My grandson’s birthday is approaching, and that prompted me to look through some advice dads have shared with me over the past 20+ years.
A father wrote asking for gift suggestions for his daughter’s upcoming first birthday. I asked other dads for ideas, and received this email full of wisdom from a guy named Michael:
I agree that something to practice walking is great, especially if she can put things in it. My daughter (18 months) loves a toys shopping cart. Not only does she love walking around pushing it -- she also loves to practice putting things in and taking things out.
One additional observation: I've noticed that my daughter doesn't really need fancy or elaborate toys to have a good time. She loves playing with anything, and everything. I think we (including myself) get caught up in toys, clothes, events, activities and equipment, when our daughters (at this age at least) don't really care about all that nearly as much.
Sure, she loves a good drum, but she's just as happy banging on a frying pan. Yes, she loves those gorgeous pajamas, but she's really more interested in the colorful wrapping paper they came in!
The one toy I've found my daughter cannot do without is myself. She loves climbing on me, jumping on me, dancing with me, and being chased by me.
She loves when I toss her on the bed or turn her upside down. She loves walking with me, cleaning with me, singing and dancing with me, or just having a nonsense conversation.
My point: Don't worry too much about your gift to your daughter on her first birthday. The only thing she really wants is you.
Learn more in my book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Being a New Dad.