Ideas to help new big sister feel extra special? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 02-25-2012, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am due in a couple of weeks and have an about-to-turn 4 y/o daughter already. She us SUPER SUPER stoked about the new baby and is actually incredibly mature and understanding, so I know she will be just fine after baby is born. Her personality doesn't tend toward getting upset over change or being jealous, etc., so I'm not worried about that. She is very independent, calm and understanding and a breeze to parent.

 

What I'm wondering is if anyone knows of any special "now-you're-a-big-girl-and-get-to-do-this-really-awesome-thing" type things to help her feel more special about becoming a big sister. I don't mean things like helping me take care of the baby or helping me around the house, she already does that and is super helpful. What I'm looking for is special treat type things that would appeal to the 4-9 y/o age group that will help her feel special about transitioning into getting older and taking on the role of being the older sibling.

 

They have to be free ideas. I don't have money to do things like buy her special stuff or send her off to clubs, sports or dance classes.

 

The only idea I have had so far is to convert the guest room into her own bedroom so she will have her own place to go to be alone with her own things in it - somewhere that we and the baby cannot go without her permission. I think that would make her feel grown-up and special.

 

Ideas?


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#2 of 11 Old 02-25-2012, 06:18 PM
 
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Yes, I think a special place of her own is perfect. What ever she would enjoy best! A bedroom would be great but even a reading nook, art station, etc would be nice.

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#3 of 11 Old 02-26-2012, 06:01 AM
 
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My first thought (before I read the end of your post) was to do something about her room.  If she already doesn't have her own room I think that setting one up for her is a perfect idea.  You could choose special sheets/bedding, put up decorations, whatever.

 

I would, though, be careful about setting up an entire room where the baby and you "aren't allowed" to go.  Yes it's important for kids to be able to have their own space when needed (and, no, I don't mean every kid needs their own room - but should have some way of getting space when they really need to), but you want to consider the two-kid dynamic before you set the precedent of one-kid not allowed.  In the future they might share a room (even if you have enough space for them each to have their own, you might choose for whatever reason to have them share).  Even if not you might find that you have really complicated things by setting up the "s/he's not allowed" rule for any room in the house.  You might be better off to simply set up a room for you dd and leave it at that.  See later how you want to set up the rules. 


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#4 of 11 Old 02-26-2012, 06:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pianojazzgirl View Post
I would, though, be careful about setting up an entire room where the baby and you "aren't allowed" to go.  Yes it's important for kids to be able to have their own space when needed (and, no, I don't mean every kid needs their own room - but should have some way of getting space when they really need to), but you want to consider the two-kid dynamic before you set the precedent of one-kid not allowed.  In the future they might share a room (even if you have enough space for them each to have their own, you might choose for whatever reason to have them share).  Even if not you might find that you have really complicated things by setting up the "s/he's not allowed" rule for any room in the house.  You might be better off to simply set up a room for you dd and leave it at that.  See later how you want to set up the rules. 


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And this is really all we did. We put up a baby gate at some point and told ds things like it was because younger dd didn't understand how to be gentle with his things yet.

 

Ds was pretty excited about helping pick out things to decorate his room. Dh bought him some inexpensive light houses (nautical theme) and paint and let ds paint some decorations for his room.


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#5 of 11 Old 02-28-2012, 10:50 AM
 
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My boys were 3 1/2 when my dd was born.  When they met her in the hospital, we had a cake that said "Congratulations! You're a big brother!"  (Yes, it's weird because one twin is actually 2 minutes older-- but we pretended there hadn't been an older brother.)  They also got a small older brother gift "from her" to open.  I think it was a hot wheels car for each of them.  They were thrilled.  They were showered with praise and admiration for their amazing feat of becoming big brothers.  The nurses exclaimed.  The grandparents exclaimed.  They each got to hold her and had their pictures taken.  They were puffed up with pride.  They were excited to have her.

 

We didn't change anything in the house or make any rules excluding the baby because, frankly, it wouldn't work in our house.  I'll be honest and admit that after the build-up, they were a little surprised at how boring a baby actually is, and then at how loud they are.  But by the time she was 18 months old, they played together.  Now there's nothing they like better than getting to be the one to teach their sister something or help her with homework. And it's hilarious and wonderful when they give her advice about navigating a school or friend situation-- wonderful because it turns out they give great advice.  And they have every reason to be proud that they're great big brothers. 

 

 

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#6 of 11 Old 02-28-2012, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Those are awesome and sweet ideas! Thank you!

 

I really want to do the gift and the cake now, but wonder if I should. Maybe just a small gift. Baby is due on big sister's birthday and I'm having her party - with a cake and presents - at the beginning of the month in case baby comes early and we're doing it again on her actual birthday, so not sure if we want to have three cakes and presents in one month, LOL! But maybe instead of a cake, something super awesome like ice cream or a basket of treats.

 

Thanks!
 

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Originally Posted by chaimom View Post

My boys were 3 1/2 when my dd was born.  When they met her in the hospital, we had a cake that said "Congratulations! You're a big brother!"  (Yes, it's weird because one twin is actually 2 minutes older-- but we pretended there hadn't been an older brother.)  They also got a small older brother gift "from her" to open.  I think it was a hot wheels car for each of them.  They were thrilled.  They were showered with praise and admiration for their amazing feat of becoming big brothers.  The nurses exclaimed.  The grandparents exclaimed.  They each got to hold her and had their pictures taken.  They were puffed up with pride.  They were excited to have her.

 

We didn't change anything in the house or make any rules excluding the baby because, frankly, it wouldn't work in our house.  I'll be honest and admit that after the build-up, they were a little surprised at how boring a baby actually is, and then at how loud they are.  But by the time she was 18 months old, they played together.  Now there's nothing they like better than getting to be the one to teach their sister something or help her with homework. And it's hilarious and wonderful when they give her advice about navigating a school or friend situation-- wonderful because it turns out they give great advice.  And they have every reason to be proud that they're great big brothers. 

 

 



 


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#7 of 11 Old 02-28-2012, 02:19 PM
 
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When DD2 was born DD1 was with my mom. She took DD1 to get her hair cut (or maybe she did it herself. I just realized I never asked.) It was a slightly more grown up looking style than she was used to and added a lot to the "I'm a big sister now" allure. I am so not into hair and fashion etc so I would never have thought of this but DD1 really liked it. She would have been about your daughter's age.

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#8 of 11 Old 03-03-2012, 05:56 AM
 
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Oh I love the cake idea :) When my sister had her youngest we made a big fuss over my older niece being the big sister (she was 4) and she got a present from the baby and I brought her a little gift and so did my mom. She was super excited and happy to be a bigger sister. Now they are 11 and 15 and well the exciting has faded lol, however they still end up sleeping together every night :)

 

We are going to set up a room for DS, he currently sleeps in our room. He is excited about decorating it and picking out new curtains and sheets and stuff. Actually we are giving him our room so we are moving out :) We will put his toys that are not baby friendly in there like small leggo, art stuff etc. I think we will do the cake and small gift from the baby idea too, he loves cake and I know that would be really special to him. 


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#9 of 11 Old 03-04-2012, 07:31 PM
 
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When my son was born I made dolls for both my girls so they can take care of their "babies" while I took care of mine. It helped when I needed time to nurse the baby. I also made sure I spent time with each of them individually even though I need to juggle a newborn as well. Usually the time was a quick run to the store but they loved having mommy's undivided attention. We also did matching shirts for the three children to wear to take pictures in. The girls helped me make them and loved being able to do that with me. When the baby was born my husband took the two girls out to pick out a special gift each to give to the new baby when they met him.

 

Im not sure if it all worked or if I just have easy children but I have very little jealously among the children and they all adore each other.


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#10 of 11 Old 03-07-2012, 09:24 PM
 
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We put dd in charge of introducing the baby to everyone, and telling them the things she likes and stuff.  People seem to ignore older sibs with the excitement of a new baby, and it made sure she was in on the conversations.  Her own room would be pretty special, as long as it feels like a place for you to hang out with her as she will likely need a little reassurance that you're still around for her.  A little fort or book nook would be a nice thing, too, at 4 secret hidey spots are precious.  Another though could be to start a special habit with her - start reading her some of your favorite kids books, get a hobby you can do together, excercise to yoga or zumba tapes or something that clearly the baby can't do or understand. 

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#11 of 11 Old 03-07-2012, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Great idea, thank you!

 

I also had the idea yesterday to ask the hubs to go out and buy her a really cheap (she won't know the difference) bouquet of flowers for becoming a big sister. I think she'd really love that.


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