Birthday Gifting

The Best Birthday Gifts for 1-Year-Olds in 2024

written by KATHY SISSON, STEPH ALLEVA CORNELL & BRETT NICOLE HAYDEN

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best gifts for 1 year olds"
best gifts for 1 year olds
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider
Graphics by: Caitlin Schneider

A baby’s first birthday feels like a milestone reached for both the baby and their parents. The first year of caring for and tending to a tiny human is something to be celebrated. A baby’s first year is full of incredible moments and memories—from first smiles to first laughs. Another momentous occasion is their first birthday party. How many of us have our own first birthday cake photos preserved in an album tucked away somewhere?

While families have different birthday traditions, there’s certainly a staple of most first birthdays: the gifts! And, to take the guesswork out of what to get the birthday girl or boy, we’ve curated a list below of the best gifts for 1-year-olds to make shopping easy-peasy.

How we chose the best gifts

There are moms with kids of all ages on The Everymom team. They’ve conquered the baby phase, changed all the diapers, and celebrated first birthdays. On top of that, our commerce and editorial teams are always on the hunt for the best products for kids, moms, and families. If there’s a new must-have, must-try, or must-see in the kids or parenting space, we’re on it. Real life experience combined with knowing the current trends allows us to put together a well-rounded list of gifts.

What makes a great gift for a 1-year-old?

First birthday gifts should be engaging, developmentally appropriate, and, most importantly, safe for little ones. From introducing letters and colors to working on those fine and gross motor skills—and some that are just plain cute—this list includes presents sure to delight any little one you’re looking to spoil. Plus, we’ve rounded up plenty of handmade and personalized options sure to be cherished by the whole family.

Because they’re still so little, 1-year-olds don’t know the difference between big-ticket items and smaller presents. Going smaller doesn’t mean compromising on fun, functionality, or personality. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to splurge on them every now and then. That’s why we’ve selected both budget-friendly finds under $50 as well as some investment options. Keep reading for 26 of the best gifts for 1-year-olds!

Gifts for 1-Year-Olds Under $50

1 year olds-melissa-and-doug-vehicle-toys
Melissa & Doug
Pull-Back Vehicles Baby and Toddler Toy

Little ones who love vehicles, watch out! These soft-sided and colorful vehicles rev up and go—plus, they reinforce sensory, fine motor, and gross motor skills.

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1 year olds-etsy-name-puzzle
Etsy | Busy Puzzle
Personalized Name Puzzle

A reader and editor favorite, this personalized puzzle helps little ones learn their name and can be a fun photo prop or nursery decor.

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1 year olds-melissa-and-doug-computer-desk-toy
Melissa & Doug
Wooden Work & Play Desktop Activity Board

If your little one is obsessed with being just like mom or dad, this pretend play desktop will surely be a hit. All of the pieces stay attached to the board, and it has a handle for carrying, which makes it a perfect toy for travel.

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1 year olds-pottery-barn-hooded-towel
Pottery Barn Kids
Sunshine Stripe Beach Hooded Towel

Practical and personalized, this hooded towel can be used after a bath or at the beach!

multiple colors and patterns available

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1 year olds-etsy-personalized-nightlight
ETSY | LAMBALAR
Personalized Night Light

Nighttime can still be bright with this lovely personalized night light showcasing a name or love note from Mom and Dad.

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1 year olds-maisonette-pull-toy
Maisonette
Walk-A-Long Crocodile

As your 1-year-old baby starts walking, they’re going to get extra adventurous. Feed their excitement with a pull-along companion like this sweet crocodile.

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1 year olds-etsy-birthday-crown
ETSY | SHOP FLOWER LANE
Embroidered Birthday Crown

Celebrate your baby’s big day with a reminder of just how special they are! Then, use this accessory for dress-up and imaginative play after their birthday.

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1 year olds-melissa-and-doug-farm-puzzle-toy
Melissa & Doug
Large Farm Jumbo Knob Puzzle

Jumbo knobs make this introductory puzzle perfect for little hands while they practice their shapes.

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1 year olds-maisonette-birthday-pajamas
Maisonette
Birthday Cake Footie Pajama

Cozy, cute, and birthday-themed! These super soft pajamas will be worn way past their special day.

available in sizes 0-18 months

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1 year olds-etsy-personalized-book
ETSY | I SEE ME
Personalized Story Book

Make the special 1-year-old in your life the star of their own storybook. I See Me offers plenty of story options, like this one focused on positive traits and the alphabet.

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1 year olds-rey-to-z-initial-hat
REY TO Z
Personalized Initial Hat

Help your baby find their style with this embroidered baseball cap made just for them.

several colors available

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1 year olds-easy-wooden-pull-toy
ETSY | FRIENDLY TOYS
Wooden Pull Toy

This timeless heirloom toy includes a wooden pony with a pull string. Little ones will love the hands-on play—plus, you can choose from other colors and creatures and add personalization to really make it special!

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1 year olds-melissa-and-doug-rolling-bus-toy
Melissa & Doug
GO Tots Roll & Ride Bus

Little ones can roll, stack, and grasp three double-sided “GO Tots” friends and make them spin and bounce in this cute toy.

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1 year olds-slumberkinds-narwhal
SLUMBERKINS
Narwhal Snuggler & Book Set

We love Slumberkins’ mission to build emotional intelligence in kids, and this gift set promotes a growth mindset.

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1 year olds-etsy-personalized-bunny-doll
Etsy | Gondwana Design
Personalized Bunny Doll

Spruce up their nursery with an adorable personalized bunny doll. No kid will ever turn down a stuffed animal, and this is one they’ll cherish for years to come.

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1 year olds-etys-personalized-sweater
Etsy | Million Design Art
Personalized Hand Embroidered Name Sweater

Speaking of personalized, an embroidered sweater is one of those clothing items you’ll want to hold onto long after they outgrow it.

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Gifts for 1-Year-Olds Over $50

1 year olds-west-elm-busy-board
West Elm
Wonder & Wise Busy Board

Adorable and functional, this busy board aids in the development of small motor skills and color recognition.

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1 year olds-kiwico-color-wheel-toy
KiwiCo
Color Wheel Racers and Ramp

This sensory toy is one that will leave your little one occupied for longer than most. They’ll love the fun colors and optical illusions, as well as the excitement of watching the cars go back and forth.

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1 year olds-melissa-and-doug-grocery-cart-toy
Melissa & Doug
Wooden Shape Sorting Grocery Cart

This 16-piece toy helps babies explore shapes and colors and practice problem-solving skills and imaginative play.

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1 year olds-pacifier-rainbow-toy
Pacifier
Rainbow Silicone Toy

This silicone rainbow toy has many fun uses: a teether, a puzzle, a stacking toy, and even a bath toy!

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1 year olds-amazon-water-table
Amazon
Rain Showers Splash Pond Water Table

This mini waterpark play area is perfect for exercising social skills and understanding cause and effect. You will never regret buying this staple for hours of summer play.

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1 year olds-lalo-play-tunnel
Lalo
The Play Tunnel

Make crawling even more exciting with a lightweight and chic play tunnel that will provide all sorts of entertainment.

2 colors available

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1 year olds-find-and-emma-macrame-swing
FINN + EMMA
Macrame Swing

When you can’t make it to the park, this beautiful macrame swing is the perfect alternative for at-home play.

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1 year olds-crate-and-barrel-ball-pit
Crate & Kids
Ball Pit

This BPA-safe ball pit is ideal for sensory (and fun) play!

multiple colors available

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1 year olds-pottery-barn-foamnasium-play-couch
Pottery Barn Kids
Foamnasium Blocksy Kids Couch

Take your home fort-building to the next level with this fun play couch. Besides inspiring creativity, it’s great for hide-and-seek and getting the wiggles out.

multiple colors available

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1 year olds-baghera-ride-on-bike
BAGHERA
Twister First Ride-On

To assist with balance and motor skills, this ride-on toy is perfectly sized for little ones aged 12 months and up.

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