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Expecting Baby: A gift from big brother or sister?

When a child is to expect a new baby in the family, it can be a very transitional experience.  There are many ways that we, their parents, can help the older siblings welcome new baby into the world, perhaps by helping the elders to make a gift for baby?  An urbanMama recently emailed:

Wondering if any mama's out there came up with any creative genius ideas for gifts for a second or third baby from an older sibling.  Did any of your kids help you make/find/create a gift for the new baby as one more way to process and bond with the idea.   Could be a tactile crafty project, or any combination of smaller projects or any other for that matter.  We do a lot of talking about it, coloring in our "new baby coming" coloring book, other activities like this.  But I was thinking it would be nice if my son had some actual physical item (particularly if he feels some satisfaction from making it himself) to make for the baby, give the baby, and even wrap up for the baby while we are at the birth center.  I am due in late June so it could also be a seasonal related gift, but not necessary. 

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We had my older daughter help me make a mobile for the baby. Went to the fabric store together to pick fabrics, drew some animals and I sewed them together. Really nice project and it turned out adorable!

My mom helped my son make a book about taking care of babies - his ideas about what babies need and more importantly what he could do for the baby. He also helped make a birthday cake for a little welcome home party we had. By the way, his baby brother also brought him a "big brother" gift.

From Amana Blake Soule's book "Handmade Home" is a very cute play mat (google Baby's Fringed Play Mat to see some examples). Basically it's a tagged blanket that older siblings can color with fabric markers and--depending on age-- could help you put together. You could also do a simple pillow that they could color, paint, and/or embroider with your help from Amy Karol's book "Bend the Rules Sewing"-- it's great inspiration and I think the pattern is called Pillow Buddy.

I love the idea of a "This is our Family, Welcome to it" kind of photo album. Sibs could take photos, put them in an album, and "read" it to the new baby.

My 3 year old son is attached to his "blankie", so I asked for his help at the baby store picking out just the right blankie for his baby brother, since he is obviously an expert. He helped me wrap the gift, too. When the baby came home, I told him it would be good to give him the present but that he couldn't unwrap it himself. I had washed it before we wrapped it, so when it was unwrapped my son snuggled the baby with it and told him all about it and how he picked it out himself.

I bought a really cute small bunny from Grasshopper. I told my son (who was 2.5 at the time) that it was a special gift for him to give his baby sister. We have some REALLY sweet pics of him giving it to her at the hospital. Nearly a year later he always talks about how it was the gift he gave her when he sees it. I also bought him a firetruck that was from his sister. I told him that while Mommy was shopping the baby kicked my belly when we saw it.

My son, who is nearly 4, helped my husband to 'build' all the equipment like the crib and the swing. It was a really fun way for him to get involved and ready for the arrival of his little sister. Plus, is was a great way to spend quality time with his Daddy. When we brought his sister home he has to show her all the things he helped make her.
Also we helped him make a onesie for his sister that says: I love my Big Bother, with fabric paint. This was actually his idea. After seeing all the onesies at the store that say Daddy's Girl/Mommy's Girl he wanted to buy one for her that said something about him. But we couldn't find anything. Now he can't wait for her to grow into it.
His sister also gave him a big brother present. We had a hat made for him that reads: I'm the Big Brother. It fits with her present from him and he's super proud of it. We can't leave the house without it now. Plus everytime he puts it on he tells his baby sister thank you!!!

I gave my daughter (nearly 3) a camera. I love seeing the world from her perspective. It is something she can 'do' with the baby since playing with him doesn't really work yet. She feels privilaged to have the camera and proud when we send her pictures to others.

I am not a crafty mama, so my 3 year old son got to pick out one lovey and the "coming home from the hospital" outfit for our baby (due in 2 weeks). He'll help me wrap them and will give them to the baby in the hospital.

I think the camera is a great idea!

I have a fairly large family, and whenever there was a new sibling, rather than us getting them a gift, we would get one from the new baby. I still have the necklaces and crystal prisms they "brought" for us. It made us older kids feel special in a time when all the attention was on the new baby.

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