You made it!! Congratulations! That first year of parenthood can be so overwhelming and so wonderfully joyous. You have made it through the first teeth, the first bath, and the first giggle. You may have even had a chance to see those first steps. It really is the most miraculous thing. But now you are asking yourself, "What on earth do I get this cutie for a birthday present?" This interesting thing happens that no one seems to talk about... When your Sweet Joy turns one, they are in an "in-between".
You have been so excited about the prospect of baby, and so bored (Who said that? Not me. I didn't say that.) with the 3,654,298 hours of breastfeeding, or bottle making, that you have probably already purchased all the teethers, balls and cuddles any child could possibly use while surfing Amazon. At one, they still won't be out of this mouthing stage, and they won't be in the next for several months yet. What is a parent to do?
Well... I've been there a few times. The first time, I bought more baby stuff. I was then pleasantly surprised (annoyed, peeved, perturbed) when my Sweet Boy progressed past this stage and I was surrounded with brand new stuff he had barely touched. The good news! I forgot it all immediately in the adorableness of toddler town. Two years later, when Bubs turned one I repeated the experiment. (I did the same bloody thing!!!) Once again, he outgrew the phase before the toys could lose their shine. Alright. Ladybug for the win. I remembered what happened and aimed older, and I am so glad I did. The boys don't remember what they got for their first birthdays. She won't either! But she will enjoy playing with her gifts much longer than they did, and I will not have wasted money in the process. Win-win! Here's the truth, Mama. Aim older. Because the stage they are in right now is going to BLINK by, and in its place is a stage that will last for years. Once you are past the teethers, you get into the really fun stuff! Aim older Mama. Just do it. You will not regret your decision. (Rest assured, the grandparents will be picking up all the slack on the "toys they can put in their mouths right now" front.) Here is a list of the things you should consider getting... I know. I know. Should is a naughty word in this century. I stick by it, though.
So. It isn't a giant list of things you will mull over and second guess for weeks, but I'm here to give you the straight shot. I have raised three babies. I have watched so. many. more. These are the handful of things they will come back to over and over again for the next year. Whatever you go with, Mama, I hope you have the most beautiful day. I pray the weather is perfect, and the spouse is perfect, and the in-laws are perfect, and the baby naps when you expected him to. I wish you a perfect memory. And no matter what happens, it will be. Your own special, Sweet Joy... Your gift from heaven is turning one. Congratulations!
As always, I hope our journey can inspire your own.
Love and blessings,
Buckets and Berries