
Carl loves music and dancing. I couldn’t wait to break these out. He marches around with the instruments, especially the maracas. This is a great way to integrate music into your child’s life at an early age. There are many different sets of musical instruments you can buy. Bonus, it’s another battery-free toy.
We actually received 2 of these and kept them both because Carl likes the remote so much. It’s the perfect item to throw into a diaper bag or take on road trips. The best part is, the “volume” button actually controls the toy’s volume so you can make it quieter than your average toy.
youngest). But I still had to include this toy because it continues to be my son’s all-time favorite. It’s a simple concept, you place the balls into the Dino’s tail, they fall into the popper, and roll out of the mouth while playing music. While our son used this toy the way it was intended early on, he has created new ways to play with it. He has used it as a walker on the carpet. He flips the Dino on his side and plays. But most of all, he places items other than the
balls inside of the popper to see if they will pop. (Unfortunately, this resulted in breaking the toy when he placed his water cup in the popper). For some reason, this toy has engaged our son like no other toy. I used to joke that it could be a babysitter. In the picture above you can see many items in the popper that don’t belong. He was in the process of putting the dog’s toy in there, too. Good thing she loves him!
friend’s daughter living in a small 1 bedroom apartment though.
Non-Toy Gift Ideas for a First Birthday
Books are one of my favorite things to give as gifts. I would suggest staying away from the classics like Goodnight Moon because they probably already have a copy (or 2).
Season Passes to the Zoo or other Places for Toddlers
This is another one of my favorite gift ideas. Instead of giving a toy, give them season
tickets to somewhere they can make wonderful family memories. This could include: the zoo, aquarium, children’s museum, petting zoo or farm, train museum, etc. Just make sure it is toddler-friendly and close in location.
Clothing for the Next Season (ask for the size)
Ask the parents first what size you think they will be. Chances are they have enough clothes for the current season already so buying clothes for the season ahead will help make for happier parents.
Gift cards are always appreciated – especially when they’re to places like Target that the parents can use to buy things like diapers and clothes.
Gifts NOT To Give for a First Birthday
This may be just my personal opinion. BUT, after going to many first birthdays and having my own kids, there are some gifts that are better not to give at a first birthday party.
Clothing in the Size You Think the Child Wears
Just because a kid is 12 months, doesn’t mean they’re wearing 12 months clothes.
You can totally give clothes, just make sure to ask the parents for the size!
Cutesy Sippy Cups
I know they’re hard to resist because they are so cute and come in so many animals and characters but many children will only use a specific type of Sippy cup. For some parents, it took a lot of trial and error to find just the right one.
For example, some parents only use straw cups. While others prefer to only use glass.
While it may seem silly, you don’t want to give a gift that ends up being donated or taken back to the store.
Toys Meant for Much Older Kids
Toys for ages 1-2 – go for it!
Looking at a toy meant for a 4 or 6 year old? Step away from the toy!
While it can be fun to reminisce while looking at toys, don’t buy a kid your favorite Star Wars toy just because it reminds you of your childhood. It should be a toy the child can use within the year – otherwise, the parents have to find someplace to store it (the return line most likely).
Large Toys or Outdoor Cars (without asking first)
Everyone loves to give the show-stopping toy. But make sure that the parents are okay with getting a little Red Coupe before buying one for their kid.
Again, this is not a don’t buy gift. This is a ask before buying type of gift.
Still Unsure what to get a One Year Old?
Just ask the parents. I know that it can be fun to buy a surprise present, but in reality, the child will be surprised with whatever you get (and honestly, they don’t even understand the birthday present concept right now anyway).
If you aren’t sure if the gift you’d like to purchase is good OR you really are not sure what a good gift would be, just ask. Parents appreciate getting things they really need or want. They’ll really appreciate you taking the time to reach out and ask them first!