Bonds are nice but take a long time to mature. It depends what type and series of bond you buy as to when it matures. Bonds have a cap at 30 years. I actually just finally cashed in some old bonds I had from when I was born. They were over 30 years old so weren't earning interest anyway. I had some 25 dollar bonds from 1974 that netted me $95, others that only netted me $45 - once again, depends on type/class/years you held and bond rate. Of course all of that interest had to be claim on taxes so I feel like my profit of 70 bucks was cut in half. If the child has a college saving program (ex. College of IL) you might want to just write a check out for that and state you want it to go to their college program. That's what we are doing with my parent's now. It doesn't lower our monthly/yearly payments but will reduce the overall amount of time we pay on the loan (which obviously helps).