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5 gift ideas for baby’s first birthday that aren’t toys

The first birthday is a big milestone for your baby as it marks their first, full year on earth. Because of this, you want to make sure you have special and fun ideas for their first birthday, even though they likely won’t remember it. When it comes to choosing presents for a 1-year-old baby, you typically think of toys. But, if you get an invitation to a baby’s birthday party or you want to make your baby’s party special, look for gift ideas that aren’t toys. Toys will only last a year or two before the baby will want or need new ones, so look into getting a gift that is creative, functional, and long-lasting. If you’re invited to a party for a 1 year old, you’re also buying a present for the parents, so it is good to check out ideas that may help make their lives a little easier.

Encourage a bookworm baby

child reading a children's book
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Even though a 1 year old is more than a few years away from reading a book on their own, a children’s book still makes a great gift for any baby. Reading to your child promotes a strong bond and makes them feel soothed by the sound of your voice before bedtime. There are many great books that cover a variety of topics from animals to trains to plants. Books are great for a 1-year-old child because they can be reused year after year. The book you read your little one can become the first book they pick up to read on their own when they’re older. This gift is a long-lasting and special present. It can be the perfect gift to pass along through generations so your child can eventually read their favorite baby book to their own children.

Capture memories in a photo album

Your baby definitely won’t remember their first birthday party, but that doesn’t mean they can’t see what it was like. Photo albums are a great gift. You can fill it with pictures of memories you experience as a family over the years. Then, when your baby is older, they can look back at all the wonderful moments and memories. They can start adding their own memories to the photo album, as well. This present is a great way to stroll down memory lane with your child for years to come.

Pajamas for cozy naps

baby in cozy onesie pajamas
Shutterstock / Africa Studio

Pajamas are a great gift for people of any age. They are comfy, cozy, and the perfect clothing for a good night’s sleep. Baby pajamas come in many colors and styles. They have adorable designs so you can find one that will touch the hearts of the child’s parents. Cozy pajamas are also great outfits for adorable pictures. They will help babies sleep soundly and comfortably every single night.

Savings account or stocks

This gift idea may seem a bit adultish for a 1 year old, but they will surely thank you when it’s time to go to college or put a down payment on a house. Savings accounts or stocks are a great present from relatives or the parents. It’s a way to save money for them so they are ready for life’s many expenses when they become adults. Savings accounts and stocks grow over time so your initial investment will multiply by the time they are ready to use it. This gift is a great financial present for any child and will pay off in the long run.


A 1-year-old baby may not have the best memory, but they experience the joy of everyday life. Things like animals, balls, and fun noises can easily put a smile on their face. Memberships to zoos, museums, or family gyms is a great gift. They are just starting out in life and are mesmerized by all that it has to offer. Zoos will give them a glimpse of cool animals, and many museums have interactive areas especially for kids. Regardless of what type of membership you give, it will be a great gift for babies and their parents to enjoy as a family.

Shopping for a 1-year-old child may seem obvious, but toys aren’t always the best option. Toys are repetitive and children quickly outgrow them. Presents that are functional, fun, and creative will make a much bigger impact on a baby’s life. So, the next time you get invited to a baby’s first birthday, consider looking outside the toy box. You will be inspired by all of the great, fun options that will make a huge, positive impression on that precious little baby’s life.

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