B&B’s Favorite Toys for One Year Old Babies

Finding toys for your one year old is a daunting task. Their personality is just blooming and you don’t quite know what their likes and dislikes; although clearly from their tantrums, they HAVE opinions.

With two children in tow and speaking to a lot of moms, here are my favorite toys. They are non battery operated (except for the piano) and foster creativity, innovation and independent play.

Cheer’s to baby’s first birthday and hoping they love these gifts!

PS: These are affiliate links. I may make a small commission (that doesn’t affect your cost) that keeps this site alive. Thank you! <3

Melissa and Doug Pounding Bench

Nothing beats pounding the daylights out of something. And you know your young toddler will go nuts for beating something – legitimately!

Push Prams

Several brands make push carts and strollers. Pick the one that fits your budget. On the easy wallet side, there is IKEA (though the cart itself is small) and Brio. For wood based strollers/prams, there is Moover ($177) and HABA ($149), both on the more expensive side.

You should also stop a Home Goods store and see what is in store in the toy section. I found several wooden push carts/prams for under $50; what a steal!

Baby Piano
If you have space for a small Yamama type keyboard, go for it. We have the Fisher Price Baby Grand Piano – it is absolutely silly but a LOT of fun. The music it plays isn’t annoying and you can flip the switch to play pre-recorded music or music notes. For something a bit more mature and more minimalist, the Melissa and Doug 25 key set is nice.

There, I said it. Find the tupperware or yogurt containers that you don’t want anymore and create a space in YOUR kitchen for them. This is the key, you need to sacrifice a cupboard to your toddler. They feel they get to be part of the kitchen while you get to interact with them. It’s a win win. I store unloved tupperware, a few old pans and spatulas we don’t use anymore in our shelf space.

Dresser Drawers
Again, it doesn’t take much to entertain a young toddler. They are on their feet for the *first time ever* and using those feet mean exploring! We have several dressers in the house (ALWAYS bolt them to the wall) and we keep two drawers available for the little one. Each drawer is in a dresser in a different room. This provides ample opportunity to move things from drawer to another, while working on gross and fine motor skills (opening, closing, picking up, walking, placing/throwing items).

I think my baby spent three months walking back and forth between the rooms just opening and closing the drawers. Be sure to keep an eye for safety reasons (climbing in) and for when your phone disappears (true story).

Grimm’s Large 12-Piece Rainbow Stacker

A post shared by Preeti (@bindisandbottles) on

This unassuming rainbow wood stacking blocks is magical. At first, we didn’t know what to do with it. Soon, we figured out how to stack them, mix them with other toys, and create art pieces. Made in Germany of solid wood, this is a present that will last years.

Montessori Infant Coin Box
This teaches a baby about object permanence. Your little one is well on the way of understanding object permanence, this coin box helps reinforce that idea. If you want to be very budget friendly, grab a shoe box, cut a hole and use a few blocks. Baby will go nuts! If you are feeling inspired by Montessori education, check out my post on Montessori toys for 0-4 years old.

Ball Run
Dropping a ball and watching it go down tracks doesn’t sound like the most exciting thing, unless you are a baby, then it is THE MOST EXCITING THING EVER. When looking for ball runs, make sure you find one that is age appropriate for age 1+. Most ball runs are in fact marble runs, and they are not safe for babies. My favorite ball runs that are for one year and up (but please double check before buying) are the Hape Derby Track, HABA build your ball run, Battat – Pound & Roll tower, and the Hape Switchback Racer (age: 18 months+).

Magna-Tiles Clear Colors 74 Piece Set

On the pricey side, magna tiles are awesome. Build in three dimension with triangles, rectangles, square, and trapezoids. A classic STEM/STEAM toy, your toddler, and their friends, will love these. For a budget friendly version, you can buy the off-brand tiles.

Knob Puzzles
Large and easy for small hands, the Melissa and Doug knob puzzles are a great way to get your little one started on the world of puzzles. Teach them about matching, animals, and shapes. My kids got into them around 15 months even though they were introduced them at 10 months, it was mostly throwing at that age.

Flip books
Any book that has flaps or lift up features will be a hit. Something about them enthralls young toddlers. Matthew Van Fleet books are always a hit, Moo, Dog, Cat, and Fuzzy Yellow Ducklings (so loved by my children it is in pieces, hehehe!) are just a few of his most popular.
Richard Scarry’s Cars and Trucks and Things That Go
by Richard Scarry

A classic paper book with all sorts of crazy cars, trucks, buses, and boats. For a baby, you can get the
Cars and Trucks, from A-Z.

I will keep updating this list as time goes. For now, I hope you enjoy! If you have a favorite toy (rather your baby does), post below.

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 8

Today we had a couple big wins! Number one: I put baby in crib and she did not scream like a banshee! Number 2: I found out she might be hungry when going to sleep, so I offered a small bowl of solid food (strawberries). That put her in a good mood to sleep.

I am feeling that we are reaching the end of the tunnel. There is hope, real hope to get out of this mess. It is only day 8 and we have no idea what will happen over the next weeks, but still, there’s hope!

There really is hope!

Need to catch up? See what happened on Day 7.

22:30 awake, nursed
19:50 nursed and fell asleep with some fussing
19:40 back in crib, fed few strawberries (farmer’s market pickup) – surprised she was hungry
19:30 put baby in crib, sat on yoga ball. She did not cry!!! Played puzzle, read book for 10 min
19:20 nursed in bed
16:05 gave to daddy, tried for 30 min, did not go back to sleep
15:30+ on/off screaming, nursing, screaming, extremely overtired
14:55 awake, crying, nursed, being silly, nursed again, rocking. Eventually laid down baby to whine – still in crib
13:50 put herself to sleep, was in crib ignoring her
13:35 laying her down when she stands up, not happy
13:05 nursed in crib 15 min, then played and read books
12:30 small lunch
10:45 watermelon snack
10:20 awake! Slept the whole time!
09:10 asleep
08:50 nursing and books
07:30 nurse
05:30 nurse
02:45 night nurse

There is too much night nursing going on, but right now, I need to fix the daytime sleeping in order to gain some much needed sanity.

Day 9 features two sick kiddos. Spoiler alert!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 11

All I have to say today is WOW.


Can we also get a HALLELUJAH?!

Baby has now fallen asleep FIVE times by herself with NO screaming! I will stop using capital letters, though this is the biggest breakthrough since she was born.

I am PROUD of her!

In the past two days she has:
Fallen asleep by herself
Played in the crib by herself
Laughed in the crib
Allowed me to sing from outside the crib

If you have an older baby (six months and older) and suffering from nap issues, behold, there is hope! Real hope! From a regular mom like me. I wrote a mid-challenge summary over here.

We are only in Day 11 of my quest to help her nap and push through sleep issues. She is also sick. However, being a constant, overtired baby to where we are now, is night and day.

As usual, here is our time schedule for the day.

20:25 asleep! BY HERSELF!!!
20:15 left in crib alone, played with toy
20:00 nursed again
20:15 put in crib with pillow vibrator
19:30 fixed crib
19:00 nursed
18:30 dinner (late)
Wonderful evening
15:50 awake!
13:42 stopped crying and fell asleep!
13:35 left in crib, crying
13:10 nursed in bed, played
12:40 Good lunch
10-10:50 was in crib by herself!!! Woke up, played, fell asleep – no crying!!!!!
10:50 awake!
10:20 fell asleep?
10:05 awake
09:30 asleep
09:20 put on white noise, turn on bed vibrator, in crib but ignoring baby, whining protest (not screaming at least)
09:00 nursed, upset, definitely not well
08:00 small breakfast
00:10 crying, sick – lost voice, nursed all night

What will Day 12 bring? It is the long weekend and that means brother is home. Let’s hope they both sleep well!

How to Help an Older Baby Nap

We did it! We made it to Day 11 on the quest to get baby to take naps. I am the mom who has an older baby, 10 months, who needs to be held constantly while napping or in motion by means of stroller or car.

As you can guess, neither options are sustainable in the long run. From May when baby was seven months old to now, the journey to get her to sleep ended in multiple failures. To be fair, it was mostly our fault. We did not help her sleep at regular intervals during the critical 4-6 month period where they develop longer term sleep patterns.

Her life has been surrounded by the question, “WHY WON’T YOU SLEEP BABY?!”

The best part about babies is that they area malleable. Even though we did a poor job early on, with commitment, you can get them on track.

After months of going nearly crazy when trying to get baby – stroller walking, driving, rocking, bouncing, nursing – I had to do something drastic.

This is my midpoint post in my 20 day quest to help baby sleep – who knows what will happen in the next ten days. Thus far, these sleep tricks have been helping us:
Make the room dark – The room did not need to be pitch, but definitely dark. Large black poster board paper or roll (on Amazon or Michaels).

Read a goodnight book – Find a goodnight book that talks about the routine or gets baby ready for bed. I have Goodnight Moon, Pajama Party and a Godnattbok (in Swedish). She preferred the Swedish book because it was very simple.

Rub baby’s head – Have you ever received a head rub? It’s amazing isn’t it? You just want to doze right off to sleep. Some babies love a forehead rub, some love an all over rub, and of course some won’t love it at all.

Our baby didn’t like head massages for months, but all of a sudden she loved forehead massages. Now she knows she gets a little rub before falling asleep. She will even grab my hand and move it back and forth on her head to self massage.

Sit in the crib with baby – Once you finish nursing/bottle feeding, reading a book, singing a song, it’s time to let baby sleep. Unfortunately that means you sitting in the crib.

Check your crib manufacturer details if this is possible (I am not responsible for your broken crib) and of course if you even fit into the crib.

I would sit in the crib and ignore baby until she falls asleep. I would then wait 10-15 minutes after she fell asleep before hopping out. It is important to get out before 20 minutes – there is a sleep cycle change and you don’t want to disturb baby.

If you cannot be in the crib with baby, then grab a small stool and sit next to the crib. Hold baby’s hand or stroke her head.

Play white noise – We used white noise for several days and while it helped her by blocking out other noises, I do not think it helps her sleep. Your mileage will vary but it is worth trying out. Find any white noise at different frequencies and see if your baby likes it.

All in all, we are doing well and cannot wait for the next 10 days of nap and sleep training!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 10

Both kiddos fell sick with a cough and cold coupled with a light fever. I gave them tylenol in the morning after breakfast. Bay fell asleep pretty easily. Unfortunately after 20 minutes, I went into the room to reset the vibrating pillow and specifically told my toddler NOT to follow me in the room.

Guess what he did? He followed me into the room. And what happened? Just by talking he woke up baby (if she hears him, she wakes up).

That was such a bummer because I had to spend another 1.5 hours dealing with the on/off/on whining, crying, nursing from her while kiddo was coughing.

He eventually fell asleep but woke up with such a cough, he threw up. Baby is awake and crying.

Turned out to be a miserable morning.

By some miracle, we turned our ship and fed baby; she was famished! I made sheera. Sheera is an Indian breakfast dish made with cream of wheat, saffron, bananas, and a dash of sugar. I wanted an alternate to oatmeal.

After lunch, we all read books together in my bed. Baby was not happy going into the crib and she began screaming. On the plus side, she stopped after five minutes and played until falling asleep. A solid two hour nap.

My toddler decided he would not sleep, so he sat in his room kicking the wall. He was sick and tired, he too needed the sleep. After an hour of masti (nonsense), he fell asleep.

Peace in the house! And the evening went by beautifully.

20:30 nursed, fell asleep easily
15:50 awake!
13:30 asleep!
12:55 put in crib, screaming begins, overtired. Stopped screaming after 5 minutes, then began to play to in crib!
12:30-12:55 read books in bed, nursed
11:40 ate a lot of oatmeal
10:55-11:30 played in crib, some whining – shock!
10:45 left to help brother.
10:35 broke down full crying. Had to nurse. Asleep in arms. Unable to move.
10:10 turned on white noise, crib vibrator, screaming stopped. Calm but whining.
Toddler throws up from coughing
09:50 fed 15 ml water, sunken Fontanelle
09:30 didn’t calm down. Rocked/held calmed down, put back in crib, screaming – rinse repeat
09:25 woke up crying/whining, left for 4-5 minutes to see if she could calm down
08:50 asleep
Hardly ate breakfast
Nursed many times
Sick through the night 🙁

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 9

Kiddo had a bad cough and cold and I kept him home today.

If you are new joining this challenge of sleep issues with an older baby, read the full series below.

After morning nap with baby, the three of us went out for a walk with a friend. I made sure to take the walk during both kids “awake time”.

We had a packed lunch after the walk and I piled the kids into the car for a drive. I didn’t want to do it, but with husband working at home, I needed both children to nap.

On the negative side, I started our drive at 2PM (14:00), late for both children’s naps. Toddler should have been asleep by 1pm (the time he sleeps at preschool) and baby should be nursing by the same time.

The upside is that baby slept two hours in the car and toddler slept one hour. He did not want to sleep. Since starting his new school, he has been nap resistant – hopefully he relaxes and starts taking naps at school. He is the type of child that needs naps. Absolutely needs a nap or he becomes possessed by the poltergeist.

Woke up through the night
20:00 fell asleep with daddy, easily
16:10 woke up, car drive over
14:25 fell asleep, made sure she was extra hydrated
14:00 car ride
13:00 lunch
Hike with Friend
11:00 awake
09:38 asleep!
ignored baby, she played and chatted
09:10 in crib, nursed. Put a pillow under mattress to elevate. Put on white noise.
Gave 2ml Tylenol, low fever
08:45 nursed
08:00 breakfast
Nursed twice more…
04:00 awake crying, nursed
02:30 awake crying, nursed 2-3 times before that. Left baby with daddy, could not take the nursing anymore

As usual, baby is waking during the night – several times. Part of this is being sick and part is the comfort nursing. I will tackle this issue next week when she is healthy and is more comfortable with the crib. For now, one sleep issue at a time.

Day 10 has both kiddos sick – fun times!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 7

Today was a blur. There was a fair amount of whining and crying from baby (admittedly, some from me too).

I was grasping for straws seeking out new ways to help calm and ease the sleep cycles. We tried a sleep sack (only good for sleeping on the back though), black paper to block out light (somewhat worked), and white noise (who knows if it worked).

22:30 awake, night nurse
19:45 asleep!
19:25 nursed
18:40 had a small dinner
17:05 awake!
16:18 awake, did not cry, rolled part over, back to sleep
16:00 back asleep
15:45 bathroom, then went to comfort her, back in crib, nursed…a lot
15:40 awake and crying
15:20 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
14:50 back asleep
14:42 awake, crying, snuggled lying down, did not nurse
14:20 asleep!
14:05 nursed 15 min, ate one bite of pancake
13:45 put up black poster boards, extra curtains. Not completely black, but darker!
13:30 nursed
13:20 fell asleep for five minutes in stroller
Did not want to eat
Ran errands, took stroller
11:25 out of crib. Going to michaels to buy black poster paper
11:10 awake, crying. Saw daddy. Nap over
10:45 asleep again, really, there’s an 11 month regression?
10:30 awake crying, put in sleep sack, propped her on a pillow
10:20 asleep
10:15 awake crying
09:55 asleep!
09:35 nursed
07:00 woke up, did not nurse (nursed many times during the night)

Catch up on Day 7 and see what happens tomorrow with Day 8! August is almost over!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 6

Day 6 didn’t start well. It’s the weekend and weekends are always hard to get baby to sleep. Why? Brother is around. And brother is the best thing ever.

Day 5 was terrible, here’s to a somewhat better day!

Morning nap:
20 minutes. Tried all sorts of things to help to fall back asleep including a lot of boob time. Didn’t help. Found a sleep sack and testing it out for the first time ever.

Afternoon nap:
It was a strange afternoon nap. Brother and pappa went out and baby fell asleep five minutes later. Kid you not.

But there were several wake ups by baby that resulted in crying for a minute, then falling back asleep.

As it would turn out, she began running a fever in the evening. I think the afternoon random cries were her falling sick.
night: Woke up several times, light fever, gave Tylenol, husband had to comfort her
21:45 awake, crying, husband tried comforting
21:10 awake, crying, husband got baby back to sleep
20:45 had to leave crib to help Arjun, fell asleep
19:55-20:40 crying, nursing, fell asleep, woke up screaming, nursed again
19:45 bedtime, overtired,
Small dinner, good mood
16:05 awake!
15:53 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
15:40 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
15:09 woke up, cried for a minute, back to sleep
15:03 woke up crying, fell back asleep after 1 min
14:36 woke up crying, turned over, back to sleep
14:13 transfer to crib
14:00 asleep on me, attempt to transfer
13:40 got in crib, put sleep sack on, nursed
Ate lunch
12:00 Gave up. Never went back to sleep
11:05 found a sleep sack! Attempting to use it
10:45-11:00 nursed, but baby wanted to be silly. Overtired
10:40-10:45 went to bathroom, left baby in crib.
10:00-10:40 refused to sleep. Cried, nursed, acres silly.
10:00 awake
09:40 sleeping
09:15-09:35 nursed
07:00 wakes up
00:00-07:00 Nursed during night 🙄

Read on to Day 7!

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 5

Today was terrible. Awful. Tear filled. I tried everything to help her nap, but we never made it past 20 minutes.

Yes, from waking time to sleep time, she napped a total of 20 minutes.

And add on that she woke two more times right after bedtime.

It was an exhausting day.

Did you catch day 4? At least she napped for two hours total.

23:30 awake, nursed in bed, slept with mommy
21:15 asleep and moved back to crib
21:10 awake, crying, daddy took her
20:35 asleep…stuck in crib
20:15 awake, crying. Nursed
19:40 asleep
19:30 nursed
had dinner, played, did not nurse until bedtime
13:55-15:00 tried everything to help her sleep. Nothing worked. 🙁
13:45-13:55 slept 10 min. Husband and kiddo came home; she woke up. Never went back to sleep 🤦🏽‍♀️
13:35 still awake. Finally left crib to see if she can fall asleep
12:40 nursed and refused to sleep
12:35 had few bites of food, discovered one tiny boil on hand – yikes
12:25 stayed in crib for 15 min and didn’t cry!
12:00 tried to fed her, refused. Still in crib
11:00-11:50 attempted to get baby to sleep, nursed few minutes, snuggled, ignored for rest of time (20+min), refused to sleep
11:00 awake!
10:35 asleep!
10:25 nursed again in crib
09:40 went to crib to nurse, baby pooped – noticed red spots (diaper rash or something else??)

Head to day 5, pray for naps…

The Quest to Help a Struggling Baby Nap – Day 3

Today was an okay day. It was a two steps forward, one step backward type of day.

Before delving in, don’t forget to catch Day 2 and Day 4 here.

Morning nap:
The morning nap went much more smoothly than expected. I dropped kiddo to daycare, came home, and promptly grabbed baby to start the nap ritual.

We nursed for 5-10 minutes in bed but didn’t read any books. Once she showed signs of playing and being silly (the combination of playing but tired), we went to the crib.

She always cries when I put her in the crib; it is important I immediately hop in with her. Phone, water, and baby water cup easily available!

She was definitely more easy going and spent 10 minutes walking around the crib chattering away. The she threw everything out of the crib except puppy and elephant stuffies. Once I began laying her down on her side (not back!), she play with the stuffed toy puppy and her feet. This is a huge win for us. She was self entertaining IN THE CRIB! At this point, I lay down next to her and pretend I’m asleep.

Around 9:50AM she tried to nurse, but I kept steadfast pretending to sleep. She whined for a few minutes, gave up, grabbed puppy, and passed out. SHE FELL ASLEEP!

Afternoon nap:
Car ride happened. Slept just under an hour. We were visiting a school that was closing down and picked materials. While she was in a happy mood exploring, she was tired. She had a small snack. On the drive back she slept one hour and upon arriving home, we moved her car seat into the house. She woke up immediately.

She had a few bites of dinner and nursed for a long time (not a surprise). She fell asleep. If I remember correctly, she woke up once in the middle of the night.

21:05 asleep
20:45 nursed baby for 20 min, very tired
20:30 few bites of dinner
19:10-20:10 slept in car
19:00 left school
17:15 school
16:10-16:50 slept
16:00 went for car ride
15:25 awake because daddy walked into the room 😡
14:45 asleep!
14:30 breakdown, had to nurse again
14:10 sat in crib, nursed because distracted by daddy (wanted to play)
13:50-14:10 nursed, ate blueberries
12:10-12:30 nursed on/off, had a small amount of food to eat, in the waking up period – not very hungry, somewhat tired, wanting comfort, happy
11:35 awake!
10:00 asleep!
09:50 tried to nurse but wouldn’t let her, whined for a minute, snuggled with Brown puppy and feet eating
09:17 went to crib, played, drank some water from pink cup, was more easy going
09:10 nursed