Best First Birthday Gifts

October 4, 2019

Where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday you were buying a baby shower gift, and now you’re looking for first birthday gifts! It’s amazing how fast that first year flies by, especially considering just how little sleep parents tend to get during those incredible (but often incredibly grueling) first 365 days. All of a sudden, a tiny precious infant has grown into an adorable, precocious one year old, and while they may not be walking yet, they’re definitely scooting around the home one way or another. This is just about the cutest age of all (OK, debatable, but still, babies are very cute at their first birthday) and there are few things more rewarding than seeing a cute baby embrace a gift. So of course you want to nail it on the first birthday gift.

But how do you find the kind of amazing first birthday gifts that a one year old will enjoy (and their parents might even love)? You ask experience shoppers for their best first birthday gift advice, that’s how! MASSE is a platform built on advice for real users and shoppers who leave reviews and recommendations for the products they’ve really used, given, or received as gifts. That means you can trust our recommendations for first birthday gifts because they actually come from parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles (while they can be great at using technology, unfortunately toddlers can’t quite leave written product reviews on the Internet quite yet).

So what makes for a great first birthday gift? First of all, it has to be given with love; second, of course, it has to be safe for the birthday child to play with. And once those are covered, you can take a few different paths to finding the best first birthday gift. The first option is to go with pure fun. Young toddlers love playing with toys like blocks, cars, trains, and soft dolls, classic staples that still provide endless entertainment and stimulation. There’s nothing like seeing a toddler giggle and squeal with delight at a toy, and you also can’t argue with keeping them occupied and relaxed.

That’s a bridge to the second great option for first birthday gifts — first birthday gifts that are just as much for parents as they are for the child. In some cases, you can get gifts that parents would love for their kids to have, whether it’s because they’re educational or helpful in their development, or because they straight up help fill a need for an exhausted, overworked parent. Remember, it’s mom and/or dad that will be writing the thank you note for that first birthday gift!

  • Bear Eco Backpack


    By Apple Park

    Taking a toddler around is a whole lot of work — even walking down the block requires packing diapers and lots of accessories. And don’t forget the toys — little ones always love to tote their toys around. With a super cute eco backpack from Apple Park, the birthday kid can pack their favorites and be ready to explore the world (with mom and dad by their side of course). One MASSE shopper says that personalized backpacks have always been a big hit for first birthday gifts — they’re both adorable and useful!

  • First Builders Deluxe Building Bag


    By Mega Bloks

    Kids love playing with blocks because they’re super-fun, and parents love when kids play with blocks because they’re both stimulating and educational. Mega Bloks are a bit like beginners LEGOs thanks to their larger size and simple shapes, and their First Builders Deluxe Building Bag comes with a large 150 piece set toddlers will absolutely adore. Parents will be super excited for their kids to get these as a first birthday gift, because the reusable duffle bag makes it easy for them to tote their toys all over (and keep them neat and tidy, to boot).

  • B. Wheee-Is! Soft Cars


    By Battat

    Here are some universal facts: Toddlers love bright colors, they love cars, and they love soft toys they can cuddle. Battat’s makes a toy that satisfies all three great passions, with their B. Wheee-Is! soft cars, a great line of chunk, soft, and super-cute cars with smiling faces and colorful designs. They’re great for all ages because they are sturdy yet soft, and they zip along when pulled back against the floor, creating a new level of fun. Parents love these because they help kids develop fine motor skills and last a very long time.

  • 3-in-1 Bike


    By Wishbone Design Studio

    It’s hard to believe, but by their first birthday, some kids are ready to get on the move (with proper safety precautious, of course!). Wishbone’s 3-in-1 bike is ingeniously designed to look simple but still serve a number of different functions. Its solid wooden build is low to the ground, and it transforms from push walker to tricycle to little two-wheeler as kids get older. We get a ton of rave reviews about this smart first birthday gift option — parents uniformly say they love this bike, which their children use around the house with no safety concerned. One parent said it best: “this bike is much loved by my daughter!”

  • Sling Bookshelf - Pastel & Natural


    By KidKraft

    We’ve mostly focused on playtime with these gifts, but giving the gift of education (and an organized bookshelf) also makes for one of the best first birthday gift options. KidKraft’s Sling Bookshelf is a cute, sweet way for little kids to build their first book collection, with four deep canvas pockets that can hold plenty of volumes of picture books (and probably some other toys, in secret). It’s as much a great first birthday gift for parents as children, as it makes storytime all that more organized and fun.