Are you looking for a non-toy gift for the one year old in your life? This list of practical gifts for one year olds will help you find the perfect useful Christmas or birthday gift for your new toddler!
Why Choose a Practical Gift for a One Year Old
If you’re on the hunt for a gift for a one year old, you may want to choose a practical gift instead of a toy. There are several reasons to choose a non-toy gift, whether you’re searching for a Christmas gift, birthday gift (here’s my list of the best first birthday presents), or gift for anytime at all!
One year is the perfect age to give a practical non-toy gift. One year olds are at the age where they don’t yet understand that gifts are supposed to be toys (at least that’s what older children think!).
Unlike an older child, a one year old won’t bat an eye if you buy them a “boring” gift. In fact, they’ll be much more likely to play with the box and wrapping paper, no matter what gift is inside the box. Seriously. can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched my kids ignore the coolest toys and start playing with packaging materials!
Parents will love you for choosing a practical gifts. If your kids are like mine, they managed to accumulate an enormous amount of toys in the first year of their life Even at one, they really did not need anymore toys.
In fact, I make a point of packing at least half of Christmas and birthday presents downstairs because we simply can’t have them all out at the same time. Toys simply don’t get used as much as practical gifts.
A practical gift will also really help out the parents. A practical gift will be something the child needs, and something the parents won’t have to go out and buy themselves (because kids are SUPER expensive!). A practical gift is a gift for both parents and the one year old!
If you’re still on the fence about getting a non-toy gift, consider buying two smaller gifts, one practical gift and one toy gift (you can see my list of best wooden toys for babies and toddlers or my list of indoor energy burning toys for kids to give you some ideas!)
If you are a parent trying to buy a practical gift for your own child, practical gifts are definitely the way to go! As a mom, I love buying practical gifts for my girls. I figure if I’m going to have to buy something for my kids anyway, I might as well wrap it up and give it as a gift!
The Best Non-Toy Gift for One Year Olds
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Honestly, all the gifts on this list are great. They’re things babies and families really need. I don’t know a parent who wouldn’t want these gifts!
However, will say there is one clear winner. A gift that grows and keeps giving as your baby grow up.
Be sure to read to the bottom to learn what the VERY best gift for a one year old is (parents are guaranteed to love it!).
Clothing Gifts for One Year Olds
One gift you can never go wrong with is more clothes. One year olds grow FAST! And they are ALWAYS staining their clothes. A new outfit will be gratefully received by new moms. Not sure about the style? A onesie with a food pun is always a winner!
Like outfits, new parents are constantly having to buy sleepers because babies grow so darn fast. Whether you choose a one piece sleeper, or two piece pyjamas, baby pj’s are super cute. It’s hard to mess this one up!
Outerwear is another great practical gift for one year olds. Hats and mitts are likely to be lost, because most one year olds love throwing them off at the most inopportune time. I can’t tell you how many mittens I’ve replaced.
If it’s spring/summer, a sun hat is another super gift most parents will be very appreciative of. I love these ones which have a neck flap and a drawstring, so they can’t be thrown off by your baby.
New shoes or boots are not only a really cute gift, but very practical for a one year old who will soon be able to walk! Remember to choose functional shoes (like sneakers or velcro sandals) rather than impractical dress shoes.
These snow boots, especially made to stay on baby’s feet, are my top pick for winter boots!
Although moms can breathe easy once their baby has surpassed their first birthday and concerns about SIDS have lowered dramatically, safe sleep guidelines still state that babies sleeping in cribs should not have loose blankets, pillows or stuffed animals.
Sleep sacks are a great safe alternative to blankets (bonus: the baby can’t kick them off in the night and wake up cold!). For a new toddler, a sleep sack with feet is the best option, as you don’t have to worry about the baby tripping in his/her wearable blanket.
Baby’s hair has been growing away and it might be getting pretty long by one (if not now, then in a few more months). Baby will need something to keep the hair out of their face while eating. Clips, headbands or little elastics for teeny-weeny pony tails are a very useful gift!
Feeding Gifts for One Year Olds
Plates, Bowls, Utensils
A big milestone in your new one year olds’ life is the ability to self feed! Whether you’ve chosen baby-led weaning, or traditional spoon feeding, your baby will soon be ready to feed himself/herself (if they’re not already).
While this can sound VERY messy, there are great baby/toddler options for self-feeding (if you’re baby-led weaning, check out my top product recommendations for BLW here).
Any mom of a toddler knows that snacks are a must-have anytime you’re on the go with your little one. These reusable snack bags are so handy AND great for the environment.
Sippy cups are a toddler (and a toddler’s mom’s best friend). I love these insulated cups (they keep milk fresh if baby throws their cup under a table or couch).
Becoming a toddler is often accompanied by picky eating. Unlike an easy-going baby, toddlers have definite food preferences an often prefer bread and cheese over fruits and veggies.
Smoothies are a great way to ensure your kiddo is getting their nutrients, without a fight over vegetables!
These smoothie cups are the perfect spill-proof way to serve your one year old their secret veggie-filled smoothie.
Like I’ve mentioned a few times, new toddlers are almost always very messy eaters. A few new bibs are a godsend for new parents!
I highly recommend these sleeved bibs which are just perfect for messy eaters.
Baby Care Gifts for One Year Olds
Diapers are a no-brainer as a practical gift. I have yet to meet a baby who has fully potty-trained by one! Check to make sure you’re getting the right size (or give a gift card to the supermarket or pharmacy so the parents can choose their preferred brand).
If the baby uses cloth diapers, a new diaper is still a great gift! Every mom will be grateful for a few extra diapers in case they get behind on washing. Another option is to buy some cloth diaper accessories like liners or inserts.
A wet bag is traditionally used to store dirty cloth diapers. HOWEVER, they are amazing for everyday use, even if you don’t use cloth diapers. It makes a great storage bag for wet clothes after an accident or a day at the beach. We use our wet bag for so many reasons. It’s truly so handy!
After all the mess one year olds make while eating and playing, frequent baths are a necessity. Bath products are constantly being used up and a new parent will appreciate a refill!
Be sure to check which brand they use, as parents can be picky about which products they use on their baby’s sensitive skin!
Bath towels always make a great gift! Baby probably received some super soft and delicate baby bath towels As a toddler, they’re probably ready for some larger and sturdier, but still adorable towels. These are super practical gifts that are still super adorable!! You’ll definitely hear some “awwww’s” when your gift is unwrapped.
Travel Gifts for One Year Olds
If baby isn’t out of his/her bucket seat yet, the time is quickly approaching. I’m sure any parents would love the gift of a new convertible car seat. Be sure to discuss this with the parents and let them make the choice of which car seat is appropriate for their family. Look for one that has a high weight limit for rear-facing (here’s one car seat I love that allows rear-facing until 50 lbs!).
Baby probably already has a stroller or two already, but now that baby’s been aroundfor a while, their stroller needs have changed.
Personally, I bought a jogging stroller for my first and found it was a huge pain to take in and out of my trunk for errands (a jogging stroller is actually one of the top items on my list of unnecessary baby items!). At around one, we bought a conventional stroller
With my second, I used a car-seat caddy (which is on my list of must-haves for your second baby). By one, the baby had grown out of her bucket seat and we got an umbrella stroller for quick errands and dropping her big sister off at preschool.
As baby grows, he or she may be close to their weight limits for their baby carrier. A toddler sized carrier like the Tula is a great gift for mom and baby!
Safety Gifts for One Year Olds
Although baby has been mobile for a while, now that he or she is a year old, they are getting FAST! They are getting into more messes and trouble than ever. If you don’t have a playpen, you need one now! This one is perfect for indoors and outdoors.
If you haven’t totally baby-proofed your house yet, now is the time! Your child will be walking (then running) in a few months, if not already. You may need to invest in a few more baby-proofing items now that your kiddo is vertical. These include door locks, a toilet lock, a stove guard and corner protectors for your coffee table. Don’t forget the basics like cabinet door locks and outlet covers.
If your toddler has an independent streak, a back pack with leash might be a godsend in the near future. It will keep baby safe in the future and they will love their own special back pack to store their things.
Furniture Gifts for One Year Olds
A toddler-sized rocking chair is one of the cutest practical gifts you can find. As your baby grows into a toddler, you’ll see that their personality and sense of self is developing (rapidly!). Their own chair is a perfect gift that they’ll love. I especially love this personalized version!
A table and chairs is another perfect gift for your growing baby. A little table and chairs is the perfect spot for baby to have their snacks and colour and do crafts as their fine motor skills develop.
Turning one means baby is sleeping longer at night (hopefully). That can mean some leaky diapers through the night. Extra bedding is a great practical gift for those middle of the night bedding changes.
Fun, but Practical Gifts for One Year Olds
Books make a great gift that is practical AND enjoyable. You’ve surely heard the stats about reading to babies and the huge impacts on language development. Plus, most one year olds are absolutely fascinated by books.
OK, so bath toys are technically toys, but I contend they are still practical gifts. Why? Because most bath toys are the squeezable kind that fill (what seems like instantly) with moldy water. They need to be replaced constantly. Giving a new set means the new set can be tossed out (and mom guilt can be banished).
Even better, you could give a hard plastic set like this that is mold-free!
Bath toys are probably accumulating in your baby’s life. A bath toy storage system makes a great gift for baby and the parents!
If you’re looking for a practical gift that will be an instant hit with your new toddler, I recommend including food in your present! My girls love squeeze pouches, which make a great portable snack, and the girls absolutely love eating them! Choose a favorite snack and see some excitement in your one year old’s eyes!
Experience gifts refer to an experience that either you, or the parents, can take the child to attend. This could include a movie, trip to the zoo, local play center, or other special event. It’s a practical gift, because it will entertain baby (and possibly give the parents some time off if you take the child to the event yourself).
The Very Best Practical Gift for One Year Olds
So what is the very best practical gift for one year olds? All parents will absolutely love this gift!
Education Savings Plan
The ultimate practical gift is, of course, a contribution to an RESP or an education saving plan. Not exciting, but 17 more years of compound interest makes this an amazing gift!
Well that’s my list of practical gifts for one year olds. I hope that helps you find the perfect gift for the one year old in your life!
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