Second baby on the way? One way to make the new addition a happier event for the whole family is to prepare your older child for the changes about to take place. It can help to prepare some gifts the older child can enjoy once the baby is born.
The gifts will naturally depend on the age of your child but generally they help promote the idea that being an older sibling is fun. The right gifts also offer ways to interact with the new arrival and provide activities to keep the older child engaged during the busy early weeks of your new baby’s life.
Here are a few gifts to consider:
- A baby doll. The classic gift is a baby doll, preferably one that can be washed. An older sibling can change the doll’s diapers, feed the doll, bathe it and put it to sleep. Getting the doll before the birth can help prepare a child for the baby’s arrival.
- A baby carrier. Toddlers can use the carrier to transport a baby doll or whatever stuffed animals they want to carry. When parents put the new baby in an adult-sized carrier, the older child can use their child-size carrier.
- A backpack. A second baby means more things to carry, so giving your older child a backpack enables that child to carry whatever toys he or she wants to take and will also provide one extra place to stash diapers and wipes.
- Big brother or sister t-shirts. T-shirts promote the idea that being an older sibling is an achievement and something to be proud of. Another clothing option is matching t-shirts and onesies for siblings.
- Grooming supplies. Your older child will want to touch and help care for the new baby. To safely encourage this, consider getting a soft brush or wipes that the older sibling can use to gently groom the baby.
- Disposable or small digital camera. Give your older child an important responsibility—taking pictures of the baby. Busy parents often can’t find the time to photo-document a second child the way they did the first, so this is one area where the older child can really help. Also, it gives the child a way to interact with the baby. Set aside space on a bulletin board for photos or let the child post the photos on Instagram.
- There are several good picture books that focus on what an older child can expect after the baby is born and they often touch on the fact that parents will temporarily have less time for the older child. Start reading these books before the birth so the focus on the new baby is no surprise.
The best gift of all may be arranging for the older child to have time where he or she is still the solitary focus of a loved one’s attention. To this end, invite extended family to spend a day with the new big brother or sister.