I’ve gone through this once before and am about to, again – the challenging task of coming up with first birthday gift ideas for my little one. One year olds don’t understand much about gifts, at the time anyway, so my advice is to gift them something they will always remember. I’ve thought long and hard about this, asked other parents, and looked to the internet for some creative ideas. So here are my suggestions for some cool first birthday gift ideas. Keep in mind most of these will take some time but I know they will be worth the effort.
1.Video of their first year – Check out this one I made for my daughter. I simply used iMovie to put together videos I had captured on my iPhone and I wrote a song along with a few talented friends to accompany it. My BF Nayri recorded the song in a studio and we made it the theme song for the video. If you don’t have musical resources or talent around you, you can include a pre-recorded song. A few of my favorites for a project like this are: Dixie Chicks – Lullaby, Elton John – Blessed, Plumb – In My Arms.
2. Family heirloom – It can be a piece of jewelry like a necklace or a watch or an art piece. Something symbolic to remember for all time.
3. Digital frame with pictures of their first year – This is essentially your baby’s “year in review” and you can add pictures to the frame as they grow older. It’s the gift that keeps giving!
4. An Email – An email? Yes! But you have to start this one long before your baby is one, and preferably when they are born. Start an email with their name (e.g. their name and last name @gmail.com) and write emails to him/her regularly. You can write random messages or choose to write to them when they’ve accomplished a milestone or something cool. At the end of the year aim to write at least one email a month so they have a year full of memories in their mailbox.
6. Financial investment – If you want to gift to the first birthday and to the future, make a financial investment for your baby. You can start a simple savings account, create a CD account (which have a fixed term and rate and usually require that you don’t touch your money for a period of time but tend to pay higher interest rates) or invest in buying them life insurance (which cost VERY little for someone at a young age).
7. Donation – Make a donation in your child’s name. This is the first of hopefully many lessons about giving you can tell your baby about when he/she is old enough to understand. Tell them why donating is important and how to give as they live.
8. Photo session – Whether it’s a cake smash photo session, studio shots or an outdoor family shoot, capturing your little one at the age of one is a must! My personal favorites are cake smash sessions like the one I did with my daughter because they get to play with their cake and get all messy and have lot’s of fun. Either way they’ll love having professional pictures from this time, and you can also order prints for grandparents or hang them around the house.