When my first niece turned one, I was living over 3,000 miles away in Canada. I had absolutely no clue what to buy for her birthday. Could she walk? Talk? What could she eat? Could she hold a crayon yet? I had no idea.
Do you have a one year old? If not, the chances are you have no idea what a one year old is into either, right?
What I really needed back then was a cheat sheet - a simple guide to one year olds, so I wouldn’t feel completely out of my depth when shopping (and also when I came back to visit).
Now that I have more of a clue about babies and children, I thought that this simple guide might help anyone else who doesn't know where to even start.
Check out the other guides in this series:
Most one year olds have learnt how to get where they want to be by now. They may be walking, or might still be crawling or shuffling... one thing is for sure, though, if they see something they want they know how to get to it.
Another key skill developed around one year is the pincer grip (thumb and forefinger). This means a one year old will be able to pick things up, including very small items. And they really want to explore it all... with their mouth. Anything that they can pick up will undoubtedly end up getting sucked or chewed. You have been warned.
Whilst you can't expect a conversation yet, most one year olds are learning to make distinct sounds and starting to sound out and repeat simple words. Expect lots of "Hi", "Bye", "Mamamama", "Dadadada" when you visit (and try to look suitably impressed). As with anyone learning a new language, their understanding will often be far ahead of ability at this stage, and they can usually follow simple instructions.
will include anything they can explore. Avoid any pieces smaller than 3cm, and bear in mind that anything you give will be chewed immediately.
Walkers: like a zimmer frame for a baby, these can help the new toddler get from A to B with ease... and can also help with the transition from crawling to walking.
"That's Not My..." books: these contain different textures and colours within the pictures, which can be touched and looked at and, yes, chewed.
Simple Building Blocks: This gift is a grower. Initially the colours and shapes, as well as the sound made when pieces are banged together, will be interesting. As the months progress, stacking (and demolishing!), organising and moving the blocks around will keep him or her stimulated.
Be So Baby Play Box: Of course, beautifully wrapped, with a handwritten note and sent directly to the recipient (if you would like), the easiest option of all is to choose one of our gift boxes. The Play Box includes a lightweight cotton balloon cover, which can be sucked and chewed (and popped in the washing machine). A simple matching game and bamboo jigsaw puzzle are full of exciting colours, shapes and textures, and will continue to be fun throughout the year as his or her skills, vocabulary and abilities develop further.
Wrapping Paper: Inevitably, at one year old, the favourite part of any gift will probably be the paper that it is wrapped in. This can be ripped, crumpled and tasted (if not whipped away fast enough).
All the useful information about key toddler development at age one is contained in our Beginner's Guide to One Year Olds pdf. Sign up to our newsletter here to receive your own copy
Hopefully this has helped give you more of an idea about one year olds. Please leave any of your own tips and ideas in the comments!
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