First birthday gift ideasFirst birthday gift ideas

The Best First Birthday Gift Ideas

Gift Guides
February 21, 2024
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TL;DR: A great gift for a baby's first birthday can set him up for financial success, develop her critical skills, or enhance quality time with parents (or you!), but any gift you give should enrich his life.

A baby's first year is exciting and full of new beginnings. And nothing beats a first birthday party!

His parents picked a party concept, complete with snacks, decorations and even a fun themed party invite.

All you have to do is go to the party with the perfect gift and enjoy your time with the family.

Do you go with a toy? How about something educational for toddlers? Are savings bonds still a thing?

We’re here to help you discover the best gifts.

Baby Walker

As they reach the age of one, most babies begin to stand and lean on things, trying to learn to walk.

A Baby Walker is a great idea.

On the one hand a game and on the other a utility that will help them develop their walking skills.

The Walker helps toddlers who are just starting to stand to walk freely at home with increased support, stability and allows them to continue exploring the world.

This gift combines play, learning and developing walking skills.

Popular walker options:

Interactive wooden walker

wooden baby walker

Sit to stand walker with activity center

sit to stand walker

Investment as a Gift

“Just not another doll or toy” is a common saying by parents.

Most playrooms resemble a big toy store. If you go to a new parent’s house you’ll find toys hiding in every corner of the house.

Monetary gift is better than a teddy bear

Instead, you can invest in the little one's financial future.

By giving a thoughtful monetary gift with purpose, you empower the parents on their financial parenting journey.

With Greatest Gift’s financial gifting platform, you can send cash as a gift that continues to show parents how to save & invest.

Gifts can be customized with pictures and video greetings, a keepsake that can be watched many years from now.

Just not another doll or toy...

Gift receivers get to choose how to use the money. They are consistently encouraged to save and invest for the future with 529 plans, investment accounts or other long-term savings accounts.

If they don’t know where to start, Greatest Gift provides a curated collection of financial products, guides, and life hacks.

With an average interest rate of 7%, a $100 gift can grow by as much as 3.5 times in 18 years.

On top of that, building the right saving and investing habits early on is a major benefit.

graph of financial gift for baby invested over 18 years

A great financial gift at the right time can kickstart a great financial future in a fun and meaningful way.

Explore Greatest Gift's Financial Platform.

Greatest Gift Logo

Musical Toy

Babies love exploring and making new sounds.

A colorful toy that produces sounds will keep the baby occupied for hours as he discovers a big world of music.

You can expect pressing, tapping, humming, dancing, and a guaranteed fun time. Just don’t forget to include the batteries!

This gift combines interactivity, developing the hearing sense, and lots of fun.

Popular musical toys:

Electrical guitar for toddlers

electrical guitar or toddler

Colorful Xylophone

Colorful Xylophone

Developmental Toy

A baby boy may not be able to throw around a baseball just yet, but with a fun developmental toy he can start practicing his motor skills.

Think fitting different shapes through holes, stacking rings, or building towers.

Anything colorful is preferable (might as well learn about the colors at the same time!).

This could be the first step in getting drafted to the MLB!

On top of developing gentle motor skills, toddlers can start to understand that they can make things happen.

That's a true revelation for babies and toddlers!

You never know, this could be the first step in getting drafted to the MLB!

This gift works on developing critical motor skills through play and fun colors.

Popular developmental toys options:

Wooden shape sorter

wooden shape sorter

Wooden Montessori Educational Toys for 1+ Year Old

educational learning kit for one year olds

Baby Books

It’s never too early to start reading books to a baby.

You'll be amazed to see how much they enjoy hearing your voice, and pointing at the fun pictures.

They get so excited and they even want to help you flip the pages in the book.  

Book reading is the parent’s time to disconnect from all the noises around and enjoy their quality time with the baby.

It builds the bond between the parents and their baby, and shows the baby that in that moment, nothing else matters.

A great book provides quality time and education

You can go with a classic book, or choose a personalized book with your the birthday boy or girl's name in it for a personal touch.

A great book builds up relationships, provides quality time, and education.

Popular book options:

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

image of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Book Cover by Eric Carle

Goodnight Moon

Hop on Pop 

Bath Games

As soon as babies can sit up on their own, it’s bath time!

This could start around 6 months old and will probably happen for the majority of babies by their first birthday.

At this age bath time is a wonderful time that intrigues the little ones. Suddenly, they start discovering the wonders of water.

Let them play and splash around.

At this point almost any object or game will intrigue them.

Accessories, games, buckets, shapes, and colorful toys for the bath will transform bath time into an opportunity to play and explore the world.

A gift that combines play time, quality time, and exploration.

Popular bath toys:

Bath time Alphabet set

bath toys

Floating octopus with hoops

Floating octopus with hoops

What can I get a 1 year old besides toys?

There are other gift options to give kids besides toys.

Financial gifts for kids have the power to set kids up for a bright financial future.

Books help parents bond with their babies and teach language and communication skills.

Even though most parents have smartphones, video cameras and polaroids provide a different way to make memories.

Baby walkers can help kids when they start making their first steps.

Finally, you can buy an experience as a gift for a baby or toddler.

If you're not sure what to get, ask the parents if they set up a birthday registry or wish list.

Other 1st Birthday Gift Ideas

Whether you're shopping for a friend's child or a family member's little one, these gifts are sure to bring a smile to any young child's face.

Let's take a look at some more amazing gift ideas that are perfect for a child's first birthday!

Experience Gifts

Experiences are fun and adventurous. They create timeless family memories.

It may not be easy to think of experiences that babies can enjoy, so we brainstormed a few ideas for you.

Some popular experiences you can buy for babies include zoo tickets, aquarium or petting zoos.

Kids as little as one years old enjoy music and dancing.

You can buy tickets or a gift card to mommy and me music classes.


Expand parents abilities to capture family memories with cameras that aren't on their phones.

A video camera lets parents record long videos without taking up space on their phone.

They'll be able to make their own home videos and rewatch in their later years.

Polaroid cameras create an authentic memory with a hard copy of the picture within seconds.

They're fun, durable, and easy to use to capture life's little moments. Bonus points if you give a photo album with it.

Sony Video Camera

video camera

Polaroid Camera

polaroid camera

Art Supplies

Unleash a young artists passion for the arts with a first set of art supplies.

One year old toddlers can start finger painting.

They can also use custom crayons for one year olds that support palm gripping.

Toddler crayons

toddler crayons

Outdoor Toys

If the baby lives in a home with outdoor space, you can give outdoor gifts.

Some ideas include tents, small slides, activity center, and swing sets.

You can also buy water activity toys, sprinklers, and fountains, for those hot summer days.

Outdoor turtle water sprinkler

outdoor turtle water spray sprinkler

Savings Bonds

Instead of buying temporary toys and other items that clutter up the house, consider buying a savings bond as a gift.

Savings bonds can provide a safe, long-term investment with a solid potential upside for kids in your life.

They show you care and want to invest in the child's future.

They're not always the easiest to give as a gift, so you may want to consider other financial gifts for kids, like Greatest Gift.

savings bonds as gifts

Stuffed Animals

Stuffed animals and other plush toys are a classic gift option.

Kids love cuddling up and playing with their stuffed animals.

Avoid toys with small parts that can be swallowed.

Choose ones that are big enough to be cuddled with.

Sports Clothing

If one of the parents is a die hard fan of any team, you can help them pass down the family loyalty with sports clothing.

Beanies with team logos, shirts, hoodies, or any other piece of clothing that will make sure the little one knows who to cheer for when the game is on.

Explore team clothing on

infant sports team shirt

Baby Gifts - Summary

Whether you're a loving aunt or uncle, a grandparent, or just a close family friend, you want to give that special gift for your favorite little one.

What makes a gift truly great and thoughtful is adding a bit of presentation, a dash of personalization, and a lot of purpose.

Make sure to get beautiful gift wrap (digital gift wrap also works!).

Write a personal greeting, and make sure the gift enriches the baby life.

Both your gift receiver and the parents will be grateful.

Happy gifting!

Financial gift opening
About Greatest Gift

Greatest Gift is the financial gifting platform for children's long term savings.

Send and receive monetary gifts for children's long term savings.

Discover great ways to save and invest for children.
Learn More

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