tiny me personalized name wooden blocks | The Coolest First Birthday Gifts

Though most one-year-olds would be perfectly happy with a slice of gooey cake in front of them as a first birthday gift–and probably miles of gift wrap to play with–first birthday gifts can be particularly special for parents and grandparents (i.e. the givers, not the getters) who want to preserve the memory of the big milestone. That’s why we particularly like first birthday gifts that have something special about them.

Whether it’s a keepsake gift a child will hold onto for years, decor that helps evolve their room from nursery to kid’s room (sniff) or a beautifully made toy that they can play with well into toddlerhood, we’ve rounded up some of the coolest first birthday gifts for any budget.

And thanks so much to our fantastic birthday gift guide sponsor, Sew Plain Jane, a mom-run small business making handmade superhero capes starting at just $4, plus personalized capes and accessories and DIY cape decorating kits that make fantastic birthday gifts and favors at any age.

Even if you’re just hanging a cape on the wall as decor until your super kid is old enough to wear it.

Special Offer: Cool Mom Picks readers save 10% on orders at Sew Plain Jane with code CoolMomPicks10 through 4/10/17.

All gifts have been editorially determined by our staff, there is no compensation in exchange for picks. CMP is an rstyle and Amazon affiliate. 


Personalized name wooden blocks

($32 and up at tiny me)
Tiny Me is one of our favorite small companies, and after a highly successful Kickstarter campaign, they are now making the most wonderful, colorful, custom name blocks personalized with the letters of your child’s name. What starts as decor becomes a well-loved toy, and eventually, a really special keepsake at a great price.


Ultimate Birthday Party Gift Guide | Cool Mom Picks


Newmakers' Rocking Horse Zebra | The Coolest First Birthday Gifts

Zebra rocking horse

($159 at Amazon)
A unique twist on the traditional rocking horse, British co Newmakers makes this cool zebra wooden ride-on (rocking zebra?) which is just so great looking. We like that it’s made nice and low to the ground for our youngest riders, and that smart, small lip on the back of the seat will keep exuberant zebra-riders from sliding off the back.


Interactive board books by Xavier Deneux | The Coolest First Birthday Gifts

Touch Think Learn board book series by Xavier Deneux

($11-14/ book at Amazon)
There is nothing sweeter than snuggling up for storytime with a set of captivating board books. There are so many wonderful options out there, but right now we’re taken with this multi-book series by Xavier Deneux including the most recent addition, Touch Think Learn: ABC. With bright illustrations, interesting cut outs, and texture for little hands to touch, these books are low on words but high on holding a busy toddler’s interest.


Ida Pearle custom name prints | The Coolest First Birthday Gifts

Custom children’s name prints

($98 unframed, $115 framed from Ida Pearle)
We’ve long loved Ida Pearle’s exquisite custom name prints which are based on her original cut paper artwork. Choose from any of the 26 designs from her Alphabet card series then add a child’s name for absolutely charming artwork that brings the joys of childhood to any wall.