CELEBRATING THOSE special firsts
Being a parent is the toughest job you’ll ever have. It’s a lifelong endeavor that includes long days, sleepless nights, lots of worry, and plenty of unexpected surprises. However, it’s also one of the most rewarding experiences in your life. Because parenthood is an experience like no other, in the end, it’s a journey you take with your child. Being there for your child’s major life milestones is one of the greats rewards of parenthood. These moments, whether big or small, are the ones that make it all worth it.
Celebrating milestones is a great way to deepen your relationship with your children and help create lifelong memories that your whole family will cherish for decades to come. With that in mind, one of the easiest ways to make those moments special is to mark the occasion with a special gift. We’ve created a guide to life’s biggest milestones and how you, as a parent, can find the perfect present to gift your child for each one.
WHAT ARE MILESTONES & why they matter
In the most literal definition of the word, milestones were the stones placed along the side of the road for travelers to mark the distance of miles between destinations. They kept travelers on track and from getting bored. The term applies to our lives as well. They are the significant events or experiences in life that generally signify a change in a person. Sometimes, these changes are growth or developmental in nature. Sometimes, milestones are less physically tangible but still just as important.
Reaching those important milestones in life is what makes us grow and bring us closer to self-actualization and true happiness. There are always hurdles and hardships along the way and when we’re watching our children stumble, it can be difficult to stay on the sidelines.
That’s why we want to show how much we care by rewarding them for reaching those moments and surpassing the hurdles life throws at them.
Let’s take a look at the most important ones every family face.
MILESTONES FOR the youngest YEARS
From the moment our children are born, we cherish each moment with them, especially those early milestones that we’ll remember forever (even if they don’t). When your children are young, it seems like all these big moments happen too quickly and simultaneously not quickly enough.
Our kids grow up so fast, don’t they? The earliest years are often the ones we wish we could relive again when they get older; it’s also the most important time to be ready for those earliest milestones when they happen!
The first year in your baby’s life is filled with a lot of firsts. Watching your child roll over for the first time is probably the first of those, making it even more special for many parents.
Generally, by about four months old, your baby will develop the upper body strength to move their arms and propel themselves up and over from their bellies onto their backs. It can happen as early as three months, but most infants will have mastered the movement by the time they are six months old. Developing those muscles is one of the reasons “Tummy Time” is so important.
Because it’s hard to anticipate exactly when this might occur, this one is usually a surprise for parents. It can be a surprise for your child as well! They may startle themselves with the action. Don’t worry, it won’t be long before they start sitting up on their own as well!
An expected but not always easy to anticipate milestone, crawling usually starts somewhere around the age of nine months, though an infant can start as early as seven months! As babies gain more motor control, they begin to test their newfound strength and explore their surroundings with zeal (and without an understanding of their limits or safety, which can bring some parental anxiety in the beginning, even amid the pride and joy.
One of the most fun things for parents to discover in this process is how exactly your baby most enjoys crawling. Do they prefer the commando-style belly crawl by pulling themselves along with their arms? Or maybe the bottom scoot where they sit upright on their bottom and use their legs to scoot along the floor? There are many types of crawling for them to begin to explore!
Perhaps the biggest early milestones for any child, your baby’s first steps are more than just a fleeting moment you don’t want to miss. They are the first real moments of independence your child experiences. From the moment they stand up for the first time, you know it’s coming.
That initial cruising around by holding onto the furniture is just the beginning. Because once those steps start, it’s only a matter time before they’re toddling around and then they’re off to walking and, eventually, running. Catching those first steps is an incredible experience for your child – and for yourself – that marks the beginning of childhood in many ways.
When it comes to gift-giving opportunities, you may consider getting those first part of baby shoes bronzed for the occasion. While your toddler won’t appreciate them at that moment (or likely for a long time afterward), it makes for a great keepsake for your home and is one that can be passed down to future generations of your family.
Waiting for your child’s first words brings excited anticipation to new levels! It’s the most awaited milestone for many parents because it signifies growth in your baby’s cognitive development. It’s also around the same time when their personalities begin to shine through.
Most babies begin to transfer from simple “baby talk” into their first few easy words (like “mama” or “dada”) by the time they reach 12 months. However, it isn’t until they are 18 months that their vocabulary expands enough to include more basic language that is easily recognizable to others.
FIRST LOST TOOTH
Teething is a difficult time for everyone in your household. However, the emergence of a baby’s first tooth is still a cause to celebrate! Most babies get their first tooth around 6 months old, though it can happen as early as 3 months or as late as a year.
We might recommend a few new teething rings would be the most appropriate gift for this milestone. As chewing is the best way to help alleviate teething symptoms, it will make everyone’s life a little easier to have a few more appropriate things on hand for the time being.
EARLY MILESTONE GIFTS
Many of these earliest milestones occur around the same time – during the child’s first year. Because of this, it’s difficult to find meaningful gifts for the baby at this point.
We suggest getting a gift for mom or dad (or yourself if you’re the parent) instead of a gift for the baby during this time. If you know the parents are the kind who want to keep track of all these milestones, it may help to invest in a specially designed journal to easily document each!
Many of these are a combination of photobook/scrapbook and journal, letting parents create a personalized keepsake that allows you to keep those memories close even as your child ages.
MILESTONES FOR kids and teens
When children become older, the major childhood milestones begin to spread out as the years go by. That isn’t to say there are many important moments in their lives but the biggest milestones all happen through those years, unlike the earliest ones.
Teenager milestones are important both for the parents and for the child experiencing them. It can be hard to find a cool gift for your teenage boy or teenage girl that they’ll appreciate and use. However, we think we’ve matched quite a few fun gifts to go along with several of these important moments in their lives!
FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
We aren’t sure if this milestone is more nerve-wracking for the parents or the children (though we have a hunch that it’s probably the parents in this case). The first day of school is a huge day for your child, as it’s very likely their first experience with a large group of kids their own age for such a long time. It may also be the first time they spend that much time away from their family.
One of the best gifts for your kids is one that will jumpstart their excitement for the experience. The first day of kindergarten is absolutely a milestone worth celebrating. We love these adorable Pico Backpacks featuring animal designs on the back. They are sure to delight your little one on their big day!
FIRST CELL PHONE
This isn’t a milestone we ever considered in our youth but today, a child’s first cell phone is a huge and exciting milestone for them. Most contemporary research suggests the prime age where a child needs a cellphone is around 12-13. That might seem early for some of us who didn’t reach the digital era until a bit later but in today’s world, your child may need that phone more than you think.
Ultimately, you’re already giving your kids a great gift with this one. If you’d like to go a little above and beyond, you might consider picking up a few accessories to go with them.
LEARNING TO DRIVE
Most of us can remember the day we first got behind the wheel of a car. It’s exhilarating and also a little scary. Learning to drive is a milestone that offers any teenager the gift of further independence and prepares them for adulthood.
Even if a vehicle isn’t in your kid’s immediate future, there are plenty of other options for great gifts for this milestone, especially after they pass their driving test!
If you know they’ll be sharing the family car, you might present the key as a gift along with a personalized keychain like our Antique Silver Rectangle Moon and Back Keychain. This sterling silver keychain features an antique finish and sentimental message “I Love You to the Moon in Back” across the front.
You can have it personalized with your child’s name on the front (or another message you’d like to give them) as a reminder that you are thinking about them even when they are off having a brand new life adventure!
When it comes to the quintessential American teenager experience, there is nothing quite like the prom. Teens often consider it one of the biggest nights of their high school years and it’s always one to be remembered.
Giving your teenager a gift for this night isn’t always expected but it can be an opportunity to give them a nice present just for being them. You could help pay for the tickets or the corsages and bouquets, for example! For your teenage son or daughter, it might be a good choice to rent them a limo or other vehicle to take them to and from prom. Not only does it give them the chance to travel in style, but it also lets you know they’ll be safe on the road for their big night!
If you have a daughter – or a child who might appreciate such items – then a piece of delicate, personalized jewelry may be just the trick for their big night. This can be tricky! Sometimes your child may already have their prom accessories picked out, so don’t be offended if they don’t wear them immediately! It might be better to pick something personalized that they’ll cherish for far after that evening!
Something like this Silver Birthstone Brilliant Name Necklace (which comes with or without the birthstone) might be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s a beautiful piece that can be customized to seamlessly incorporate the recipient’s name and birthstone! Or, if you’d rather forgo the Swarovski sparkle, it can be an understated addition to any teen’s wardrobe.
There’s nothing quite like young love, is there? Whether your child is experiencing that early puppy love of middle school or they reach their teenage years before they meet someone to spend more time with, the time will come when they begin dating.
If this relationship lasts longer than a few months and the holidays draw close, you may begin to consider getting a gift for that significant other. While this might be stressful if you don’t know that person a lot, there are several thoughtful gifts you could consider for the occasion.
You can always consider a pair of movie tickets as a gift for the couple, or even a gift card to a place you know they like to visit.
If you like the idea of jewelry that isn’t too intimate or expensive, we like to recommend something this Silver Initial Necklace Charm. The simple design is clean and not too feminine. It’s a great gift for your teenage child’s significant other without being too much.
High school graduation is, most likely, the last teenage milestone for most. It is one of the biggest events of their life and one that bridges their teen years into the rest of their adult lives.
To be frank, the most common graduation gift for your kids is money. As they take those first few steps into true adulthood, one of the biggest things that can help them on their journey is extra cash. However, it’s perfectly fine if you don’t feel like that is the right option for your family, or you may want to add something else for the occasion. The options for grad gifts are endless and may depend on your child’s personality.
This is a great opportunity to reward them for their achievements by purchasing something they may not be able to get for themselves. Perhaps a gift like a new pair of sneakers your teenage son has been admiring or the perfect new Danielle Nicole handbag for your daughter to show off.
You can even get them a new gadget to show off to their friends, perhaps like one of these Echo Dots that will synch with their smartphones.
MILESTONES FOR adult children
Even after a child has ‘fled the nest’ and begun their own independent lives, parents are still generally involved in those lives. As such, parents will be present for those milestones that go on far after they reach adulthood and part of the celebration of those events. Giving gifts doesn’t end after your child turns 18, far from it.
LEAVING FOR COLLEGE
Going off to college is a bittersweet milestone for many parents, as it means your children are leaving the house and moving into their own lives. While the prospect might be daunting to everyone involved – parents and kids alike – it’s incredibly exciting, too. It’s a bit like the first day of school all over again, isn’t it?
Practical gifts are the status quo for this milestone. Something versatile and portable (especially if they are moving away to attend school) is key. Maybe you’d consider getting them an upgraded bag to take them from the classroom to the office, a drink tumbler with the school’s logo, or maybe a highly customizable planner to take with them wherever life takes them next.
If you want a timeless gift, we recommend giving a present that’s a little more personal – such as something that encompasses their initials or a reminder of their .
A monogram necklace, like the one above, is an excellent choice for a young woman leaving home for the first time. It incorporates her three initials into a stunning 24k gold plated pendant that creates a versatile piece of jewelry she can wear anywhere. It provides a reminder of home and individuality.
The Home State Keychains are a great option to show them they'll always have a home with you. As for presentation, you can always attach a current house key to the keepsake before you present it to them. It’s a wonderful reminder that your child always has people who love them, even far away.
Weddings are always an exciting affair. That is doubly so when it’s your family involved in the occasion. While marriage isn’t the culmination of life’s goals today than it once was, it still is an important milestone for everyone involved. Marriage is still a turning point in the couple’s lives!
Traditionally, expected gifts for the occasion would include items for the new couple’s home or life together. As many couples often live together before the wedding these days (and have fully furnished homes already), many opt for more personal gifts instead.
This Gold Heart Infinity Necklace is an excellent choice for newly married couples. It’s also one of our best sellers! The infinity symbol joins both names together symbolizes a couple's bond to each other and the heart-shaped Swarovski crystal signifies that everlasting love. The heart is customizable with four options to choose from and the necklace can be personalized with any names of your choice.
LANDING THEIR DREAM JOB
Your children have worked hard to get where they are and when they begin to experience that first rush of success, you’re no doubt going to very proud of them! Why not acknowledge all their hard work and dedication to their career by getting them a gift that just says “I’m Proud of You”? For this occasion, you may want to look at professional gifts that resonate with their chosen field!
Someone in the medical field will love a new pair of scrubs or a great pen to take all the notes they’ll be taking at work. For someone who works with their hands and has a more physical job, you might consider investing in a good pair of work boots for them. They’ll need something durable and comfortable for their job – check out this list of great brands to choose from!
Just imagine! Your child is having a child of their own. Welcoming a new life into the family is an amazing milestone. While you’re going to be just as excited for each grandchild that comes along and likely eager for the next, first time you become a grandparent is a very special occasion. After all, it takes a village to raise a child, doesn’t it?
This is a time when most gifts new parents received are oriented to the new baby. After all, there are so many unexpected needs new parents experience in those first frantic weeks; diapers, clothing, bedding, toys, and furniture are only the most obvious of many. They’ll likely have a registry for their most needed items you can choose from.
But what better way to share your love of your children by giving an additional gift of something for themselves in this big moment?
You can immortalize the moment – and the family – with a family necklace like this Silver Trio Ring Birthstone Necklace. Each ring signifies a family member and is personalized with their name and birthstone. You can have mom, dad, and the newest addition to the family put on each ring. It’s a great gift for a new mom for a day she’ll never forget!
For the more playful new mom, you might consider another option. Based on the popular children’s song (and accompanying internet memes), this Mama Shark Bar Necklace is adorable and a very clever pun for the internet-savvy parent. This cheeky necklace is the perfect choice for a daughter who loves to laugh and enjoys a great pun or meme.
While we think all our children’s birthdays are milestones (because they are), there are a few that stand out as the most important ones of their younger years. These are the big birthdays we love to celebrate and know our children look forward to the most!
Congratulations! You’ve done it! Your child had passed the first year and is now quickly approaching toddlerhood. This is a big day for most parents, though our kids don’t necessarily understand all the fanfare.
While cake and maybe (we stress that this is an option and to be handled with extreme care) a candle for the baby, there are some great ideas for party gifts that are fun and functional at the same time! Educational toys are great options for first birthday gifts. They are both fun while helping your child’s developmental progress. What’s more, this is the time they grow out of the baby toys.
This adorable Ride-on and Push Walker Fire Truck Car is a great gift for a child who is just about ready to walk on their own. It’s brightly colored, has a ton of additional buttons to push, fun features to check out, and even a functional horn to press! Other options may include soft picture books, shape sorters, or even mega blocks!
As a good rule of thumb, birthday gifts for a child’s 16th birthday should emphasize the child’s growing independence and the trust you have in them. The traditional gift is a car but we know that isn’t always feasible (or, depending on where you live, very practical). Other good gifts might be a pair of concert tickets to their favorite musical group (or theater event), a tablet or other electronic device, or a new video game console or games.
But as you may know, jewelry is always a winner for the Sweet Sixteen!
This is it. It’s finally the day your child becomes an adult. Are you looking forward to it, dreading it, or maybe just a little bit of both? This is one of the biggest milestones for your kids, as it’s the moment the world opens up to them with endless possibilities. Of course, you’ll want to celebrate in style!
At this age, experiences may be the best gifts for your child. They probably have a lot of physical belongings and, if they are adventurous in any way, they’re likely to enjoy something out of the box. You could plan a trip to an amusement park, a whitewater rafting trip, or even guitar or music lessons of their choice!
If you do choose a jewelry option, think of something stately and dignified. You’ll want something they can wear for the rest of their lives.
We think monograms a great choice for that, as they are inherently personal and can be worn for almost every occasion. This Gold Heart Monogrammed pendant is a regal piece that automatically adds a little bit of class to any outfit.
Our religious beliefs hold an important place in our lives, shaping the way we interact with the world. Religious milestones are just as important as secular ones and there’s no mistaking a sense of pride when your child begins to walk that path.
While these ceremonies may all come from separate cultures, they still symbolize one major milestone in a young person’s life – the moment they come to realize their place within a higher power’s plan. It’s appropriate to offer gifts for these moments in celebration.
In the Christian church, baptism is a rite of admission and adoption, signifying that a person is joining the faith. These are usually performed when an infant is very young – usually just a few months old – and are performed by sprinkling or pouring water over the person’s head. For adults, the rite may involve dunking the person entirely underwater, though much depends on the denomination of faith.
Traditional gifts for baptism include picture frames or other keepsakes that can be used to hold photos or items from the rite. One particularly popular gift is that of a silver spoon. We recommend an inspirational or religious-themed item for the occasion.
Another Christian rite, communion – also called the Eucharist or The Lord’s Supper – is either a sacrament or an ordinance in many churches. In the Catholic church especially, a child’s first communion is considered a day for celebration. It usually occurs between the ages of 7-8 and children are dressed in white (for girls) or suits (for boys) and are walked through the ceremony for the first time.
It is traditional to give gifts of a religious nature, like children’s bibles or study devotionals, prayer books, or rosary beads. Monetary gifts are also common for the occasion, though secular gifts may be given as well.
Meaning “Son of the Commandment,” the Bar Mitzvah is a Jewish tradition that signifies the coming of age for a male child. The correct use of the term is “becoming a bar mitzvah,” though today it’s most generally used as the title of the ceremony itself. The traditional coming of age ceremony happens at the age of 13 and is a religious rite generally followed with a large gathering to celebrate the child’s journey into manhood.
It’s also traditional for gifts to be given for the occasion. As with communion gifts, many of these are religious. Gifting a Star of David, prayer books, Tallit, or Kiddish Cup are considered the traditional items associated with the event. For good secular gifts, consider items like a cell phone (as it would be the appropriate age!) or maybe video games for the young man in question.
In many churches, young people are expected to leave home shortly after graduating high school or college to perform mission work among other communities. They engage in evangelism or humanitarian efforts like working construction or hospitals in underprivileged areas. Leaving for Christian missionary work is a huge milestone for many communities and should be commemorated!
While they may not have much space in their new homes, mission workers would most likely appreciate a small keepsake that reminds them of home and their families there. If you have a close family, you may think about gifting something that incorporates all family members without taking up a lot of space.
Something like this Silver Circled Name Necklace might serve the purpose while being both meaningful and stylish. You can add up to six names to be etched into the front, all unified in the perfectly circular design. It’s understated and unisex, perfect for both young men and women branching out on their own.
MILESTONE GIFTS for the family
Many milestones in a child’s life are exciting for the entire family. For some of these, it may be more appropriate to give a gift to the child’s parents, grandparents, or even godparents for the occasion.
Let’s face it – Moms work hard. It’s one of the toughest jobs out there. So it only makes sense to celebrate their part in the big moments for the kids, too!
What better choice for a new parent than this Baby Feet Round Antique Silver Necklace? The tiny feet are adorable and the ability to customize the name lets you make this wholly your own! This is a great commemorative piece for the baby’s first birthday that Mom will love!
Dad can sometimes be hard to shop for, depending on his tastes. However, there are plenty of milestones were gifting to Dad is a great idea. We recognize that jewelry might not always be the best option for him, though we’ve picked out a few pieces we think may work for anyone’s style.
Looking for the perfect first Father’s Day gift? This adorable set is ideal for a young lady and her father. The design elements provide a more unisex look while still bringing the sentimental quality. It’s a built-in gift for her and him, too.
Godparents often overlooked players in a child’s life. A great occasion to give a gift to your child’s godparents is high school graduation. It’s like they’ll already be giving your child gifts during this time so a token of appreciation for their involvement is a great idea!
A simple pendant with the name and birthdate of the godchild – perhaps including a birthstone – is a good choice for this token. This Single Ring Personalized Birthstone Necklace features a simple design that is timeless and stylish.
It’s a lovely unisex option that can be worn or displayed in a home as a remembrance of this milestone, and the life, they have been such a large part of.
FOR GRANDMA & GRANDPA
Grandparents are just as essential in a child’s life, especially in large, close families. It’s important to celebrate those big moments in time with them as well. Milestones like graduation, big birthdays, or even Mother of Father’s Day can be commemorated with thoughtful gifts for them.
One of our favorite designs, the Tranquility Gold Tree of Life Necklace, can incorporate 1-6 names and accompanying birthstones into the design, making it perfect for a large family.
It’s highly customizable, leading you the opportunity to immortalize the names that mean the most. This makes a perfect Mother’s Day gift for grandma, blending the elegant design with a perfectly thoughtful touch.
MILESTONES ARE memories in the making
Seeing our children grow up happy and healthy is one of the greatest rewards of parenthood but that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate the little things – and the big ones! – along the way. While we’ve offered our list of important life milestones for every child, there are many others your family likely acknowledge as well and those milestones serve as an important memory for families. If you didn’t find a gift idea for your child on our list, we hope you’ll take the time to look through our collections and see if you can find the perfect gift! We know you’ll love what we have to offer – satisfaction guaranteed!
May 27, 2020 by Conor Daniels