First birthday gifts can be hard to buy if you've not been exposed to many babies or toddlers. The easiest way to get some idea of what is appropriate to buy a 1 year old is to have an idea of the developmental stage they are generally at when they turn one.
Here are some all in one toys that give hours of pleasure for one year olds.
On their first birthday babies have just become or will soon become toddlers. This means that push and pull toys are a great choice to encourage movement. A great option is a push along wooden wagon with blocks. Some other great toys include ones which make noise when they are pulled along. Your card might include a phrase like "helping with those early, wobbling steps"!
Another great first birthday gift for hand eye co-ordination is a hammer through toy. Babies love repetition (even if their parents tire of it...!) and can spend ages hammering through the blocks, turning over the toy and starting all over again. You could write "helping your baby express him/herself, loudly!"
Other great co-ordination toys for one year olds include shape sorters and nesting boxes. The shape sorter is a great developmental baby toy for both co-ordination and learning colors and shapes. The card could read "to keep those little hands busy".
If the baby you're buying for already has a lot of toys, another gift idea is to get some toy boxes. There are plenty of nice looking ones, and the parents will love the present too. At this age babies pull everything out of a container and then put it all back in so you could include in the card "to hopefully help teach your little one how to put everything back in the box!".
If you're thinking of getting clothes check out the
Cool Baby Clothes
page for sizes and suggestions of appropriate types of clothes to buy for a one year old if you haven't got any idea how big or little the baby is. Your card might read "some frills and bows for your little angel" for a girl, or "a suave shirt for your smart little man". You may notice some of the manufacturers have a T in their sizing guides. This is for toddlers who are starting to come out of nappies, and is not appropriate for one year olds.
By this stage of the baby's life the parents are probably looking for ways to distract the baby for longer periods while they cook dinner, a mobile toddler or even a baby who crawls very quickly can get into a lot of mischief while their parent's head is turned. At times like this it can be very useful to have something to distract the baby like baby's videos. Your card might read "keeping baby occupied and out of mischief".
If you know the parents have already invested in several children's video, fun first birthday gifts might be cartoon baby toys. You could write "bringing the video to life".
It is highly likely that if the baby is living in a warm climate they are starting to learn how to swim (yes, it starts that young!). If the baby's first birthday falls near summer, baby pool toys are a fun gift which will help encourage the child to enjoy their experiences outdoors. Your card could read "making your time in the pool extra splashy".
If the family spend a lot of time outdoors then a baby swim suit will be a very welcome gift. Your phrase could be "keeping baby's skin soft and milky".
A practical first birthday gift is a safety pack for the baby's parents. You might include power outlet covers, a gate or some baby locks for the kitchen cupboards and drawers. Though it may not sound exciting as a gift, these items add up in expense quite quickly and, particularly if one parent is still not working, these could be a very gratefully received gift. A phrase you could use is "for peace of mind".