The Ultimate List of Birthday Gifts for a 1-Year-Old

Gift Guide

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That cake-smashing first birthday is a huge milestone for baby and parents, as it marks the start of the transition from baby to toddler. Some little ones will already be walking and talking, others may have a ways to go yet, so finding the perfect gift that matches their capabilities and interests can be extra challenging. It’s still too young for them to have screen time, according to pediatricians and development experts, so learning and playing toys that help them develop and grow are the way to go — and many of them are good for babies and toddlers all the way up to Pre-K.

For parents who love their electric baby swing and aren’t looking forward to the day their kiddo outgrows it, this infant-to-toddler swing gives them years more swinging fun — though unfortunately it’s all manual power from here out. The snap-down safety buckle is perfect for the infant years, but when toddlers want to learn how to push themselves it can be let down to allow for more freedom of motion.

Perfect for stacking, learning letters and colors, and durable enough for some inevitable gnawing by teething tots, these wooden alphabet blocks are great for improving those grasping skills. Pediatricians frequently use the ability to grasp and stack blocks as a metric for measuring a child’s fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination, which become increasingly important as they learn important skills like feeding themselves, dressing, and potty-training.

Teething won’t stop until those two-year molars come in, so the average 1 year old still has far to go. This training toothbrush helps parents get their babies in the brushing habit, and gives toddlers something safe and comfortable to help bring in those new teeth.

Show off or encourage new walking skills with these fun light-up shoes. Carter’s offers several color and style choices; these single Velcro banded shoes are quick and easy to get on and off.

This sand and water table brings all the fun of the beach home to play. Both sides allow for scooping, pouring, and practicing their coordination. The sand lets kids dig, scoop, and shape — especially if it’s filled with thick and moldable kinetic sand — while the water side is a fun place to introduce pinwheels, water beads and sensory toys, and even early steps toward hand washing. Good for years of splashing play.

These nesting cups are a perfect size for use as a travel toy and they stack comfortably in the cup holder in most car seats, making them a great distraction for car rides. They’re also useful in the bath or the sandbox, or as sorting toys, and the unusual color scheme makes a fun way to branch off from the primary color labels and introduce more complex descriptors — a fun and easy way to expand those new language skills.

A good pretend play toy for older children, Green Toys vehicles are safe enough for little ones to play with too, though they should be removed when tots are teething, as they aren’t designed to be chewed on extensively. Made in the U.S. of BPA-free recycled plastic, they’re dishwasher safe, so kids can bring them along anywhere.

As babies develop the ability to sleep for longer stretches, having a bedtime routine becomes increasingly crucial to eking out every hour of good nighttime sleep possible. Along with a filling meal and bath time, having a comforting story also can set the stage for a good night’s rest.

Use babies natural drive to explore to encourage them to pull up, stand and then walk, with this convertible toy. Full of enticing interactive eye catchers, it’s a sturdy walker for those early stumbling steps.

Master the transition from bottles to cups in style with these cute gender neutral Disney sippy cups. The two handed grasp helps prevent messy spills, and the removable grips add versatility as children learn to hold a cup without assistance.

Take a high chair anywhere with this foldable travel booster. Great for picnics, camping, or even a day at the beach, babies and toddlers can stay securely fastened while still being able to eat or play with the snap on tray.

This beginner puzzle will bring years of learning and fun. With eight comfortably sized pieces, toddlers will love learning how to solve this brightly colored vehicle puzzle. Lifting puzzle pieces using the center peg encourages kids to develop a good pincer grasp, which is an important step in learning to feed themselves, hold a crayon, and more.

Fun for all ages! This multi-function musical toy lets babies play drums, piano, and xylophone; and that’s without even using any of the play modes, animal sounds, or the 18 learn and sing songs. It’s at least three toys in one, with games and activities to keep toddlers entertained, and a bright and engaging color scheme designed to catch your little one’s eyes.

A simple rhyme scheme and a recurring cast of charming characters make the Llama Llama series popular with children learning to read, but the short, sweet stories are popular with parents even before the reading years. Perfect for developing routines, the Wakey Wake and Nighty Night books help get little ones up and moving in the morning, or settled down at night.


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