Milestone birthdays are super special, but I don’t think there’s a more significant one than the very first birthday. Most parents I know get a little bit emotional about this first special birthday, and it’s easy to see why. You’ve just come out the other end of a very steep learning curve. Plus your cuddly little baby is now on the verge of walking and *sob* may even be on the brink of toddlerhood!
One of the exciting things about turning one is how the world opens up a little more for a tiny person, who is ready for new experiences and memory making. This means there’s a whole range of new options to consider when buying gifts for someone’s first birthday, and being a special age, it’s nice to get something that will keep for many years so the whole family can remember where it came from. It’s also nice for parents of one-year-olds to receive these gifts – they will really thank you for being thoughtful and giving them something the whole family can treasure.
Here are some ideas for first birthday gifts that parents will REALLY thank you for:
1. Make it personal
Personalised books, bags or clothes can be really special gifts for a one-year-old. They might not recognise their name right at first, but in time they will and a personalised gift will always stand out from other items because of the extra meaning behind it. You can try here for some ideas.
2. Something that grows
Gifts don’t have to be toys, which can break, get lost and be grown out of before you know it. Gifts that can grow with the child and remain a feature in their lives will always be treasured. Growth charts, wall hangings, even a special plant can be gifts that will last a lifetime and mark a monumental occasion.
3. Special keepsakes
Gifts that can hold special memories will always appreciated by parents of a one-year-old, who might not have time to collate memories. A memory box could hold first locks of hair, lost teeth and other items, whereas a photo album could house important images of other family members that the family might not see often. Ornamental gifts like this carousel or a beautiful snow globe are other gifts that will last forever.
4. Start building their first library
First birthdays are a great opportunity to help parents start building up a collection of classic picture books, that they can enjoy with their child all the way into primary school. Must-reads include My Mum and My Dad by Anthony Browne, or The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson. Of course, the birthday child may not be ready for big reads yet, but it won’t be long before they are, and this will be enjoyed for many years.
5. The gift of music
Wooden instruments that help children explore musical sounds will be welcomed by parents, especially if it can be packed away when everyone’s had enough. An all-in-one kit like this can be enjoyed by a small musical genius for ages. Other options in this category include a CD or DVD of a children’s music performer such as Justine Clarke or The Wiggles, both of which a one-year-old will be ready for during their next year of growing.
6. Cute shoes
Lots of one-year-olds are making their first steps, or soon will be, so a cute pair of shoes could be a really fun gift … maybe not so much for the child but definitely for the parents! Just check out these options and tell me they aren’t cute as a button.
7. A soft cuddly toy
A special soft toy can be something a child uses for years and years. My 8-year-old still cuddles the soft toy he received for his first birthday at night; he won’t even contemplate sleep without it (but don’t tell him I told you that). Pick a super-soft toy that will withstand the rigours of being very, very loved – having its ears chewed or being carried by its tail!
8. A new experience
One-year-olds are pretty happy-go-lucky when it comes to doing stuff, but as they grow older, there are plenty of new experiences they can try with their parents. Zoo passes or tickets to a kids concert can be a lovely idea, as can a voucher for an amusement park or indoor play centre that is suitable for their age.