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Kelly is the author of MisKellany–and a friend of mine from high school! She is mom to Simon, 18 months, and a graduate student who lives in Mississippi. Kelly is passionate about green living and posts vegetarian Menu Plan Mondays each week!
I am the blessed Mama of one eighteen-month-old boy. Although we are not planning on having another baby for at least another year or two, I can already see how it will be a challenge to divide my attention between a newborn and a toddler or preschooler. However, with a little planning and creativity, I think most Mamas can juggle the transition successfully without resorting to screaming, hours of television, or a permanent loss of sanity. Here are some great gift ideas for the soon-to-be big brother or sister in your life that might help ease the addition of a new family member:
1. Art supplies such as these chubby, non-rolling crayons are sure to be a hit with most kids. Pick art supplies that will be new and exciting but not too challenging for the sibling you are shopping for. The same rule goes for things like puzzles. Go for engaging, not frustrating for a child do do by themselves without immediate assistance.
2. Play food such as this adorable soft play food set can keep kids busy preparing pretend meals for everyone in the family in their play kitchen or in Mama’s pots and bowls.
3. Look for interactive books such as this stack of books that can be stacked like blocks, read like books, or sorted by color or shape. The small size of these books is nice because they won’t be likely to bonk baby in the head if Mama ends up with two little ones in her lap.
4. A set of suitcases or other containers like these nesting suitcases will keep many kids entertained for hours. My son loves to start collections in buckets to carry around the house. These could also be an excellent way for a big sister or brother to help carry diapers or other baby essentials from one room to another.
5. A play tent or fort like this amazing tent just for big brother or sister might help create a place for big kids only that makes your new older sibling feel special. It could be a good place of their own for them to keep special toys and books and retreat to when they are feeling left out.
6. Puppets or other imaginative toys may be just the thing for children of a certain age. Puppets such as these finger puppets offer hours of open-ended imaginative time with limited amount of parental input. Some children will be able to play with them independently, while others will want more interaction, but participating in imaginary puppet play could be easy for a Mama sitting in a rocker nursing a newborn, since it does not necessarily involve getting up!
7. A baby doll might be just what the new big sibling in your life needs. While Mama changes the newborn’s diaper, big brother or big sister can practice changing this doll’s diaper and being a big helper.
8. Plan ahead with cute snack bags in the refrigerator and the pantry each night. Some pre-filled bags with healthy snacks will help the new sibling become more self-sufficient and less impatient with a busy second or third time mom.
9. Special time together without the baby is probably the best thing that anyone could give a new big sister or big brother who still needs to feel special or cared for despite the hubbub of life with a newborn. Dads, grandparents, and special family friends, think about taking the new sibling to the science museum and out to get a milkshake afterwards so that she still feels like an important member of the family.
10. Moms, what is the best gift your child ever received upon the birth of a new sibling?
This post is linked to Top Ten Tuesday.