Our DS is 4 years old and this will be his first sibling. We want to make the experience something that he remembers as joyful and I've heard of other moms giving a "older sibling" gift. Any ideas, as well as other wholesome ideas to help make the older child comfortable with the whole process?
Im writing in homebirth because we are having a homebirth (obviously:), but our son can tend to become nervous and insecure sometimes, so Im just wanting advice on overall helping with the whole transition in his life.
We have a couple of books that he is enjoying, but I would also love any video rec's and other ideas as I am naturally just not very wholesome minded when it comes to ideas like this:)
Thanks for any and all suggestions!
This has less to do with transition, but I remember reading on these forums somewhere where a mom made her little one a "birth box" that they were allowed to open when mom went into labor. I think this is a great idea, and I plan to make one for my DS when the time comes! (of course I have to ecome pregnant first! lol)
Otherwise with my son what tends to work best for any first experiences (going to the dentist, going on a plane) are having good, clear conversations with him about what he can expect, what he may see or hear, and what will happen. There are a ton of books out there for first experiences if you check out Amazon. Good luck!!
We had this great book for DC (who was 10). It was kind of a baby book that she was to fill out. She sat there for the first exam with the MW and wrote stuff down. It was really cute and I think helped alot.
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Anyway, my son is almost 2, and I made him a "big brother" mei tai ( https://www.etsy.com/listing/101695340/big-brother-mei-tai ) so he can get used to some of the baby stuff. I got this idea when I was babysitting my friend's daughter, who was 2.5 and just about to have a baby brother. Her mom wanted her to spend some time with me and my then-three-month-old son, so she could experience the baby deal. She was completely amazed with my homemade mei tai and how it let me hold him close while still playing blocks with her. I made her an identical one as a "big sister" gift, and now, a couple years later, she still loves it.
We talk about babies needing to be carried because they can't walk, and babies eating from "mama's nipperrrs" as DS says. We have a lot of "new baby" books, and keep getting them from the library. His favorite (which I think is a weird choice) is called _This Baby_, and it's about a little girl wondering what the new baby will be like. It opens with a painting of a girl listening to her mama's pregnant belly--and now DS asks to "listen baby mama tummy" at least once per day. Of course, he does that to DH, too... I think my favorite book (though aimed at a slightly older audience than my son) is the Mr. Rogers one. It deals really well with the feelings of having a new baby in the family.
We're also trying to find opportunities for him to be around young babies in the flesh. It's way more effective, I think, than just videos. Some hospitals or communities offer "big sibling" classes. Although we don't have those around here, it might be worth looking into. When we see a baby at church or out in public, we go over and say hi, and talk about things like how to be gentle with a baby and where it is ok to touch a baby (feet are always a good idea).
I also really love the AlphaMom articles on this: http://alphamom.com/your-life/postpartum/when-the-big-brother-becomes-the-big-challenge/
Oh, and lastly, my brother was born at home, and my dad and I cut the cord together--I actually remember that, even though I was only three. My parents did a lot to really involve me in taking care of him.
Sorry, this are like not at all gift ideas for the most part...
Mama to Silas Anansi, born 9/9/10 and Petra Eadaion, born 10/1/12.