The first birthday is a major milestone and signals the transition from baby to toddler. Over the past 12 months, your little has been exploring and discovering the world around them and is now ready to really dive into playtime and learning. From first words and first steps, this next year is going to be a big one. 🎉

If you're a mama unsure of what to suggest as gifts to friends and family, or attending a first birthday and have no idea what to bring, we rounded up our favorite gifts for 1-year-olds.

Freshly Picked counting sheep city moccs

While it might seem far away, your little will be on the move soon. Choose a pair that is cute, will match plenty of outfits and has elastic around the top so you can easily slip them on and off.

$48

Chelsea kids upholstered chair with cup holder

This chair creates the perfect space for kids to read, snuggle or play in for years to come. The grey neutral helps it fit in with the decor in your home and the white piping and tufted buttons are a great sophisticated touch you don't normally see on kid's furniture. Plus how can you not love the functional details of the cup holder and the side pocket for books?

$99.99

Manhattan Toy tree top adventure activity center

One-year-olds are curious and enjoy exploring—that's why we love gifting an activity table that encourages learning and creativity. With hands-on gadgets and a low height, toddlers get to play for hours in a safe setting.

$69.99

Bobo&Boo bamboo 5 piece children’s dinnerware

A dinnerware set encourages kids to eat on their own and learn how to properly use utensils—without messing up mama's good set. 😉This 5-piece one is non-toxic and eco-friendly and comes in a variety of colors that will match any kitchen.

$21.95

KidKraft vintage kitchen

A play kitchen is sure to be a hit for years because it allows littles to use their imagination and encourages independent learning. With knobs that click and turn and drawers that open and close, this interactive kitchen makes them feel like they're in a real one.

$91.98

First builders big building bag

Blocks are one of those toys that are guaranteed to be a hit for kids of all ages. They're a great foundation toy that inspires open-ended play and builds their fine motor skills.

$14.99

'Little Feminist' board book set

Reading the same books to your child over and over again has long-lasting benefits, but adding to their library is always a good idea. Hearing your words and see pictures sparks imagination at helps your little learn.

$13.49

EZPZ mini mat + bapron bundle in sage and root veggies

While they might have outgrown their bib, toddlers are messy. We love this "bapron" because it covers more so food stays off of baby and their clothing. And this silicone feeding mat suctions to the table so you don't have to worry about it falling (or getting thrown) off the table. Plus, how adorable is that print?

$35

Unicorn stuffed animal

Every child needs a beautiful stuffed animal to play with. It not only encourages imagination, but it serves as a comfort for them as they grow. The Little Market has beautiful knit animals that supports women artisans around the world.

$26

 College fund donation

College tuition is pricy and it's hard to imagine just how much it'll cost by the time your favorite little will graduate. Jumpstart the process by sharing a monetary donation specifically for college each year.

Sites like UGift allow you to donate to a 529 fund (just read the fine print as some take a portion of your contribution). You can also gift via a US Savings Bond or a check that parents put directly into a college savings account.

Cossy wooden baby learning walker

A push toy or learning walker helps baby take their first steps and master walking around. We love this one that doubles as a toy with building blocks on it.

$39.99

Melissa & Doug caterpillar xylophone

While this one will make lots of noise, musical toys have tons of benefits for baby, like enhancing their memory and boosting cognitive skills. This wood is eco-friendly and non-toxic and made with metal keys that are safe for little ones.

$11.69

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When it comes to holiday gifts, we know what you really want, mama. A full night's sleep. Privacy in the bathroom. The opportunity to eat your dinner while it's still hot. Time to wash—and dry!—your hair. A complete wardrobe refresh.


While we can't help with everything on your list (we're still trying to figure out how to get some extra zzz's ourselves), here are 14 gift ideas that'll make you look, if not feel, like a whole new woman. Even when you're sleep deprived.

Gap Cable-Knit Turtleneck Sweater

When winter hits, one of our go-to outfits will be this tunic-length sweater and a pair of leggings. Warm and everyday-friendly, we can get behind that.

$69.95

Gap Cigarette Jeans

These high-waisted straight-leg jeans have secret smoothing panels to hide any lumps and bumps (because really, we've all got 'em).

$79.95

Tiny Tags Gold Skinny Bar Necklace

Whether engraved with a child's name or date of birth, this personalized necklace will become your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

$135.00

Gap Brushed Pointelle Crew

This wear-with-anything soft pink sweater with delicate eyelet details can be dressed up for work or dressed down for weekend time with the family. Versatility for the win!

$79.95

Gap Flannel Pajama Set

For mamas who sleep warm, this PJ set offers the best of both worlds: cozy flannel and comfy shorts. Plus, it comes with a coordinating eye mask for a blissed-out slumber.

$69.95

Spafinder Gift Card

You can't give the gift of relaxation, per say, but you can give a gift certificate for a massage or spa service, and that's close enough!

$50.00

Gap Stripe Long Sleeve Crewneck

This featherweight long-sleeve tee is the perfect layering piece under hoodies, cardigans, and blazers.

$29.95

Gap Chenille Smartphone Gloves

Gone are the days of removing toasty gloves before accessing our touchscreen devices—thank goodness!

$9.95

Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug

Make multiple trips to the microwave a thing of the past with a app-controlled smart mug that'll keep your coffee or tea at the exact temperature you prefer for up to an hour.

$79.95

Gap Flannel Shirt

Our new favorite flannel boasts an easy-to-wear drapey fit and a flattering curved shirttail hem.

$59.95

Gap Sherpa-Lined Denim Jacket

Stay warm while looking cool in this iconic jean jacket, featuring teddy bear-soft fleece lining and a trendy oversized fit.

$98.00

Gap Crazy Stripe Scarf

Practical and stylish, this cozy scarf adds a pop of color—well, colors—to any winter ensemble.

$39.95

Nixplay Seed Frame

This digital picture frame is perfect for mamas who stay up late scrolling through their phone's photo album to glimpse their kiddos being adorable. By sending them to this smart frame to view throughout the day, you can get a few extra minutes of sleep at night!

$165.00

Gap Crewneck Sweater

Busy mamas will appreciate that this supersoft, super versatile Merino wool sweater is machine washable.

$59.95

This article was sponsored by GAP. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and Mamas.

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With so many toys out there, it can be hard to find intentional gifts for our children that are both fun and meaningful. Using a Montessori approach to your holiday shopping this year doesn't mean your choices need to be academic. There are plenty of Montessori-friendly toys that are beautiful and engaging, but also appeal to children's developmental needs.

Montessori toys are usually made from natural materials, non-electronic and foster independent play, creativity and concentration. Montessori materials are simple and somewhat minimalist in general, and this is especially true for infants and young toddlers. The world is so stimulating for these little ones already, that simple toys made of natural materials spark the child's curiosity without being overwhelming.

Here are some great options for the littlest ones on your list this year!

Black and white image cards

montessori kids gifts

As young babies can't yet see color, simple black and white images are the most striking to them. This set is great because the images can be used individually, or strung together into a book.

Age: 0-18 months

$15.99

Montessori mobiles

montessori kids gifts

While many mobiles are designed primarily to make the nursery look adorable, the traditional set of Montessori mobiles was developed specifically to provide the ideal level of visual stimulation at each stage for your growing baby.

Age: 0-18 months

$79.99

Activity gym

lovevery play gym

Many activity gyms can be overstimulating, but this one features wood and more muted colors and designs. It also converts into a little tent when baby is older and on the move.

Age: 0-18 months

$140

Wooden toy set

wooden toys for kids

These classic Montessori baby toys each isolate one concept that baby is working on, such as cause and effect (shaking a rattle), and in and out (placing a peg in a cup).

Age: 0-18 months

$26.19

Puzzle ball

montessori toy for kids

Puzzle balls are easy for babies to grasp and they don't roll too far. This encourages babies who are trying to learn to crawl, as the ball rolls just out of reach and they exert all their effort to scoot toward it.

Age: 0-18 months

$21.50

Object permanence box

montessori wooden toys

As your baby drops the ball into the hole, watches it disappear, and then finds it again, he learns that things do not necessarily disappear when he can't see them anymore.

Age: 0-18 months

$22.99

Global Babies book

montessori kids books

It is never too early to start reading to your baby and books that feature real images of people, nature and everyday items are a great place to start.

Age: 0-18 months

$5.99

Finger paints

crayola fingerpaint

As soon as your baby is sitting up independently, he can begin to enjoy finger painting, which is a wonderful sensory experience as well as an early introduction to creative art.

Age: 0-18 months

$16.83

Wooden shape puzzle

wooden toys for kids

This is a great first puzzle as it is made of beautiful wood and has only five pieces.

Age: 0-18 months

$23.71

Pop up toy

kids wooden toys

This toy is so simple, yet so entertaining for babies and young toddlers, who love practicing taking things out and putting them back in.

Age: 1-3 years old

$12.14

Watering can

kids watering can

A quality child-sized watering can is one of the earliest ways small children can help with yard work.

Age: 1-3 years old

$11.78

Mop and broom set

kids chore set

Toddlers love to help with whatever household chores you are doing. A mop and broom just their size allows them to clean alongside you.

Age: 1-3 years old

$23.99

Learning tower

kids learning tower

This enables your child to work with you at the kitchen counter. This particular model lets him climb in and out of the tower independently.

Age: 1-3 years old

$199.99

Pizza making set

kids pizza cooking set

Toddlerhood is the perfect time to introduce early kitchen skills, and what more fun way than making pizza together?

Age: 1-3 years old

$27.99

Hands Can book

kids books

This book features beautiful photos of children exploring, communicating, and showing kindness with their hands.

Age: 1-3 years old

$7.79

Wooden blocks

kids wooden blocks

Open-ended toys like wooden blocks encourage creativity and long stretches of concentration.

Age: 1-3 years old

$10.39

Musical instruments

kids musical intruments

Exploring rhythm and music together is a great activity for those cold winter months when outdoor play may be more limited.

Age: 1-3 years old

$29.99

Rainbow stacker

childrens rainbow stacker

This stacker looks beautiful on the shelf and also offers a challenge and introduces the concept of rainbow order.

Age: 1-3years old

$13.99

Easel

kids easel

An easel is ideal for early art work like finger painting and painting with large brushes.

Age: 1-3 years old

$69.99

Felt weather board

kids weather chart

As growing toddlers become increasingly aware of and interested in the wider world around them, the weather becomes a fascinating topic.

Age: 1-3 years old

$20.95

Primary lacing beads

kids counting beads

There are so many fun ways for your 3-year-old to play with these colorful beads and necklaces. They encourage fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination and open-ended play.

Age: 3-6 years old

$12.49

Hammer toy

kids hammer toy

This early hammering work is great for hand-eye coordination and introducing a real life skill. This one provides a greater challenge.

Age: 3-6 years old

$22.98

Pattern blocks or pattern play

kids pattern blocks

Exploring patterns is highly engaging and great for pre-math skills.

Age: 3-6 years old

$17.59

Parts of the body layered puzzles

kids learning puzzle

These challenging puzzles depict the human body in layers, from a skeleton all the way to a fully dressed child.

Age: 3-6 years old

$39.99

Memory game

kids memory game

Memory game is a wonderful gift that grows with your child, as younger children enjoy simply examining and matching the pictures and older children love the actual game.

Age: 3-6 years old

$18.75

Young carpenter's set

kids carpenters set

Once a child can be safe and in control, giving him real tools builds his confidence and allows him to participate in purposeful work.

Age: 3-6 years old

$11.89

Bingo

kids butterfly bingo book

Simple games like bingo allow young children to practice playing a game with friends, including how to win and lose graciously.

Age: 3-6 years old

$14.93

Fun with magnets set

fun with magnets set

Toys that support scientific exploration encourage your child to be his own teacher and keep his curiosity alive.

Age: 3-6 years old

$17.63

Yoga pretzels with yoga mat

kids yoga mat

Yoga helps children learn self-regulation, calming breathing techniques and control of their bodies. Bonus: Add these yoga cards!

Age: 3-6 years old

$14.28

Japanese brush painting set

Japanese brush painting set

Calming activities like Japanese brush painting help children in Montessori classrooms learn to be peaceful and can do the same in your home.

Age: 5 years old+

$34.95

Origami set

kids origami kit

Origami encourages development of spacial skills and a different way of thinking and children love seeing all of the things they can create with just paper.

Age: 3-6 years old

$13.46

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Can you believe it's already time to start decorating for the holidays? And this year, Target is making it easier than ever to create inviting holiday spaces that are still neat, organized and clutter-free. Whether your style is whimsical, traditional or rustic, there are plenty of neutral creams, frosty whites and touches of evergreen that will take you through the holidays and well into the new year with style.

This holiday also marks the 3-year anniversary of the launch of Joanna Gaines' Hearth & Hand with Magnolia line. The collection features nearly 300 new pieces from gifting and décor to entertaining. Oh, and this season they have faux Christmas trees!

Ready to create your own modern winter wonderland at home? Grab our favorite minimalist piece:

Joy wire Christmas wreath

Joy wire Christmas wreath

The word "Joy" isn't a holiday classic for nothing—it's sure to bring lots of smiles and laughs to any home. And when it's atop the garland in this festive wreath, it's an instant pick-me-up. Plus, for an extra twist: This comes pre-strung with white LED bulbs for a little light to brighten dark spaces.

$45

Mini cable-knit stocking

Mini cable-knit stocking

This stocking brings simplistic holiday cheer to just about any living space. This mini size is perfect for little ones or if you just want stockings that don't take up too much space.

$4

Faux white pine garland

Faux white pine garland

Bring the outdoors indoors with a garland that can be framed around your door. Or add holiday spirit to your table runner with a garland centerpiece. We love how realistic this one looks for such an affordable price.

$24.99

Whitewash advent calendar

Whitewash advent calendar

Let's be honest, advent calendars are nice, but some have gone a bit overboard in how complicated they are. But not this one. The cutout shape of a tree features rows of numbers, while a roaming wreath moves the countdown along. Simple, yet chic.

$20

Round tree skirt

Round tree skirt

No tree is complete without a beautiful tree skirt. This striped one is a must-have for a farmhouse-inspired atmosphere. Even better if you want a splash of rustic charm that matches your other holiday décor.

$39.99

Mini marquee star wall sign

Mini marquee star wall sign

Brighten up your living room with this attention-grabbing statement piece. Hang the star sign on your entryway wall to help welcome guests, or place it on your mantel, shelf or end table alongside other accents to add touches of holiday cheer in a minimalist way.

$8

Ceramic house decorative figurine

Ceramic house decorative figurine

This tiny house with windows, door and a chimney lends realistic, whimsical appeal, but the solid ceramic design allows it to be used from season to season. Place a small light inside to light up your mantle when standard candles won't suffice.

$8

Wood garland

Wood garland

Sometimes less is more! Upgrade your staircase or tree with this simplistic wooded garland. Pair with fresh cedar and grapevine twigs to create a striking focal point on your home.

$12.99

Joy wall decor

Joy wall decor

Create holiday cheer in a small way by adding holiday wall art that sparks a bit of joy.

For a refined look, the decor offers a hardwood frame and the sawtooth back allows for easy display on tiny spaces that need a touch of holiday spirit.

$9.99

Stocking holder

Stocking holder

Minimalists will rejoice for this multi-tasking stocking holder—acting as both festive signage and a holder for multiple stockings. It's simple, charming and will look great on your mantle for years to come.

$29.99
Holiday Shopping Guides

Do you feel it?

That little spark ✨ in the air that only comes around this time of year is starting to buzz and pop around us. There's nothing quite like the joy and excitement that comes with counting down to the holidays—especially with your kids who think last Christmas was forever ago.

And what better way to count down to Christmas than with an Advent calendar? We've rounded up our favorites that you can use year after year, mama.

House advent calendar

It's perfectly neutral to go with any type of holiday decor, but is made to bring a spark of magic and fun as your kids rush each morning to find out what's inside the tiny drawers.

$55.30

Advent calendar wreath

This has to be the most unique advent calendar we've ever seen. We love everything about it: The simple metal hoop, the greenery and the 24 kraft boxes that can be filled with goodies for both adults and kids. It's so pretty, we might even leave it up past Christmas!

$35

Countdown to Christmas advent calendar

We love that you can fill this one with your own treats that can change as your kids grow. And it doesn't have to be sweets. It can be filled with stickers, little toys, handmade goodies and more.

$38

Modern farmhouse Christmas countdown

No treats required for this simple, beautiful sign.

$34.95

Metal advent calendar

This sleek metal sign comes with 25 small muslin bags and 30 cards you can tuck into each one. The cards have an activity or kind gesture you and your kids can do to celebrate the season.

$40

Ernie and Irene llama advent calendar

Add a touch of whimsy and coziness with this sweet calendar featuring a knit llama.

$128

DIY advent calendar kit

For the crafty mamas in the group, this sweet kit has everything you and your family need to create your advent calendar together. Once you've assembled all the houses, you can fill it with whatever treats your family will love.

$36

Customizable advent calendar

This sweet and modern fabric calendar can be customized with your family name or cherished holiday phrase. It also comes with a set of 24 activity cards you can pop into each pocket.

$107

Clever Creations traditional wooden Christmas advent calendar

Clever Creations Traditional Wooden Christmas Advent Calendar

This beautiful calendar is a showpiece. It lights up to create a cozy and festive scene.

$43

Light-up stacking house glitter advent calendar

Enjoy a tower of pre-lit cottages that will light up your home each day leading up to Christmas.

$149

My Kindness advent calendar

My Kindness Advent Calendar

The holidays are all about giving—and that doesn't stop with just material items. We can give in the form of kindness every single day, and this calendar helps us do just that.

$75

Blue and gray Christmas socks advent calendar garland

We love the twist on a traditional calendar with this sweet garland of 24 stockings.

$29.69

Motherly is your daily #momlife manual; we are here to help you easily find the best, most beautiful products for your life that actually work. We share what we love—and we may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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One of my favorite things to do is spoil my niece and nephews and this especially rings true during the holidays. Parents can give practical gifts, grandparents can give sweet presents, but aunts and uncles have the pleasure of just focusing on gifting items that are pure fun. After all, we don't have to go home with that loud drum set and hear banging for hours. 😉

My littles' age ranges from 1 to 10-years old so I have to be strategic when it comes to gift giving. The toddler obsesses over surprise toys, but I really have to nail the cool factor for the oldest. (I've learned it really does get harder to find the perfect present as they get older). So I've been doing my research to ensure they'll actually use these presents year-round.

Here are some of the items on my short list this year:

Kids sports jersey

kids yankees jersey

My oldest nephew is really starting to enjoy sports and while I can't fly him to a Yankees game just yet (I'm working on getting permission, don't worry) this is the next best thing. He can wear it at home to watch games or sport it to school because it's machine-washable.

$39.99

Makeup kit

girls makeup

If there's anything I know my niece loves, it's unicorns and makeup. This set has bright colors, actual brushes and even nail polish. And I know mama will feel good that it's non-toxic and water-based so it'll wash off with no problem.

$15.99

Blanquil weighted blanket

kids weighted blanket

I didn't believe in the weighted blanket craze until I tried it myself. Spoiler alert: It really does help with sleep. So when I saw that they made mini versions for kids, I was sold. It's only 7 pounds and oh-so-soft, making it the perfect blanket to cuddle up with for nap time.

$109

Movie gift card

amc movie gift card

I love taking the older two kids out on adventures and one of their favorite things is going to grab food and see a movie. I'd pair this gift card with a note letting them know they can choose to redeem it whenever they want. Plus, they get to pick where we eat. (Almost always McDonalds, but I'll take it).

$25

Hape pound + tap bench

hape hit bench

The baby (okay, he's technically a year-and-half old now) loves to explore and figure things out. This bench will let him toss balls, hit the keyboard and make music—keeping him entertained for more than just a few minutes and helping him develop fine motor skills. Win-win-win!

$25.90

X-box bundle

xbox bundle

The 10-year-old can be hard to impress, but lucky for him his birthday falls in December too so I always splurge a little more on him. This bundle includes the Xbox One console, wireless controller, 1-month trial of Game Pass and Live Gold and Lego Speed Champions add-on. Mama will love the family settings it features and I'll officially be the coolest aunt of the year.

$299

Season pass to a theme park

season pass

Every summer, the kids love going to Carowinds, a theme and water park in their area. So, gifting them a whole season is something I know they'll use (and it's a gift for mama, too).

$90

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