Best First Birthday Gifts
July 19, 2019

The fact that you’re shopping for a first birthday gift is pretty wild, right? It’s pretty amazing how fast that first year of a baby’s life 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. They’re maximum cute on 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? There are a number of paths you can take. 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!

First Play Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy
Melissa & Doug
42 Piece Magnetic Wooden Block Set, Sunset
B. Wheee-Is! Soft Cars
3-in-1 Bike
Wishbone Design Studio
Sling Bookshelf - Pastel & Natural
This may just be one of the most adorable toys we’ve ever seen, but that’s no surprise coming from the beloved kids’ brand Melissa & Doug. There is absolutely zero chance the little one you’re shopping for won’t love this Play Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy, with its delightful clamping gator heads and fishy wheels, and parents will also love this as a first birthday gift because it times perfectly with a child’s development, training them to walk at the perfect time. One MASSE user raved that it’s “the perfect gift for years to come,” which makes sense because parents and kids alike will want to keep this thing forever!
It’s important for children to learn how to follow instructions and achieve intended outcomes, but just as crucial is developing uninhibitied imagination and creativity. Tegu’s iconic magnetic wooden block set is the perfect first birthday gift for the latter, as its nine unique shapes and magnetic pieces allow for endless building fun. It’s a first birthday gift that supports open-ended fun, which is so important at this stage. Parents can participate in this one, too — one MASSE user loved this as a first birthday gift because they could build bridges and play cars and trains with their daughter.

B. Wheee-Is! Soft Cars

$13.99By: 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

$249.00By: 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!”
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.