Gift Guide for a One-Year-Old

We’ve had a one year old in our house for a few weeks now, and, I have to say, one is fun! We’re enjoying this age so much as Lyla becomes more and more of a tiny person. Lyla got really good gifts at her birthday party and I’ve been looking into Christmas gifts. I compiled all her favorites along with what I’m thinking of getting her into this guide. A couple of these will overlap with my Favorite Toys in the First Year post, but I wanted to have all my recommendations in one place. If you have a one year old in your life, hopefully this will give you some good ideas! Share your own suggestions for this stage in the comments!

Crawling toy: I bought this for Lyla around six months and she was terrified. #momfail. I brought it back out the day before she turned a year old and she’s obsessed with it. She smiles and claps when it lights up. It has settings for carpet and hardwood, and attempts to redirect itself like a robot vacuum when it gets stuck.

Shape sorting toy: There are hundreds of versions of this classic developmental tool. You can go with the OG Fisher-Price version, Montessori (aka hipster) style with a wooden option, or choose an activity toy that encourages pretend play. Lyla has this Leap Frog picnic basket and loves it. It has multiple settings she will be able to use for imagination play as she gets older. In a similar vein is this tea set she got for her birthday. I could hardly get her to open her other presents because she wanted to play with it right away!

Crawling tunnel: I wanted to get Lyla one of these for her birthday, but we’re saving it for Christmas. I’m still deciding between a few different options: a crawling tunnel by itself, a tunnel with a tent, or a more aesthetically attractive tent.

Palm Crayons: We don’t have these, but I put them on Lyla’s Christmas list as soon as I read about them. They’re designed in an egg shape, for babies who might enjoy coloring but are too little to safely be given a regular crayon.

Large stuffed animal: Lyla fell in love with her stuffed animals at this age. She takes turns hugging them and handing them to us to love. About 12 inches in length is a good size at this age. They can really bear hug it. She also LOVES her Squish-Mallow. Just make sure to get one that can be machine washed. They will likely go through a lot!

Suction Kupz: This is another item Santa Clause might be bringing Lyla. These multi-use silicone cups sold me when I learned they could stick to the fridge for her to play with while we try to get dinner on the table. (Is than an Olympic sport in anyone else’s house, or just me?)

Push walker: I mentioned the Sit to Stand walker in my favorite toys post. Lyla loves hers and a walker of this type was suggested by her pediatrician as being a good developmental toy for encouraging independent walking.

Wooden puzzles: These are in every nursery, classroom, and daycare for a reason. A puzzle with knobs on the pieces will go a long way in helping babies at this age conceptualize matching the shapes.

Building blocks: I’ve been wanting to get these for Lyla forever, and I think she’ll finally be the right age at Christmas. I like that these come with a bag for storage.

Baby Registry Tips + Lyla’s Showers


We were so blessed by family and friends with baby showers for Lyla. Andrew’s family threw us one, one of my childhood best friends threw us one at my home church, and our Sunday school class here in Lexington threw us another! As first-time parents, we truly would not have been able to get everything we needed for baby if it hadn’t been for the generosity of loved ones. We are so grateful that Lyla is already so loved and cared for!

When it came time to create a baby registry, I was completely clueless. Now that we have everything ready and waiting for little miss to make her debut, I wanted to share the tips that were helpful for me!

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Do your research

Do not…I repeat…do NOT just walk into a baby store and start scanning. They will have you convinced you need every gadget on the planet. Before you register, do some research on what you’ll actually need. I asked friends and posted a new mama SOS on Facebook. I found Lucie’s List helpful. She’s practical and her info keeps up with current safety regulations.

As far as advice from others, remember that every baby is different. Try to take in what’s helpful and forget the rest. I’ve personally found that other moms are happy and willing to offer their insight in a non-judgmental way. Don’t feel bad if you get overwhelmed. Learning about car seats alone made me feel like I was earning an online degree. No one knows what they’re doing the first time around, but thankfully there are lots of great resources out there.

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Register for everything…except clothes

We had serious sticker shock as we realized a lot of our baby must-haves were big ticket items. We didn’t expect people to spend tons of money on our baby, but we also wanted to be honest about what we needed. We registered for everything from our crib and rocker to small items like baby shampoo and Infant Tylenol. Having a range of price points on the registry will allow people to select a gift in their budget. Having larger items will be helpful for family who want to gift you one of your major needs, and allows groups to go in together on a gift.

Some people advised me to register for clothes so people will know your style. Truth be told, baby clothes are the most fun thing to shop for, and people are going to get you the clothes they think are cute regardless of what’s on your registry. I registered for a few basic onesies in varying sizes to make sure she had simple things to wear at home. Other than that, I personally wouldn’t use my time to pick out clothes. Trust me…you’re going to get them anyway.

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Location, Location, Location

Think about where your baby item buyers live before you choose where to register. The truth is, there really aren’t that many options when it comes to baby stores. Make sure the places you select have a user-friendly online option where people can view and purchase from your registry. We registered at Buy Buy Baby and Target. Our hometown doesn’t have either of those stores. I tried to register at Walmart, but their registry system was so difficult to use I gave up after three attempts. I explained to friends and family back home that they could view our registries online and were welcome to purchase similar items at Walmart instead. Many people chose gift cards, which allowed us to complete our registries after the showers without spending much money. Also be mindful of the customer service at the places you are registering. Do they offer any discounts on non-purchased items? How do they handle returns? For example, Buy Buy Baby was very easy and fun to register with, but their return policy is very strict. I ended up having a much easier time returning things purchased from Walmart.

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Don’t be afraid to edit

Don’t be afraid to make updates to your registry as your pregnancy progresses. I took items off and swapped things out as I learned more about baby gear. You may also have to make updates as you receive gifts if those shopping didn’t scan your registry. If your registry gives you a coupon for items that didn’t get purchased, make sure to add anything and everything you may need as those coupons are often for a one-time use and only apply to items on your registry. I ended up adding a floor lamp and a storage cart to our Target registry before completing it. Discounts on larger items like that really adds up.

Remember, at the end of the day, all your baby actually NEEDS is love, food, a car seat, and a safe sleep surface. Everything beyond that is just for convenience and…let’s be real…fun! Other mamas, what are your baby registry tips? What do you wish you’d known when you were registering? What are your must haves and what did you never use? Spread that mama wisdom wealth in the comments!