1 year olds

What Do 1 Year Olds Need?

There is a post floating around on social media that serves as a guide for buying kids gifts. It goes “1 thing they want, 1 thing they need, 1 thing they wear, and 1 thing they read.” Well if you want to know what your 1 year old wants, wears, or reads then check out our other posts using the links below. If you already know what your 1 year old wants then you may be asking yourself “what do 1 year olds need?”

>>Related Post: Toys for 1 year olds<<

>>Related Post: Clothes for a 1 year old<<

 >>Related Post: Books for 1 year olds<<

Check out our short list below of what your 1 year old will need for this developmental period of their life!


1) Toys- Kids DO need toys, especially toys that are developmentally appropriate. Check out our Toys for 1 olds post, if you haven’t already, to get some ideas.


2) Potty- Kids can start potty training as early as 18 months, that’s 1 1/2 years old in regular people years. Potty training is a process but having a potty around is good for motivation and getting them familiar with it. Check out this article from Baby Center to know if your 1 year old is ready for potty training: The ABC’s of potty training.

3) Bowls and utensils- They should be learning and practicing feeding themselves. New colorful bowls and cups will peak their interest. I suggest the ones with a suction bottom so the plate can’t be thrown or dumped. Rubber utensils are safe.

4) Bath time accessories- Get them some things to have fun with for bath time. Some suggestions are bubble bath, a bath mat, bath toys, a bath toy storage, good smelling baby wash, and a robe. I do not suggest rubber duckies or similar toys. They trap water inside which can cause mold and they are near impossible to clean out. Check out this article by the NY Post that discusses the dangers of rubber duckies.


5) Clothes- All kids need clothes. They grow fast and play hard. For some ideas in the clothing category check our other post Clothes for a 1 year old.



6) Books– Books are so important for learning and language growth. Check out our post Books for 1 year olds  for some suggestions they can explore on their own and suggestions to read together.



Do you have any other suggestions that are great for 1 year olds? Let us know in the comments below!

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16 thoughts on “What Do 1 Year Olds Need?

  1. What do one year olds need? What a good question!

    I would definitely agree with the items you recommend.I would also add some kind of musical instruments and toys, which they love, and sing with them too.

    One year old is not too early to introduce your baby to pencils or crayons. Thick stubby ones are the best kind of crayon or pencil so that they can hold on to them, and Crayola also make safe waxy crayons especially for very young children. They love to watch the marks appear on the paper, but of course they must be carefully supervised while they are using them, and discouraged from eating them!!

     But in my experience the most important things you can give to a one year old, or to any child for that matter, is your own time, and of course love! And the company of other children is also important if they are to develop socially.

    Sorry if that sounds a little “twee”, but it is so true, although you probably know that already, I’m sure you do.

    Another really important thing is to talk to your babies as much as possible from birth onwards. Talk about anything and everything, they will learn to talk by imitating you.When I was in hospital after the birth of one of my children, another new mother asked me what I was saying to my baby because she said she didn’t know what to say! But of course, at that age they just want to hear your voice, so it really doesn’t matter what you say.

    Many thanks for your article

    Chrissie 🙂

    1. Chrissie, someone else also brought up musical instruments and I can’t believe I forgot that. I am going to edit my post to include some cool instruments to introduce to 1 -year-olds. I was just talking to my husband about buying our girls crayons and paper. My only worry is that they would eat it, they’re still in that stage where they mouth everything. There are crayons that are non toxic,though, that would be safe to start them with. But that definitely is a good item to add to boost their creativity. You have a lot of great tips that I am going to keep in mind while editing this post!

  2. I’ll be honest here, when I think about 1 year olds toys is the first thing to spring to mind. I see you said that toys (especially developmental toys) are good but I never actually thought about the other things. A potty for example! I think that is something kids will definitely benefit from but is not necessarily the first thing to come into mind when you think of gist ideas.

    They basically are just small people so I guess you can buy things that people need although a much smaller and more colorful option. I like the suction cup plates especially because it is safe for kids to practice feeding themselves without injury.

    Clothes and books also don’t jump to mind immediately but they obviously make a lot of sense. Kids obviously wear clothes and so that makes sense but it is easy to forget that there are books that are catered for every age. I think once kids learn to read for enjoyment rather than because they have to at school it will be easier for them to learn and more fun too.

    1. Thanks Renton. I like the suction cup bowls because kids at this age tend to play with their stuff and will try to flip their bowls and make a mess. They’re kids that’s just what they do. I made this list because everyone automatically jumps to toys when they want to buy something for a child but that’s not all that is out there and there is a such thing as too many toys.

  3. Hello Shaina! This is a very useful list! I really like the bowls and utensils section. I honestly hadn’t considered rubber utensils but after I have read your post I have thought: “How come I hadn’t thought about that? It makes perfect sense.” I’ll go over and buy some utensils.

    I also like buying toys. I love to choose those I think will help them most with their development. So I’ll definitely check also your post concerning some ideas for toys for children 1 year old.

    1. Thanks Henry. Our girls love toys too. Just be careful not to overload the child with toys. When they have too much to choose from then they tend not to play with any or only a select few. Check out my post on toy minimalism, https://twinparentlifestyle.co…, to learn how to rotate toys for your child to get the most enjoyment out of them.

  4. How about music?  Would it be a good idea to introduce them to music at this early stage?  What sort of musical products are out there for this age group?

    I think I’d better stop asking questions.  I was reading your article for some suggestions on what to buy my 1 year 2 month old niece.  I will be checking out the books as I actually love reading books for this age group more than those for 5-10 year olds.  What does that say about me, I wonder?! heh

    Thank you for the tips!

    1. Wow Cath. Thanks for that suggestion. I can’t believe I forgot that. Music is very essential at this age for so many reasons but it will definitely help them express their creativity. We recently bought our girls egg shakers. They love to run around with them and here it shake. I am going to edit my post to include musical instruments. 

  5. My son loves to play while bathing, but I agree with you that the classic ducks are totally outdated now – mostly because of being hard to clean, just like you mentioned. So I bought several special toys for my son (boats and floating stuff). They are specially designed for bathing, so I totally recommend them. Compared to rubber ducks, they’re much easier to clean up.

    I also like the idea of bowls and tools for my son. He didn’t start playing around yet (not 1 year old yet) but I think they can improve creativity, so I plan to get him some in the nearest future. Thanks for this great list of ideas. 

    1. Ashley, I just recently discovered some new cool bath toys at Target. We only had a boat with small bowls inside. I think dinner utensils are important to help them learn their grasp and give them a chance to try. I always feel like exposure is wonderful at any age. So he may not conquer that skill just yet but early learning will sure get him started.

  6. Hey there! a great website for parents out there! provides a lot of necessary information for those who can needs and relate. Books are definitely important because as soon as they are part of a child’s life the better it is for him/her. A really nice article and you are doing a wonderful job by spreading the knowledge! Best of luck!

    1. Thanks Abdul. Do you have anything you would add to the list? Books are important for children for language growth but also for their imagination. My daughters love to walk around with their books and babble to themselves and I love watching it. 

  7. Besides the fact I learned what kids wanted I also learned and found a lot of products that kids might need. I loved all the products. My uncle recently had a baby and after reading this article I decided that I’m going to gift them something from this article. I like the toys a lot and I bet the new baby would wanna play with that. 

    Thank you for sharing this article with us.

    1. Thanks sujandar. Ilike that I have this list as a post. I can always go back and refer to it when I am looking for gifts for my friends’ kids.

  8. I also like Alphabet toys at this age. Leap had a good one that stuck to the fridge that sounded out the letter everytime the child placed a letter in. I like interactive Alphabet toys (as opposed to in books, electronic or otherwise) because the action helps imbed the memory of the letters into the child’s memory.

    1. Alphabet toys are great for this age. I would like them in addition to books. Books are great for them to observe on their own. If they are learning letters then a letter book would help reinforce what they are learning. Liyah learned to say “apple” from a baby educational you tube show. Late she opened a color book and it had a picture of a tomato on the red page and she says “apple.” Now it wasn’t an apple but it’s hard to distinguish at this age. But the book is helping her to reinforce what she is learning.

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