Baby, you've come a long way!
April 14, 2009 7:45 PM   Subscribe

I need gift ideas that are unique and perhaps a bit quirky for best friend who's baby turns 1 next month, kind of like a Yay! You survived the first year! presesnt. Bonus points if you can recommend a good gift for the baby that isn't clothing, battery operated or will be tossed in the junk pile in 6 months.
posted by Leezie to Shopping (14 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
When my daughter turned one, I got myself a Superhero necklace. For the kiddo: books! Some favorites at my house: Fireman Small, The Story of Ferdinand and Rush Hour.
posted by ellenaim at 7:53 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

Soft leather pull-on shoes for the baby, who is probably a new walker or getting ready to walk right about now.

For best friend, maybe some sassy article of clothing, now that she's hopefully gotten past the stage of being up at night all the time and can pay attention to her own appearance again. You are a thoughtful friend!
posted by lakeroon at 7:53 PM on April 14, 2009

Maybe a gift card to a favorite restaurant and an offer to watch the baby for the night? It won't work if you aren't local to them, but the gift of time may be appreciated.
posted by tommccabe at 7:59 PM on April 14, 2009

I'm sure savings bonds or contributions to college funds aren't fun to play with, but baby will probably appreciate them later, parents now.
posted by cestmoi15 at 7:59 PM on April 14, 2009

At the year mark, I would have loved a gift basket of really good coffee, really good dark chocolate, and REALLY good wine, along with a gift certificate from my best friend that read "Go ahead and indulge--I promise to watch the baby for an afternoon. Call me with a date."

Your friend is probably keeping track of a ton of stuff. Adding to the pile may not be the best thing right now, which is why I'm suggesting gifts that can be consumed.

But honestly? Offer to babysit. If you're not nearby, then maybe get her a membership to a children's science museum in her area (or some public space for kids where she can let her little one run around with minimal supervision).

For the baby? The CARL! books, in board book format. Plot summary for all of them: Mother leaves child with Rottweiler. Mayhem ensues. Mother returns, none the wiser. My 17-month-old can't get enough of Carl and sometimes I consider adopting a Rottweiler.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:02 PM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

For the kid, Banjo puppets are really appealing (way cuter in person than in the photos, and kids love them).
For mama, maybe a really nice handbag?
posted by twistofrhyme at 8:09 PM on April 14, 2009

The classic first birthday present in our family is a set of plastic kitchen items (large bowl, large cup, two spoons). Being plastic they are unbreakable, don't make too much noise when pounded and can be used as bath toys. When baby finally outgrows them, they go into Mom's kitchen cabinets. (I still have and use the ones that the grandparents gave to my adult son for his first birthday.)
posted by metahawk at 8:11 PM on April 14, 2009

For the mom? A massage, and babysitting during. For the kid? A membership to a museum with a kids play space, or zoo membership. It's always great to have someplace to go on either rainy days; or for some place like the zoo, a chance to go more often than one would if the admission has to be paid every time.

(Aside - the Carl books ARE great. We had a Rottie until she passed when our daughter was one and a half, and our kid gets her childhood and that of the little girl in the Carl books confused.)
posted by peagood at 8:27 PM on April 14, 2009

The museum membership, gift card to a restaurant, or handbag would be well-appreciated, surely, but to me those would be expensive gifts for a friend's child's first birthday. Did you have a price range in mind? Honestly, to me, the fact that my friend picked up something for me, too, would just put me flat on the ground with gratitude. You are very thoughtful.

For the baby, I'd suggest bristle blocks or standard blocks. (I know nothing about the vendors I linked; it was just for the product info.) They're classic and can be used from a very young age.

If you go with books, I would suggest books with pop-up windows; at that age, my children haven't been interested in just words.
posted by palliser at 8:30 PM on April 14, 2009

I really wish I knew someone with young kiddies so I could get them these blocks.
posted by you're a kitty! at 8:34 PM on April 14, 2009

A set of Baby, Be Of Use! books.
posted by the latin mouse at 1:40 PM on April 15, 2009

Quirky? Not junk? My baby is 11 months old and loves his miniature guitar*. If you can't get hold of a proper 6 string, a Ukulele would probably do as well.

If your friend is anything like me, she might still be caught somewhere between her Nasty Old Fat Clothes From The First Six Months I Never Want To See Again and her Painstakingly Acquired Pieces From Back When I Was A Person That Don't Fit Me Yet. I'd very much appreciate something like a clever/bright/Pop Art T shirt to brighten up my transition wardrobe, whatever your friend's personal style she probably has an equivalent.

*Admittedly, not as much as he loves our big shiny off-limits guitars.
posted by Catch at 4:08 AM on April 16, 2009

I absolutely second (third? etc) the recommendations of a membership. For my boys' first birthday, I asked for their grandparents to get us memberships to the local zoo and children's museum. It is wonderful to have something to do with the kids on the weekends and not have to pay a dime.
posted by pyjammy at 10:18 AM on April 16, 2009

I like the zoo/museum membership idea too, but maybe in a couple years when the kid can enjoy it a little more. Maybe Mom would like a charm bracelet that she or others can add to after other life events? Trollbeads and Pandora are popular.
posted by chiraena at 7:37 PM on April 19, 2009

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