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Cash for 1 year old's birthday?

Is this weird? We have a first birthday party for our friend's daughter on Saturday. 

Reasons I was thinking cash:
She is a single mom, currently living with her parents, fighting for child support (we're very close and she's told me how dire things are)
She has a ton of nieces and nephews and has told me that she has more clothes, toys, etc. than she knows what to do with

I figured giving her cash, she could put it towards whatever she wants. But is that weird? Could that offend her? Should I just go to Toys 'R Us and buy something? If so, I have NO clue what to buy a one year old. What do they like? Help! 

Re: Cash for 1 year old's birthday?

  • I just went to af first birthday party last weekend. I asked my friend (the mom) if there ar any specific characters that he likes, like Mickey or something. She said "No, honestly I'm saving up for one of those forever carseats so anything towards that would be great". (she's also a single mom) So I took that cue and gave one cute tuxedo bib and cash.



  • I don't think its weird. Cash is always an appreciated gift.

  • I think cash is fine, or you could do a gift card to Target, Babies R Us, or even a grocery store so she could use it on diapers, etc.  Maybe throw it in a book with your card or something!
  • Cash is always a good gift.  The one year old isn't going to remember if you got him/her a toy so really the gifts you buy for the kid are more for the parents then the actual kid.  For my nieces first birthday I opened her up a CD and wrote her a letter telling her that the money that accumulates is hers to do with whatever she would like, blah, blah, blah.  And when my sister has her next kid (which could be at any time now) I will be doing the same for that kids first birthday.

  • Cash is fine. Lots of 1 year olds don't even really get into opening their own presents. If you wanted you could get something like like some Little People guys (all 1 year olds love Little People. True fact.) and stick cash in the card, but the kid honestly won't miss one more gift to open.

  • I think cash is fine. Most 1 year olds aren't even opening their own gifts and won't even remember. Sounds like the mom would like the cash to help save for him anyway.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Cash is king! 

    Seriously, we have received gifts of cash more than once for the kids.   My parents often do it and I appreciate that FAR more than the lipstick and nailpolish that DD got for Christmas.   Sometimes we put it towards their bank accounts and sometimes it's for equipment that they need.   As a PP said, the next car seat that we'll buy is probably in the $250 range. 
  • Thanks all! 
  • Yeah, i've definitely given cash for very young kids. Usually along with a super small gift (like Jenna's tuxedo bib or Lolo's Little People).
  • Cash always works. My not-quite 2 year old niece has her own bank account with almost $200 in it. My sister wants her to be able to use it when she is old enough.

    That aside, sounds like your friend could use it!
  • Cash is good. The gift card ideas are great too. My son for his first birthday was more interested in the boxes and wrapping than the actual toys and OMG he got so many toys! Cash is good!
  • When we were little for birthdays and Christmas our family (aunts/uncles/grandparents) always gave us something small and inexpensive, and then a savings bond in our name for $25 or $50.  I remembered a little of that from when I was older, but when i graduated from college and my mom gave me a huge spreadsheet of savings bonds earnings and maturity dates I was shocked by how much money I had.  

    Cash is always good, but in this case it sounds more like a gift for the mom, not necessarily the kid (and in your friend's situation you/she may be totally fine with that).  
  • My aunt gave Will $100 when he was born and I used it to open a savings account for him. I think it's a great gift, but I, too, would pair it with something small and cute. Or a book. I can't get enough books to build up Will's library!
  • Cash is always a great gift, but especially when the recipient is so young that gift opening is more for the parents or if they have a ton of hand me down toys and such already that it's just clutter.

    My go-to is a board book with cash for that age range.
  • I work at a bank, and while I know that "everyone does it!" doesn't mean that something is etiquette-approved, but we constantly get people coming in asking for "crisp" bills for a gift for children or family or friends or what-have-you.
  • I think cash is a great option for kids that young.  They are too young to know what you got them anyway.  My brother opened a 529 college for our niece for her 1st birthday and contributes to it for birthdays and Christmas. As she got older, he started adding in tangible gifts as well, but until at least the age of 3-4, they get lots of toys from everyone and don't know who gave what.  And my niece is the only kid in our family, so she is spoiled and certainly doesn't lack on toys or clothes.  And if you know the parents could use the money (honestly, what parents couldn't use it), I think it's a good route to go. 


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