1st Birthday Gift Ideas

Our youngest turned one in late August. As a fourth child, the day passed without much pomp or fanfare. We didn't have a party, but he was smothered in kisses, held in our arms, and spent part of the afternoon out in the backyard (his favorite place).

Since we have had four toddlers, I thought I'd share some of our top gift picks for 1-year-olds. [You can find more terrific ideas in my Christmas Gift Guide for 1-Year-Olds].


Books are an excellent gift pick for any age because they offer fun-on-repeat for hours and they tend to get more use around our house than toys. For age one, I recommend board books with sturdy pages and appealing illustrations. Bonus if the books have animals, textures to feel, or sounds the reader can make (cluck-cluck, moooo, choo-choo, etc).

Usborne's "That's Not My..." Series

That’s Not My Lion

From about nine months onward, this award-winning series by Usborne captivated my little guy's attention. He loves to look at the pictures and feel all of the corresponding textures. Choose your baby's favorite topic or animal (robots, mermaids, airplanes, monkeys, puppies) and there is bound to be a corresponding book in the series.

  • Buy Usborne books.
  • Like Usborne Publishing on Facebook.
  • Follow Usborne Publishing on Twitter.

Board Books by Alain Gree

My First Book on the Farm

hot cold opposites board book

My 16-month-old's current favorite books are "My First Book of Opposites" and "My First Book of the Farm," illustrated with charming pictures by the very talented Alain Gree of France.

  • Buy Alain Gree's board books.
  • Follow GMC & Button Books.


toddler playing piano

The toddler pianos by Schoenhut are as beautiful as they are functional. The cool thing about these miniature pianos is that they are REAL pianos, meaning your little one can actually play songs when they grow up a bit. The keys make a surprisingly pretty sound. Best of all, this piano can be put in your living room as a sophisticated statement piece.

  • Buy the My First Piano II.
  • Like Schoenhut Piano Company on Facebook.
  • Follow Schoenhut Piano Company on Twitter.


activity center for baby

alex toys busy town activity center

My Busy Town Toddler Activity Center

The My Busy Town wooden activity cube by Alex Toys is bright, colorful, and interactive - with beads to string, doors to open, and letter blocks to spin. Ideal for ages 9-11 months.

  • BUY My Busy Town Wooden Activity Cube.
  • LIKE Alex Toys on Facebook.
  • FOLLOW Alex Toys on Twitter.


snuggly teddy bear

Mary Meyer's cream-colored putty bears are incredibly soft with sweet + friendly faces. Fun for a baby's nursery or for hours of make-believe play!

  • Buy the Medium Cream Putty Bear (pictured above).
  • Like Mary Meyer Toys on Facebook.
  • Follow Mary Meyer Toys on Instagram.


1st birthday photo balloon

For a charming 1st birthday gift, consider a handmade birthday shirt. Bump & Beyond Designs has an array of adorable options - from tank tops with glitter to sporty baseball sleeves. These shirts are ideal for 1st birthday photo shoots, but they can also be worn year-round.

  • Buy a 1st birthday shirt.
  • Like Bump & Beyond Designs on Facebook.


What gift ideas do you have for 1st birthdays? 

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