In the blink of an eye, one year will go by and your little baby won’t be so little anymore! And, you’ll be fussing over presents, in full party-planning mode! Finding the perfect present for your little one on a budget is no easy task, which is why I put together a list of affordable first birthday gift ideas.
As parents, we feel that nothing is ever enough for our babies. We want to give them something beautiful, educational, engaging, and inexpensive. And every item on this list checks all of those boxes!
Our son has all the toys listed here (and he still uses most of them 2 years later!), so I can blindly recommend them as sturdy and entertaining.
Check out my list of the top affordable first Birthday gift ideas (There’s a rotating catalog at the bottom with all the items on this list, so you don’t have to scroll up again once you have gone through them all!)
The First Years Stack Up Cups
Simple, inexpensive, and effective.
This is one of those things you know babies are going to love!
We got them for our son when he was 4 months old, and he still uses them at 2 and a half years!
In fact, now we’re using them now for learning colors!
Talk about a great, lasting, gift. It makes a perfect toy for your baby’s first birthday on a budget.
Munchkin Float and Play Bubbles Bath Toy
Some babies love taking baths, some hate it.
Our son hates bath-time, and every time we need to give him a bath, it’s a struggle! But bath toys make it a helluffalot easier.
These in particular spin and rattle, and they float in the water. (Woah I’m a poet, I don’t know it!)
They are super cute, stimulating, and inexpensive.
Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys
You know those good ol’ teether toys? We love them!
Ollie no longer uses them, but he bit the crap out of the ones he had! They really soothed him.
I like the Nuby Ice Gel Teether Keys because, in my experience, if the teether has different textures, the better for teeth eruption!
And, you can cool it in the freezer and give it to your baby cold for an extra numbing effect.
Pro Tip: We sprinkled ours with a bit of Camilla’s teething gel to ease the pain in our son’s gums. (Wink, wink, he never knew;)) You can get some of that wonderful gel on Amazon here.
Baby Einstein Take Along Tunes Musical Toy
My son breaths music.
I mean, he takes forever to eat lunch because he uses the spoon as a drumstick! He sings when he’s in the car, he sings when he’s at the doctor, he sings at school.
And he loves musical toys. He has loved them ever since he was a newborn preemie in his incubator.
No wonder we love musical toys, too. And this Baby Einstein’s Tunes Musical toy is perfect! It’s inexpensive, it has different tunes, a sensory stimulating handle…
And. You. Can. Freaking. Turn. The. Volume. Down! (Yes, I’m looking at you, Fisher Price Smart Stages Puppy!!)
This is a gift that suits parents. And it fits perfectly with your baby’s first birthday on a budget.
The Oball Shaker
Ok, there’s a story behind this one.
When my baby was 3 months old, he stopped moving his arms and feet. Our doctor grew concerned, (and I was in a near crisis state with worry) because of his preemie history, she was worried that this regression may be a sign that something was seriously wrong.
We got daily physical therapy (which lasted for a couple of years, but that’s another story), and almost immediately, he started responding.
This was a good sign. However, there wasn’t any drastic improvement for a few months, and we were still watching him like a hawk.
Enter the Shaker.
I was doing some toy hunting for my niece’s birthday, pushing Ollie’s stroller around the toy store, and out of the blue… He leaned over and reached for the shaker with his arm and hand.
It may not sound like much, but this was the first time he had done it in months and a reassuring sign for me that all was going to be ok eventually. The doctors were impressed that he had taken such a huge leap!
I bought the shaker immediately. And the poor cashier lady didn’t understand a word I said in my sobbing hysteria.
I highly recommend the shaker for stimulating your little one’s arms and legs. It worked for us!
Melissa & Doug Wooden Building Blocks Set
This set with 100 blocks in 9 shapes and 4 colors is great for both babies and toddlers.
The colors are bright, the game is fun an educational, and the fun is lasting!
Our son has enjoyed his ever since he was 6 months old and he still loves it! We expect it to still be a source of fun for at least 2 more years since the block set’s playtime evolves with our son.
Just this afternoon he asked me if I could “Build a Castle” with him… then he destroyed it. It’s a classic toy and a great gift!
Mega Bloks 80-Piece Big Building Bag
This is another one of our son’s favorite toys! Even though it’s advertised for ages 12 months and up, we’ve been playing with Mega Bloks ever since Ollie was about 8 months old.
Our doctor recommended them to us for early stimulation, and to practice opening and closing of hands.
We soon were exploring other areas of play such as separating block and making funny “Be Strong” faces when they were to tight together. It’s a wonderful idea for your baby’s first birthday on a budget.
Developmental Bumpy Ball
This developmental toy is another of our top toys for babies.
The bumps encourage reaching, grasping, and transferring from one hand to the other. All are fundamental skills for a baby’s development.
The different textures will boost your baby’s tactile sensitivity, and the bright colors are great for developing the sense of sight.
VTech Drop & Go Dump Truck
This push & pull toy help babies learn to develop fine motor skills.
They need to lift the hinged bucket so that the truck can drop the rocks. It plays tunes, it counts the rocks dropped in it, and the rocks rumble inside when you push and pull the truck!
Winkel Rattle and Sensory Teether Toy
This super sensory messy ball is a must-have stimulating toy for babies. We had two of these since we always kept one in the car for the rides. Babies usually find them mesmerizing!
It’s great for two-hand grasping development, the shaking skill (since the center cube rattles), and a great teether (BPA-free, of course).
VTech Busy Learners Activity Cube
Fisher-Price Rock-a-Stack & Baby’s First Blocks Bundle
This is a 2 in 1 deal with Fisher-Price good ol’ classics!
Ollie received these as gifts when he was around 6 months old, and he plays with them a lot!
He was an early shape-sorter thanks to the shape sorting cube, and as I write this post I can hear him playing with daddy where the yellow ring should goy in the stacking toy.
They are great with fine motor skills, and with developing hand-eye coordination!
Here’s Ollie actually using them. ( I turned the pic into a pretty pin, by the way, so if you like the article, please pin it away and share the love!)
VTech Turn and Learn Driver
This super cute steering wheel has a doggie that moves along with the wheel!
It comes with buttons that play animal sounds, a traffic light, a rearview mirror, a gear shifter, and a signal level.
It’s fun, colorful, educational, and perfect for car rides! We still keep ours in the car!
We got this fish from my sister, and let me warn you: it’s bigger than it looks in the picture! But that only makes it extra cuddly! This colorful, squeaky fish has multiple textures and hidden pictures under the scales! The tail encourages pincer grasping and finger strength. It’s meant for tactile exploration, and it’s an engaging toy for babies! Oh! And it’s machine washable! Click here to buy it on Amazon.
Baby Einstein Rock Light and Roll Guitar Toy
Have I said our Ollie loves music? We love musical toys, one of the most important reasons is because through his love for music we have managed to develop his speech.
He has a tune for everything, and he sang before he talked – he actually sang his first words!
It’s a fun story, so I’ll tell you real quick. Whenever we gave him something, he would hum the same two-syllable tune. It was always the same. We gave him a toy. Hum. We gave him a binky. Hum. One day, I gave him his bottle and the sang “Thank you” in the same melody.
He was saying thank you all along, he just didn’t have the physical abilities to do it yet.
That’s how much we love music. That’s why musical toys make it to my lists!
This musical guitar features 10 tunes, it’s perfect for a baby’s grip, it has lights to keep your baby’s attention, and it has a rattler to complement the music.
Affordable First Birthday Gift Ideas for Parents on a Budget
Here’s my complete list of affordable first birthday gift ideas! You can tap on the pictures to purchase each item!
That’s a Wrap!
Are you looking for more Holiday gift ideas? Take a look at my Holiday gift guide for pregnant women! It’s full of products that women will actually love and use! What do you think? Aren’t these toys super cute? We go into such deep thought trying to find the perfect gifts for babies, I wanted to save you the trouble! Plus… they are affordable! So they are perfect for your baby’s first birthday on a budget! If you liked this article, please pin it or share it! I appreciate it!