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First Birthday Gifts

It's the baby's first birthday. Twelve exhausting months of joy, concern, worry, and devotion. Whether you're a parent, a godparent, or simply a well-meaning member of the family, a baby's first-ever anniversary is a cause for much celebration.

Choosing the right gift to mark that event is simpler than perhaps you might expect. In giving a unique gift, many parents are choosing to mark the occasion, not necessarily as an opportunity to notice the birthday, but to commemorate the young life's success so far. If that seems overblown, consider how much a baby has grown in just twelve months time, compared to how little adults change in the same time period. Babies do a lot of their development in the first twelve months, and experts say many personality traits manifest for the first time during the baby's earliest weeks. The baby's made a year - that alone is an accomplishment!

One gift-giving approach, especially apt for godparents and friends of the family, is giving a personalized gift that marks the occasion of the birth with something that can be passed down as a keepsake. An engraved spoon or personalized dinner plate, for example, can be used for years to come, and remain handy for the baby's children. Other types of personalized gifts include quilts, stepstools, and baby chairs. These make lovely additions to the nursery and remain useful for future little brothers and sisters that may arrive in the future.

Another gift very similar to the personalized keepsake is a custom-made scrapbook or frame. Scrapbooking has become one of the hottest hobby trends in recent years, and chronicling a baby's first twelve months is a thoughtful and loving gift to give parents that were perhaps otherwise preoccupied to organize their baby photos. And like the keepsake ornament, it can be saved and passed down as a family heirloom. Scrapbooks are relatively inexpensive, and can be customized and decorated according to the giver's taste and time investment.

Like the scrapbook, customized photo frames are an excellent gift idea. A frame with two pictures, one of the infant newly arrived home, and the next of the child at 12 months, personalized with their name and birth date, makes an endearing gift that parents will love. Another possibility is a combination of the practical and sentimental. For example, a combination personalized photo frame and blanket set is functional, yet provides for a keepsake as well. Similarly, a frame and shawl set provides the functionality of a multi-purpose garment with the nostalgia of a remembrance of when the baby was young. As always, the personalizing touch is a great way to take a gift that's already memorable and turn it into something unique. Most personalization, too, can be done quickly and without great expense, and is usually offered by the gift merchant.

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