10 brilliant presents for a baby’s first birthday

A reclining trike, dancing alien, squeaky eggs, trains, buses and a piggy bank – just some of the gifts to captivate a 12 month old

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OK, so reaching the grand age of 1 may be a little young to understand what a birthday actually is. The concept of time is restricted to ‘now’ and ‘not now’ when you’re 1. But it’s a fantastic time to learn, have new, exciting experiences and explore – and we’ve picked fantastic baby gifts that offer all this and more… 

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1. SmarTrike Recliner Infinity 5 in 1 Tricycle


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What is it: Think of this as an interactive pushchair-turned trike – perfect for getting babies and toddlers from A to B by putting them in the driving seat and introducing independence into each day. The trike comes in two colours, and grows with your child: it starts with a reclining seat ideal for naps, moves upright into a stroller seat, then morphs into three stages of trike.

Why we love it: There are footrests on the trike for little legs and the waist-high safety bar keeps babies securely fastened in until they’re more confident riders. The parent handle has five telescopic positions and allows you to control the trike while mini riders develop balance. Once the parent handle is removed it becomes an independent trike that toddlers can pedal themselves.

Suitable for ages: 10 months to 3 years

What it costs: £129.99 from Smyths Toys

2. Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move Beat Bo


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What is it: A lively, noisy, dancing alien-style toy that captivates babies and toddlers. Pressing Beat Bo’s bright tummy and feet will set off songs, phrases and lights and get little hands clapping.

Why we love it: Not only does Beat Bo entertain, it’s also got lots of educational elements, introducing babies and toddlers to letters, colours and numbers. Plus the speical extra is that you can record a phrase that Beat Bo will then mix into a song.

Suitable for ages: 9 months+

What it costs: £39.99 from Argos

3. Viners Bertie 4-piece kids cutlery set


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What is it: Babies won’t eat dinner off bendy plastic spoons forever, and this stainless steel set is a practical keepsake as toddlers learn to feed themselves and take part in family mealtimes. The knife, fork and two spoons have a cute bear embossed on each handle, perfectly sized for little hands.

Why we love it: Viners cutlery has its roots in Sheffield’s famous steel industry and the products are still designed in the UK. They come with a 25-year guarantee so might even become a keepsake to pass onto your children’s children.

Suitable for ages: 12 months+

What it costs: £12.99 from Housemakers

4. Tomy Hide and Squeak Eggs


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What is it: These 6 cheeky eggs with squeaky chicks and the sunshine-yellow egg box to keep them in are a classic toy and a favourite with babies and toddlers who love to sort objects into containers.

Why we love it: The eggs and chicks encourage colour and shape recognition and the chicks have a satisfying cheep when you press them down without the need for batteries.

Suitable for ages: 6 months+

What it costs: £6.99 from Smyths Toys

5. Wooden London Bus


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What is it: A bright wooden red bus with 8 colourful passengers to pop in, drive around and drop off. Chunky for small hands and easy to push on carpet or hard flooring.

Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a bus and people to put in it? With its open top, toddlers can choose which seat they can sit in – matching their striped, spotted and swirling colours.

Suitable for ages: 12 months+

What it costs: £20 from ELC

6. Personalised Wooden Push Along Toy


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What is it: Push along toys are the perfect present to encourage new walkers to toddle that little bit further. The faster you wheel them along, the more the little wooden beads jangle, making a satisfying clang and encouraging tentative steps.

Why we love it: These hand-painted wooden animals are brightly coloured and appealing on the eye – and your child’s name can be engraved on the handle to make it that bit more special.

Suitable for ages: 12 months+

What it costs: £19.99 from Getting Personal

7. VTech Toot-toot Drivers Gold Mine Train Set


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What is it: This motorised mining train toot-toots its way round 32 brightly coloured track pieces which can be laid out into different combinations. The SmartPoint technology recognises and responds to individual vehicles with fun sound effects and different sets can be combined for large scale play.

Why we love it: Younger children will enjoy watching the train chug around the track by itself while listening to sing-along songs and melodies. Older toddlers can have a go at building the track themselves, as well as shape sorting boulders from the mine mountain.

Suitable for ages: 1 to 5 years

What it costs: £52.99 

Available from: Marisota

8. Little Tikes Tap-a-tune Xylophone


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What is it: A classic xylophone with a full octave of rainbow-coloured chimes and a beater firmly attached with string so there’s no danger of losing it.

Why we love it: Little wheels and a handle mean baby Mozarts can use this as a pull toy, and there are easy to follow cards to teach older children the concept of how to follow music.

Suitable for ages: 1 to 3 years

What it costs: £12.99

Available from Little Tikes

9. Fisher Price Smart Stages Piggy Bank


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What is it: Drop coins into this musical piggy bank, then open the door on the piggy’s tummy and take them out… again and again and again. There are squeaky piggy songs to listen to when the piggy’s nose is pressed and questions and simple directions to follow to spark toddlers’ curiosity.

Why we love it: The coins teach numbers to one side and animals on the other and the Smart Stages technology provides two levels of play with sounds, songs and Spanish to learn as your child gets older. There’s also a volume control (hurrah!) and even without the batteries and sound effects, babies and toddlers will still enjoy dropping coins through the slot.

Suitable for ages: 6 months to 3 years

What it costs: £19.99 from ELC

10. Brio Ant with Rolling Egg


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What is it: This is Scandi-cool at its best, a classic pull-along toy with a beautifully smooth egg rotating magically as the ant trundles along.

Why we love it: Brio creates miniature works of art, polished and brightly painted wooden toys that are equally loved by parents and children. This little ant’s antennae, head and tail bobble along too and the rolling egg will fascinate toddlers, especially when it rolls out of their grasp and they can follow where it goes.

Suitable for ages: 12 months+

What it costs: £14.99 from Argos

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