I have some big news: We’re expecting baby number two later this fall. So top of mind lately for my husband and me is how to get our 23-month-old daughter excited about becoming a big sister.
In addition, my husband recently came up with another clever strategy to build the excitement: When the new baby arrives, he will give his big sister (aka my daughter) a gift. Giving your older children this “big sibling gift,” a twist on both the traditional baby gift and the push present, is today’s hint.
To be sure, my husband isn’t the first one to think of having a new baby come bearing a gift. Giving such a gift is something that many parenting experts recommend, and some, like the experts over at What to Expect, even suggest taking it a step further by having the new siblings exchange gifts.
As for what we plan to give our daughter, if my daughter were old enough (she’s not), I’d consider getting her an iTouch that she could use to take pictures of her new sibling. However, as she’s only going to be a few months older than 2 when the new baby arrives, I’m leaning toward getting her one of the other two things she seems to really want these days: a scooter or a bicycle (I’ll probably buy her either his toddler-friendly Radio Flyer scooter or this toddler-friendly Schwinn tricycle).
I know my daughter equates these ride-on toys with being a big kid, so by buying her one of them from her new sibling, I’ll be reinforcing that she’s the big sister. And I’m sure she’ll think her new sibling is pretty cool for knowing exactly what she wanted.
Don’t want to shell out more than $10 or so for a sibling gift? There’s no shortage of ideas online for frugal and fun sibling gifts. Among the ideas I like the best, in its list of gifts for siblings, BabyCenter suggests giving your older child “a framed ‘big brother or sister’ certificate, complete with a special initiation ceremony. Other clever ideas the site mentions include a personalized step stool (to make your oldest child even taller) and a picture of the new big sister or brother with his younger sibling.
Elsewhere, I love an idea I came across for making a “tool belt” of sorts for an older sibling to help out with bath time, and you could also consider making “a big sibling “kit” to keep big bro or sis occupied in the hospital or while mom and dad are feeding baby, as the sites Ducks in a Row and Mamas Like Me both suggest. Finally, another frugal idea I like from over at What to Expect is to give big sis or big bro a handmade “best big sibling” medal.
As for what to have your older child give the new baby, I love this idea from Petite Lemon: some homemade art for baby’s room (or baby’s area of the shared room). And I’m also a fan of this idea from Cool Mom Picks: some pajamas decorated with big sibling’s artwork.
What did – or will – your new baby give your older children? What “big sibling gifts” do you recommend?
Photo credit: A photo of the book Little Brothers Are . . .