My daughter’s first birthday was a special milestone I had been looking forward to for weeks. But after stressing about the big birthday bash with our first, I vowed not to make the same rookie mistake when our second daughter turned one.
Instead we took a more unconventional approach to celebrating our second daughter’s first year.
If you’re not sure you want to host a reception-sized baby bash or add another toy to the growing heap taking over your home, I’ve got your back. Here are some unconventional gifts perfectly suited for your one year old.
Top 5 Unconventional 1st Birthday Gifts:
Write Their Birth Story – You’ve probably been thinking about jotting down notes from the day your baby entered your world, but it takes time and you haven’t had a lot of that in the last year. Now is the perfect time to prioritize it. The little details from that special day fade so quickly. Sit down with a cup of coffee and spend some time reflecting on the day you met your little one. Quickly write down all the little things that come to mind, then go back and put it in story form. Need some inspiration to get started? Read my birth story here. Finally, print out a couple of photos from that day to accompany the story. It may even become a fun tradition to read your little one the story of their birthday every year on their big day! If you’ve already recorded their birth story, you could write your child a letter telling them all the fun ways you’ve watched them grow and change over the last year!
Professional Photos – Baby’s one year birthday is a great time to capture the little personality that they are growing in to. They likely have a few teeth that make an adorable little grin, and they can sit up, laugh, crawl, maybe even walk! Plus, they aren’t old enough to complain about getting their picture taken yet. Stop by the grocery store on the way to pick up a small cake. Then let them have fun getting messy at the end of the photo shoot. You may even want to get in on the cake action; you did just survive your first year of parenting this little bebe!
Create a Will – Sorry, this one is full fledged adulting. And while we all hope we will never need a will while our children are young, it’s not fair to your children not to address the topic early. You need to spend some time thinking about who you would want to care for your children in your absence, any burial details, and how you would want your assets taken care of. It’s not something anyone wants to focus on, but someday it will be a huge blessing to your children that you took the time to plan ahead. In this case, the sooner the better if you don’t already have a will in place.
Indulge in a Date Night – To be clear, no kids allowed. After a fun and busy first year, Mom and Dad need to make time to connect. The first year of a child’s life is an amazing times in many ways, but it is also a time where your adult relationship takes a backseat to baby. If you haven’t left your little one with a sitter yet, this is a good age to give it a try. Baby is likely eating solids and sleeping through the night. I promise your one year old won’t know if you get out without them, but you and other half will be beyond grateful. Modeling what a happy couple does to STAY happy is an amazing gift we can give our children. It’s so important, yet often overlooked. Get out your calendar and schedule the time now.
Open a Savings Account – In less than thirty minutes you can open a savings account for your child wherever you like to bank. While there, set up an auto transfer from your account to theirs. By the time they reach eighteen you will have casually saved over $20k in their name by adding just $100 a month. The auto transfer part is key. Don’t let it be a choice each month, instead set it up to happen without fail. Bonus: If you are lucky enough to have family members that like to buy your kids things, consider asking them to donate to their savings account instead, or at least some of the time (because every once in a while it’s fun for them to get something from the wish list)!
This entire list has been personally curated and tested by yours truly, a mother of a one year old.
Need something fun to accompany these gift ideas?
This book has become a favorite for parents to share with their little ones. “Bought this for my daughter, and the first time I read it to her I could relate to every page, by the end I had tears. It nails parenting on the head.” – 5 Stars on Amazon