As a family photographer in Medway, Kent I see a lot of babies ahead of their 1st birthdays. I often end up chatting to parents about the birthday plans they have to celebrate the occasion as well as birthday gifts. So I thought I would pop a few of the popular gift ideas for one year olds down..

It’s such an exciting time with it being their first birthday isn’t it! I remember trying to figure out how the year had whizzed by so fast. How was it a whole year ago since we had little newborn babies! Like most parents we want to celebrate their 1st birthday, whether it be a small family affair or a big party with friends and family. For my two children we did a mix of the two. My daughter had a Baby Sensory Medway party at my mums house in Rochester where we invited a few of her little friends over. Whereas for my son we hired a hall and soft play equipment. We found we had a lot more friends with children the same age and our guest list grew somewhat since my daughter was a baby!

Top 5 presents for 1 year old


Personalised story book for babies

What a fantastic way to help encourage, from a young age, that love for reading and storytelling. There are many companies offering personalised books. I found this website which has gathered a few options:

They can often personalise these books with children’s names and sometimes this could be the main character the book is based around. There are some that even ask about hair and eye colour etc so that the look of the character is also reflective of how your little one looks. I think these also make a great keepsake to add to those memory boxes. Babies and children of all ages love to hear stories so I think this is a fab first birthday present.


Photoshoot – cake smash / fruit bath for babies turning 1


Cake Smash babies birthday girl Medway

These are more popular than ever to capture your baby turning one. Cake smashes are such a fantastic way to celebrate their 1st birthday. The fun and mess is loved by babies who can smash, play and eat a yummy cake whilst we snap away capturing  photos to remember this occasion. They also double up and make fab thank you cards for those who buy your baby a gift for their first birthday. 

The other popular photoshoot that I do in my studio in Strood, Rochester for one year olds is a Fruit Splash session. This is one of my favourite shoots to photograph. Most one year olds love being in warm water, add to that a handful of fruit and not only do you have a gorgeous set up but they absolutely love it. We get to capture some funny faces, especially if lemon is involved, splashing and cheeky laughs.

Feel free to check out some of my images from previous 1st birthday cake smashes here :

Cake Smash for babies first birthday. Baby girl wearing white romper and pink headband eating and smashing cake.

Wooden children toys 

We all love classic wooden blocks and wooden puzzles. I know my two children really enjoyed playing with stacking blocks for ages. They have endless play opportunities. I often see the wooden puzzles that babies try to place in the correct shape in many different shapes and sizes. They come with popular characters etc on now also which i’m sure prove popular if baby is into some popular tv shows.

There is just something much more authentic about wooden toys over bright plastic toys isn’t there. I often have clients bringing in wooden items for props to be used with in newborn and baby photoshoots.  I had a mum bring a name train which had each letter of the babies name on a different carriage and they all joined together. It made a perfect addition to the newborn image.

Sensory toys for babies and toddlers

These can be anything from jingling bells to books with different textures. What better way to stimulate a one year old than using their senses. Another popular sensory gift is light up toys which stimulate babies but can also be used to create a sense of calm. The bubble towers  and fibre optics are also a fantastic example of this. Projectors for nurseries also offer a great stimulating show of lights from stars to oceans and characters. Here is a link to the top rated projectors by Mother and Baby

I hope this has helped anyone who may be looking for inspiration for gift ideas for those little ones in your lives. Whether it be for babies in the family or your friends one year olds. If you love the idea of buying a gift voucher for a photoshoot and you are local to Medway, Kent feel free to drop me a message at You can view my work at