7 First Birthday Gift Ideas For Your Baby

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One year ago, I was impatiently waiting to meet my baby girl. Fast forward one year and I’m getting ready to plan her first birthday. I can’t believe how quickly time is passing. Since I plan to invite quite a few family members to her first birthday party, I thought it would make sense to come up with a list of first birthday gift ideas. Thinking about some first birthday gift ideas ahead of time facilitates my response to guests when they ask me what they should buy her (if they choose to buy her a gift). It also means that my daughter will actually use or wear her gifts and I’ll avoid spending time returning them. I put a lot of thought into her first birthday gift ideas and I hope her guests enjoy purchasing or making them as much as she will enjoy using the gifts.

First birthday gift ideas

7 First Birthday Gift Ideas


I know kids love to unwrap gifts and they particularly enjoy playing with toys but the thought of having a house full of toys lying around drives me crazy. I also noticed how my daughter doesn’t really care if she’s playing with an expensive Fisher-Price toy or an empty box of Kleenex for that matter. For this reason, I don’t think it makes much sense for a kid to have so many toys. This being said, there are still a few toys that look interesting and that will be included in her wish list.

Clothes or walking shoes

The next obvious gifts are clothes and walking shoes. I always welcome these because you just can’t get enough of them, especially when kids start daycare. I have to admit that since my daughter was born 9 months ago, I didn’t buy a lot of clothes because she received most of it as gifts. She was spoiled rotten by family and friends. I also asked friends for hand-me-downs since she would outgrow clothes way too quickly in the first few months of her life. But now that she’s running out of clothes and starting daycare, it’s time I renew her closet. Thus, a great opportunity for a first birthday gift.

An Experience

Maybe 1 years old is still a little young but I like the idea of my daughter spending quality time with friends and family as a gift. receiving an experience as a gift. Again, although toys are fun, she won’t remember 99.9% of the toys she played with as a kid. However, making memories that will last forever is an awesome gift! It’s also a great way for the person giving the gift to spend time and bond with your kid.

Here are a few examples  for a 1 year old in Montreal:

It just requires some research on which activities are available in your area and voilà!

Money or Gift Cards

Money is always welcomed. Although kids don’t appreciate it as much as parents do, it’s a great way to start saving for your kid’s future. In the last year, I’ve had two bad experiences with gift cards. For two separate occasions, we gave gift cards to two popular restaurants as a present and both restaurants closed their doors before the cards could be used. For this reason, my preference would be money over gift cards but it’s up to the discretion of the gift buyer.

Contribution towards something specific

Instead of having guests buy gifts separately, parents can also ask them to contribute towards some bigger. Obviously, it can be towards an expensive toy but I would suggest choosing something more valuable. One idea is to contribute towards an education fund if your kid already has one setup. If not, it’s never too late to set one up. Another idea is to contribute towards a family vacation. For example, if you’d love to take a family trip to Europe in the near future, you can ask guests to contribute towards that trip (for your kids portion of the trip). This will help the parents financially and make the trip happen.


You just can’t get enough of books as a kid or parent. Most kids love to hear new stories and parents enjoy reading new stories. You can ask guests to give books as a gift but something more interesting is to ask them to bring their favorite book.


If your family is the active type, kid activities would be a great gift. If your kid is already enrolled in a specific activity, you can ask someone to register your kid in the next session. Swimming or dance lessons are great examples for a one year old.

Do you have any first birthday gift ideas you’d like to share?

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Tanya C

A mother-in-training, a loving wife, an adventurous traveler and a business enthusiast trying to keep it together while adapting to motherhood. She is constantly challenging herself to be a better mom, wife and overall person.

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12 Responses

  1. If you have an aquarium in your area, that’s a great idea for a one year old. They love to watch the fish swim! I agree, experience gifts are great. They’re all of the fun without the clutter.

  2. Annette says:

    1 year was a fun birthday because a 1 year old is happy with all the gifts especially the free cake eating opportunity. It my teens that I can’t figure out what to do. But than again gift cards always work for teens (iTunes especially).

    • Tanya C says:

      I feel like the most difficult part of buying gifts for babies is that you don’t know what they have and there are so many toys they need! I always end up buying clothes but it gets boring!!! Money and teens = winner! 🙂

  3. Evelyn says:

    Aw, I loved reading this. It took me back to when my babies were, well, babies. 🙂

  4. These are all great ideas! You can never go wrong with a play kitchen. My girls have both gotten their money’s worth out of ours!

  5. I’m all about the books and experiences! My friends just all had babies so I think I’ll be the one always buying them books!

  6. Cash gifts are always a lifesaver when you run out of ideas. You can give it in a pretty piggy bank instead, which suggests the idea of opening a savings account for the child.

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    • Tanya C says:

      Giving a piggy bank is a great idea!I agree that every kid should have his/her bank account so all cash money could be deposited into it.

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