Looking For A Sentimental First Birthday Gift? – 5 Unique Ideas!

If you’re looking for suggestions on sentimental gifts for first birthdays, you’ve come to the right place! This roundup will give you some great ideas for a meaningful gift the little one in your life will cherish! These gifts will be enjoyed for years to come.

Read on for my favorite first-birthday gift ideas from parents.

This post may contain affiliate links. For my full disclosure policy click here.

This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy can be found here.

Brooklyn Turns One

I wasn’t very sentimental or easily emotional until I had my daughter. Well, that’s all changed!

I get teary-eyed reading Robert Munsch’s Love You Forever  every time. I cannot get through that story at bedtime! You too?

If there is a commercial with a baby being born, bring on the tissues.

Or talk about an upcoming holiday and all I can think is ‘how can I make this memorable and special for Brooklyn?’  What craft can I do to commemorate this first? What photo can I take to put in her memory book? How can she get involved in this day?

We are now at the point where her little friends are gearing up for their first birthdays.

Related: How to Throw a Teddy Bears Picnic 1st Birthday Party  

I always ask myself, what gifts have sentimental value? I then focus on finding presents that Brooklyn can gift that are meaningful and that her friends will keep/use forever or at least for a long time!

There is absolutely nothing wrong with getting a baby a toy for their birthday. They will love it immediately, whereas a sentimental first birthday gift might take years before they ‘get it’.

A way to solve that is to include a little toy that compliments the more meaningful gift.

This way they have something to open and play with on the day and also something they will treasure for a lifetime.

Here is my list of my Best Sentimental Gifts for a Baby’s 1st Birthday.  These ideas are sure to make unique gifts for both boys and girls! They can also work for older birthdays, Christmas, or other celebrations like a Baptism/Christening, etc.


Unique 1st Birthday Gifts for Girls

Unique 1st Birthday Gifts for Boys

Sentimental First Birthday Gift Guide

From Parents & Loved Ones

1. Teddy Bear Made From A Baby’s Sleeper

Sentimental first birthday gift - Stuffed bear made from baby pajamas

How sweet is this little bear!   This wonderful Etsy Shop will take one of your child’s sleepers and turn it into a bear you can keep forever.

I was gifted one for Brooklyn and also had one made for myself to keep.   Her name and birthday are on the bear’s feet.

Buy from this Etsy Shop. These will make sentimental gifts for kids of any age!

2.   Personalized 1st Birthday Cake Topper

Brooklyn’s friend Claire received this cake topper on her first birthday.   It complemented the Teddy Bear Picnic party her parents threw her.

Her mom ordered it from the Etsy shop  SweetCakeBoutique.

Toy to match: Fisher Price Baking Set

3.   Quilt made from baby’s clothing

Similar to the teddy bear above, make or have someone make a quilt from the baby or child’s clothing.

This is a more costly gift, but one they will keep forever, I’m sure! I still have the quilt I was gifted as a baby! While it has a few miles on it, it’s such a neat opportunity to share this with my child!

I loved the one I ordered from GillybugDesigns

Toy to match: Quilted sensory box

4. Personalized Name Book

Child reading a personalized name book

I got one of these for my niece for her first Christmas.   They are so cute and great for when they get a bit older and are learning their ABCs and how to spell their name.   The illustrations are also lovely.

One thing to keep in mind is if the child has a short name this book won’t work, but another style where they don’t spell the name, but use it in the story instead would be great.   Board books would be great for this age.

5. Tree or Rose Bush

Buying something that can be planted and enjoyed year-round (or in season depending on where you live) is so special! 

As they grow your child can participate in the watering and upkeep.   This makes for a great learning opportunity and bonding experience for you and your little one! And getting to spend more time outside playing in the dirt is always fun!

Child watering flowers in the garden

And how sweet would it be to take a photo next to their tree or rose bush each year to see how both are growing?

If you can, go the extra step and look for names that match the child or are somehow connected to them.  For example, the roses are the color of their birthstone. 

Toy to match:   gardening tools such as these or a kid sized lawn mower are classic for a reason.


I’m so excited to give our baby friend, Claire, her rose bush and bubble lawn mower in the next few weeks. Firstly, because I know she will love both, and secondly because her mom is just as much of a sap as I am (actually more, don’t tell her I said that).

I hope these first birthday gift ideas have sparked some creativity! Happy Gifting!

What’s the best sentimental baby gift you received as a child or your child has been given?

Do you have a first birthday keepsake or tradition in your family?

Toy and Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Girls

Toy and Gift Ideas for 1 Year Old Boys

Practical Gifts for 2 year olds (that aren’t toys)