What are some fun birthday gift ideas for a 1-year-old? Baby's First Birthday

iStock.com/eli_asenova

baby running with gift
iStock.com/eli_asenova

When looking for the perfect gift for a 1-year-old, you probably already know you can buy a tried-and-true toy. But there are actually a bevy of other creative options that will please the little one just as much as his or her parents. Here, the winning first birthday gifts that a party planner and moms like best. 

Something for the Parents or a Cherished Memento

"When buying gifts for a 1-year-old, it's a good idea to remember that the baby won't really know or remember the gift you are getting them, so I always advise getting something that is either functional for the parents -- something they can really use -- or something that will be saved as a cherished memento. Some of my favorite ideas include: a gift basket filled with cute designed diapers, wipes, and powder. Parents can never have enough of these items! Summer items for baby include...

"When buying gifts for a 1-year-old, it's a good idea to remember that the baby won't really know or remember the gift you are getting them, so I always advise getting something that is either functional for the parents -- something they can really use -- or something that will be saved as a cherished memento. Some of my favorite ideas include: a gift basket filled with cute designed diapers, wipes, and powder. Parents can never have enough of these items! Summer items for baby include swimmy diapers, a cute swimsuit with wings or a floatie. A bath time set -- people tend to forget about bath time, and parents are always trying to find ways to make the bath more fun for their child. Shampoo, bubble bath, towel, washcloth, and some fun bath toys. Get a charm bracelet for the child that she can wear when she gets a little older. Include the first charm and then continue to buy charms for future birthdays and holidays. This is a great way to get a tradition started and celebrate all kinds of future milestones. A beautiful leather-bound photo album for the parents. You can also make any of these gifts special by having them monogrammed with the child's initials. Personalizing a gift always gives it that extra special touch."  -- Gina Wade, entertaining and lifestyle expert and special events planner for Gina Wade Creative, Los Angeles, California

Learning Toys and Books

"An activity cube or books! My son's favorite first birthday gift was a shape sorter."

Go Sentimental or Purposeful

"I really like sentimental gifts. Maybe it's a certain blanket or a wooden toy that will be more for display than for play. Pairing that more sentimental item with something they can use in the now, like a toy or some clothes would be a good idea. I love wooden alphabet blocks."

Experiences Instead of Stuff

"Baby gym memberships or passes to the zoo are great  -- and don't involve a lot of clutter in your home!"

Handwritten Letters

"A handwritten letter from every person at the party is a sweet idea. The parents can save them and give the letters to the child when they turn 18!"

Super-Fun Smash Cake

"I like to give 1-year-olds a smash cake. I swear my kids were all about the cake!" 

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.