So I thought all you clever mama's might have some good ideas for me. My MIL had the bright idea of getting 19 mth old DD a little suitcase of her own, filled with special toys, that she can play with and look at while I'm busy with the new baby who will be showing up in a couple of weeks. I imagine that this will mostly be used during nursing times, or when she really wants to be held, and I just CAN'T put the newborn down. However, I can't really figure out what all to put in there? She loves bubbles, but that requires me to participate, she loves books but has millions and they seem to have lost their novelty, she's an animal lover but has lost interest in toys per say.
I'm also wondering about the logistics of this concept, as we're in the heart of temper tantrum phase. If this suitcase is incredibly appealing, and holds all of these special goodies, is it going to be worth the meltdowns that take place when a nursing session is over and the suitcase is then put away? thoughts?
Ideas would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
Just from (lots of) experience with other people's babies, and hearing their stories. I would say put in things like maybe a coloring book of animals, new crayons for little ones, some short DVDs of whatever she likes, audio stories, if she's into dolls, maybe something like that, I know all 6 of us LOVED blocks of any kind.....
I would explain to her in a way she can understand that this is a special backpack for when Mommy has to feed the baby. She may play with it until Mommy's finished. If she throws a fit, she will have _____ (whatever negative consequence works for her, time out, doesn't get it next time, whatever it is you do). Most fits are for show when it's that age.
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Loving the (mostly) organic country life as a SAHWM . Married to my hubby since '08, Ana born at home 11/12
Maybe you could take one new item out each time? FWIW I have not used something like that either time I've had a baby with older siblings. I did often feed while the older toddler was containted (drawing at the table, me reading books to her, play doh at the table, mealtime, etc.).
Flap books are fun and novel. A collection like Polly Pocket where you keep adding pieces/outfits. Fun things like a new toothbrush or play food.
How about making it a fairly small bag, that way it could have a couple of exiting toys at a time and you can change them out when she's looses interest. You could pack it together for the day, then she could choose a couple of the books & toys she aldready has to put in each morning.
I also found it helpful to keep a water bottle and few tubs of pre chopped fruit or snacks for my oldest handy. I could almost garutee she would want something just when I sat down to feed DS. I kept the tubs where she could get them but she had to come and sit with me, as she couldn't open them herself. I know other poeple leave out a snack tray but I found that led to food getting all over the house.
In terms of toys, somthing like a maga doodle or a small aquadoodle mat. Both fun to draw on but not quite as messy as crayons. CD or DVD of kids action songs, we found those great for the kids letting of steam while I got to sit on the sofa. Maybe her own baby to feed, and a spare nappy to change it if she doesn;t already have one.
Speaking from my own experience, I have a 22 month old girl who is completely NOT interested in her toys. She loves anything that is not a toy. So I bought her household stuff and she loves that so much more than any toys she has. She has a toilet brush and dust pan and and a brush, she has plastic tuppaware containers, plastic spoons, plastic cups, she has my old purse and wallet, pretty much anything of mine that is not a toy, she wants to play with! Empty gift bags, empty boxes, jewerly boxes are a big hit. So if your little one is not into toys, fill the suitcase with stuff from around the house (I went to Ikea and bought bunch of stuff for my dd cheap, like coasters, cups etc), she will be more occupied than with any toys. Also, my girl is already into pretend make up and dress up, so you might have a special selection of girly stuff if she likes those kinds of things, my dd loves mirrors, brushes, hats, necklaces, rings, stuff like that. Thirdly, I suggest getting a baby doll, some newborn diapers, a blanket and let your dd take care of her baby while you are taking care of your newborn! When we visited my nephew with my dd, she was very into the baby and started taking care of her own baby doll, brushing her hair, feeding her, pushing her in her stroller... But she was also very jelous of baby's toys. Rattles, pacifiers, so you might want to have a couple extra on hand, just in case your dd wants to steal everything from the baby...