Baby’s First Birthday – Gift Guide
Last week my baby girl turned one. The last 12 months have passed in a bit of a blur, but we have loved every minute of having her in our lives.
Deciding what to buy for her first milestone birthday was quite the challenge, but helped a little by the fact that her older sister offered quite a large number of hand-me-downs, she ended up with quite a wide selection! Here’s what we gave Neve to open (with her sister’s help) this September and the reasons why we chose them! I hope that this gives you some inspiration if you are preparing for your own little persons’ big day!
On the move
At one, most babies have started to master the art of movement, whether it be crawling, cruising or walking. Neve is now crawling fast and with confidence, and has started cruising around the sofa with just the one hand for support. Unlike her sister who was walking by her 1st birthday, she is not quite there yet, but is slowly gaining confidence in standing on her own, and attempting to figure out how to balance!
We all fell in love with the Fisher-Price Zoom & Crawl Monster – pop the balls in and watch as he spits them back out before moving around on the floor, encouraging her to follow. Not only does The Zoom & Crawl Monster get Neve moving around the room after him, but also encourages her to stand up and pop the balls back into his head. Having watched her play with him lots, I can already see Neve trying to stand up from sitting position with just one hand or unaided.
The Great Outdoors
Like most babies, Neve LOVES to get outside. We were lucky enough to receive a SmarTrike 5-in-1 Infinity to review last month, and if your child doesn’t already have one by their first birthday, I would whole heartedly recommend one. Not only do they allow your child a fun way of getting out and closer to the action, but they grow with your child from 10 months to 3 years of age. See it in action here:
First Marks / Drawing & Craft
At one year, Neve is just starting to learn that crayons are more than just for eating! 🙂 Being quite a creative and crafty person, I am keen to introduce Neve to colouring in and paint, so the My First range from Maped is perfect. With large chunky crayons and pens perfect for little hands, these will be a great tool to encourage mark making and scribbling with Neve and I am sure Erin will be very keen to help. The finger paint pots are also perfect for a bit of messy play.
Shapes / Patterns / Spacial Awareness
Neve is now able to pick things up and move them around unaided (normally trying to steal things off her sister, much to Erin’s annoyance). Shape sorters are PERFECT for one year olds, and a great way to try and encourage them to make sense of their surroundings, including an understanding of size and shape. A big fan of Miffy, we LOVE this Miffy wooden shape sorter, and Neve really enjoys banging the pieces off the sides!
Another MASSIVE Hit was these Tomy Shake & Sort Cupcakes – this set reminds me very much of the Tomy Hide n Squeak eggs that Erin had when she was younger, but with an edible theme instead! Babies can swap the tops of these super cute cupcakes before trying to slot them back into the right place in their case. They have adorable faces, and are the perfect size for little hands. Neve loves trying to stack them up and hearing them rattle when she shakes them.
We have lots of Mega Bloks from when Erin was little including the fab Mega Bloks Build n Learn Table, again perfect for Neve to pull herself up against and bang, tap and build. The chunky bricks are perfect for smaller hands and have no small parts so I can be confident she wont get her hands on anything she shouldn’t. This was a real hit with Erin, and I am confident it will be enjoyed again 2nd time around.
Neve loves music and dancing, and any interactive toy that features a sound is always likely to be a big hit.
We already have a BeatBo which we bought by her Grandad for Christmas, but if you don’t have one again I would recommend. His dancing is somewhat infectious, and it is SO funny watching Neve’s head bop as she tries to copy.
We also gave Neve the Teletubbies Rock & Roll Po – she is a big fan of the Teletubbies (I can’t quite get over the fact they’ve been around for over 10 years), and like a large weeble, she loves this musical toy which features instruments sounds, melodies and lights.
Another fun activity toy is Tomy’s Mr Shopbot – a shopping based robot toy – feed the coins to his mouth and watch him chomp and giggle, before popping open his till and retrieving them back again! Mr Shopbot comes with two grocery items for scanning, and is suitable from 18 months, so this is one for her to grow into! For now, she loves collecting the coins and is just attempting to slot them into his mouth unaided.
I am yet to meet a one year old who doesn’t love a bath, and Neve is no exception! Given the choice, Neve would happily spend hours playing with toys in the water, and her skin being sensitive is the only reason I have to stop her doing it every day!
HUGE fans of Sophie, and both girls have had Sophie items as a baby – including the Traditional teether and Fan Fan the Fawn. These Sophie Giraffe Aqua Bath Sets are lots of fun with a familiar character I know she loves. Neve loves flicking through the pages of the little Sophie bath book, and floating round the three mini ships. As a Mum, I love the fact the net can be used to pop all the toys neatly out the way when not being used – no more stepping on a boat whilst you’re trying to have a shower! 🙂
One gift that has been a hit with both girls is the Tomy Toomies Fountain Rocket – lift it up and see the water zoom out the sides as he flies up into space! At first Neve was a little bit shocked by the affect, but now she is used to it she absolutely loves to watch as I zoom it up out the water!
With Neve we are trying to encourage self feeding and more of an interest in food. Whilst she doesn’t eat a great deal, she does drink water well from a cup, and I fell in love with this Miffy bowl spoon and cup set. With a gender neutral colour scheme and the adorable Miffy characters Neve loves these were sure to be a hit.
Books & Bedtime Routine
I have started to incorporate books into Neve’s routine as much as possible, and she is now able to hold one herself and turn the pages. I love the “That’s Not My” Books and we have lots from when Erin was a baby – she used to love touching the different textures on the pages. We treated Neve to then new “That’s Not My Unicorn“ which is a recent addition to the range.
Sophie also has a range of fun learning books including this Fun First Words Book which will help me teach Neve about words and items around the home, as well as having stickers and activities for when she is older.
Overall Neve was spoiled rotten this birthday, and I hope some of the themes and ideas will prove useful for anyone else planning a birthday haul themselves!
Disclosure – Some of the items listed above are press samples or review items (reviews coming soon). This post contains affiliate links.