The Best 1st Birthday Gifts for Every Budget

I remember my daughter’s first birthday so well. She was the lone child surrounded with adult friends and family who loved her. Instead of a cake smash, she daintily poked at her birthday cupcake, took a small bite, and immediately spit it out (to the delight of her party guests.) It was only later we realized the cupcake shop had given us lemon-flavored cupcakes, not the yellow cake flavor we’d ordered (sorry, honey).

For me, the moment was also a mix of emotion. It was part “Wow, we did it, we’ve raised a baby for a whole year!” and of course, part “Wow, how has a year gone by already? My baby is turning into a toddler, then she’s going to be a kid, then an ornery teen and pretty soon moving out of the house and away from us.” (Cue the tears.)

Seeing children grow and learn is such a joy, and celebrating the big first birthday is a special moment to remember and share. To help, we’ve rounded up some gift ideas for the special 1-year-old in your life. There are options for every budget, and ideas like award-winning developmental toys and a variety of personalized gifts for the kid who already has everything.

Beyond toys, subscription activity boxes or family experiences—like swim lessons, music classes, or a museum membership—can also be great options. Companies like Pearachute offer gift cards for local experiences that you can buy and wrap for the big day, since some of the wonderful fun of a first birthday party is seeing that baby-turned-toddler tear open their gifts—then watching them play more with the boxes and the wrapping paper.


Under $30

Under $50

Under $100



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