Our Favorite First Birthday Gift Ideas

Updated: March 2, 2021
Having a hard time deciding on a birthday present for baby's first birthday? We can help. Check out our list of best first birthday gifts.
toddler on first birthday
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Can you believe that you almost have a one year old? Having a hard time deciding on a birthday present for baby's first birthday? We can help. Check out our list of top baby gift ideas for a newly-turning one year old.

A first birthday is truly something special to celebrate. Your little one is officially leaving babyhood behind and entering the exciting world of discovery called toddlerhood. This milestone birthday will be one to remember, and these first birthday gift ideas, including baby toys, experience gifts, and more, will help to make the most of this precious time.

More: The Top Birthday Gifts for Young Kids

Here are 25 first birthday gifts in celebration of the number of months making up your baby’s first year. We hope this list will help you choose the best first birthday gift for your growing little one!

Our Top Picks:

What to Look for in First Birthday Gifts

  • If it’s a toy, is it engaging and age-appropriate?
  • If it’s a toy, does it match with the child’s unique interests?
  • If it’s something else, how does it bring value to the child’s life?

How We Chose Our Favorites

We spoke with real parents and did extensive research on the best toys on Amazon to come up with our gift guide listing the best birthday gifts for a one-year-old.

Browse the full list of the top 25 best birthday gifts for inspiration:

Melissa & Doug Felt Food Pizza Set
Melissa & Doug Felt Food Pizza Set
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For Your Little Foodie

This is a year of both food and play exploration. Felt food sets offer a fun way for your little one to explore playing with food with soft toys that are safe for throwing and snuggling. These sets come in adorable combinations like veggie pizzas, sushi combos, sandwich making sets, and baskets of fruit.


“My niece absolutely loved making custom pizzas for everyone in the family. We got a kick out of the fact that she thought the brown sausages were "cookies" and the white onions were "marshmallows". She made grandmom "eat" a marshmallow broccoli pizza. Yum.”

KidKraft Vintage Kitchen - White
KidKraft Vintage Kitchen
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If Your Little One Loves Following You Around the Kitchen

Toddlers love to pretend to be mommy and daddy, and a play kitchen gives them the space and tools to do just that. They will love cooking and preparing meals in the adorable way that only toddlers can pull off, and this is a playroom essential that will provide your one year old with entertainment for years.


“I bought this little kitchen for my grandbabies to play with when they come to visit. It’s really cute. First off I’ll start with the quality. It’s sturdy and solid. It looks like it will be enjoyed for years to come. It’s not a huge kitchen. Great for smaller spaces while having all of the kitchen needs. Great for storage too.”

Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone - Award Winning Durable Wooden Musical Pounding Toy for Toddlers, Multifunctional and Bright Colours, Yellow
Hape Pound & Tap Bench with Slide Out Xylophone
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For the Musical Toddler

The sounds of a little one playing can be music to your ears. Gift your new toddler with a set of musical instruments to develop her love for music. Making up their own songs and beats can keep toddlers happy and busy in an exciting way, and they will love having you as a captive audience.


“This is a great toy!!! It is aesthetically pleasing for a kids toy, well crafted, and has several playing abilities. My one year old already loves putting and pushing the balls in/through their holes, hammering with the mallet, and using the instrument, which ingeniously pulls out to be used on its own too!”

Dexter Toys Toddler Career Costumes, Set of 5
Dexter Toys Toddler Career Costumes, Set of 5
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Best Dress Up Gift

Your little one will begin exploring her place in the world by trying on the identities of the people and characters she sees around her. A set of costume pieces will help her learn to express herself and to have fun making her own choices about who she is. Whether it is parts of a police officer, doctor, or Disney character’s outfit, she will love dressing up and playing new roles.


“Product well made, good selection for make believe - police, fire, doctor, veterinarian - velcro closures easy for children to put on and remove, colorful.”

First Birthday Outfit boy 1st Birthday boy Gifts one Year Old Baby Boys Shirt (Charcoal Black, 2y)
First Birthday Outfit
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For a Fun Birthday Photoshoot

Your birthday child will love celebrating this special new age with a first birthday shirt that she can wear all year long. It also makes for cute pictures, and a fun benchmark to see how she grows and changes in the shirt throughout the year.


“Good quality t-shirt and fit is as expected. As a reference, my son will be one year next week, and is about 19 lbs and about 19 inches tall. Great shirt to celebrate his first birthday -- looking forward to him wearing it in his birthday photos this weekend!”

Little Mae's Boutique Mary Jane Pink with White Flower Squeaky Shoes for Toddler Girls, Ideal Toddler Walking Shoes with Removable Squeaker and Adjustable Velcro Strap - Flexible Sole Baby Shoes (4)
Little Mae's Boutique Mary Jane Squeaky Shoes
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For the Newly Walking One Year Old

Your little one’s year will be filled with exploring mobility at all different levels, and a first pair of shoes will get lots of mileage. The joy of watching your toddler play with movement is so special, and new shoes to accompany these memorable times will go a long way.


“Oh my goodness, these are the best toddler shoes EVER!!”

Precious Moments, Disney Showcase Collection, May Your Birthday Be The Fairest Of Them All, Age 1, Disney Birthday Parade, Resin Figurine, 104403
Precious Moments Disney Showcase Collection Birthday Figurine
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A Collectible Gift

Begin a yearly tradition of presenting your birthday child with a keepsake figurine that celebrates her age. This will be the start of a beautiful collection, and your little one will look forward to seeing the new addition each year. If you purchase the entire collection now, you will never have to worry about finding these collectibles as the years go on.


“I love this. I bought it for my daughter for her first birthday. Great quality. I will be buying the whole set eventually for her.”

Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop! (Frustration Free Packaging),Multicolor
Melissa & Doug Dust! Sweep! Mop!
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For Toddlers Who Want To Do Everything Parents Do

If your baby grabs the broom every time you turn your back, get him his own! This is one of the most popular toddler toys out there.


“My 15 month old loves this set!!"

Hape Playful Piano Kid's Musical Wooden Instrument
Hape Playful Piano Kid's Musical Wooden Instrument
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For Your Little Mozart

This toy is a great intro to music and piano, and we love how it is not an electronic toy.


“My little man is 12 months and loves to play this little piano."

Buckle Toys - Barkley Dog
Buckle Toys - Barkley Dog
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For the Child Who Can’t Get Enough of Buckles and Snaps

One year olds become fascinated with buttons, zippers, buckles, and snaps. This toy keeps them engaged while helping them learn important skills and developing fine motor skills.


“Bought this for my one year old son. Since he's still young I help him buckle and unbuckle, so it's a fun toy to teach him how to work together. It has definitely helped with his fine motor skills."

Melissa & Doug Beauty Salon Play Set
Melissa & Doug Beauty Salon Play Set
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If Your Child Wants to Use Mommy’s Beauty Supplies 

We can't say it enough times--one year olds want to do whatever the adults around them do. If your child keeps reaching for your brush and hair dryer, this is the gift for them!


“A perfect no mess solution for toddlers who are interested in makeup!"

Melissa & Doug Disney Peg Puzzle Bundle-Alphabet, Numbers, Shapes & Colors
Melissa & Doug Disney Peg Puzzle Bundle
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Best Puzzle Gift

Knobbed puzzles are best for young toddlers, and we love that this one keeps it simple and teaches basic skills.


“These puzzles are awesome for teaching toddlers motor skills. It teaches them what things are I had to place the puzzle pieces back into the correct place. I love Melissa and Doug’s puzzles with it being wood you don’t have to worry about splinters. They make their items with the thought of younger kids in mind."

Award Winning Hape Walk-A-Long Snail Toddler Wooden Pull Toy
Hape Walk-A-Long Snail Toddler Wooden Pull Toy
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Best Pull Toy

This pull toy is a favorite among newly-walking toddlers. It can be used as a push toy or a pull toy, and it includes a  shape sorter for extra fun and fine motor skills.


“My 15 month old LOVES this toy. He scoots around with it everywhere."

Little Tikes First Slide (Red/Blue) - Indoor / Outdoor Toddler Toy
Little Tikes First Slide
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Best Outdoor Toy

After learning to walk, toddlers can't get enough of climbing up and sliding down.


“My baby, who just turned one, was so excited to get this."

CASDON Replica Dyson Ball Vacuum Toy
Casdon Dyson Ball Toy Vacuum
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For Kids Who Want to Help Vacuum

Some little ones are fascinated with the vacuum and will try to push it any chance they get. This is the perfect gift to pull out at their first birthday party!


“Our son, 1 1/2-years-old, is OBSESSED with vacuums and carpet cleaners. He has nearly broken my vacuum a few times because it's a bit too large for him to maneuver. We got him this for Christmas, and it was the only gift he cared about."

Melissa & Doug Shape-Sorting Dump Truck
Melissa & Doug Shape-Sorting Dump Truck
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Best Truck Gift

This is perfect for the truck-loving one year old and it comes with a shape sorter for extra fun and to help work on fine motor skills.


“I got this as a birthday gift for my 1 year old daughter-- it's a well made toy and I'm pleased with my purchase. My daughter likes to grab the little people and chew on their heads. She doesn't get the shape sorting aspect of it yet and is not quite interested in the truck yet, but she likes the garbage people! I like that the people include both male and female, light and dark skinned. Who says trucks are just for boys?"

Melissa & Doug Latches Barn, Multi
Melissa & Doug Latches Barn
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Best Toy Barn

This adorable barn has latches to work on fine motor skills.


“We bought for our 17 month old knowing it is typically suggested for older kids. She can handle unlocking all of the locks and is very entertained by it and loves to keep her farm animals inside."

Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Block Cart
Melissa & Doug Classic ABC Block Cart
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Best Block Set

Kids this age will begin to play with blocks and stack them. This alphabet set is cute and works on early letter recognition.


“Very cute, versatile and a great Montessori type toy. The car is entertaining to drag along since it has wheels, while the cubes have letters, numbers and objects/animals printed which makes for a great educational toy."

Crayola Washable Finger Paints, Stocking Stuffers for Toddlers & Kids, 6 Count
Crayola Washable Finger Paints
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For Your Little Artist

What could be more fun than finger paints? Plus, these ones are washable and nontoxic so you can rest your mind at ease.


“This stuff is awesome! It’s richly colored and much thicker than usual paint, so a little goes a long way. It truly is finger paint too: it cleans up so easily with just water, even after it has dried, on skin or countertops."

Ehome Wooden Percussion Musical Egg Easter Maracas Egg Shakers Kids Toys with Assorted Colors.
Wooden Percussion Musical Egg Maracas
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For Toddlers With Rhythm

Not only are these maracas tons of fun, they are also painted beautifully. One year olds will love shaking them to the beat!


“We would highly recommend this item for your baby’s exposure to music, rhythm, etc. and as a distraction when restless."

Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench
Melissa & Doug Wooden Project Workbench
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Most Engaging Gift

Who says workbenches are for adults? This kid-friendly version fascinates little toddlers and provides hours of fun.


“Our kids love this table! They spend hours playing with it."

Savings Account Contribution

A Long Term Gift

It’s hard to imagine college, world travel, or a first car when you are facing your baby’s very first birthday, but beginning to invest in a savings account for your child is a worthy birthday tradition. Though she won’t understand the value of this gift for years to come, she will certainly be grateful when the time comes to start using her savings.

Mommy and Me Classes

Bonding Time With Mom

A first birthday brings along more laughter, babble, and interaction with your baby. A wonderful way to make the most of this special time is with mommy and me classes. Whether it’s a music, swimming, or play focused class, you will love seeing your little one grow in a new environment and amongst other children her age.

Children’s Museum Membership

Best Experiential Gift

A membership to your local children’s museum will provide you and your birthday child with a place to make so many memories together. Indoor space to play and learn will give you both the chance to see shows, play in an educational way, and interact with other parents and children in a fun way. As the months go on, you’ll be amazed at how much more your little one can do during your museum visits.

Subscription Book Service

Best Book Gift

It’s never too early to fall in love with reading, and receiving a monthly shipment of age appropriate board books will help your little one start this new journey. Each month, you will receive new books for your child to play with and for you to begin bedtime routines of reading nightly stories together. The more books you have around, the more your birthday child will start to explore the world of reading.