Six years ago, I was ready to give birth to my second child. I was excited and anxious, and terrified over loving two babies equally. My first born, my sweet little girl was almost two years old, and I had no idea how she would handle this new addition.
Friends suggested that I enroll her in a daycare/preschool so I would have time alone with the new baby, but my gut instinct was to pull her in closer and cherish her toddlerhood, not push her away! And, boy am I glad we did. She and my second born have been inseparable for 6 years now. As in, they sleep together, play together, and act more like twins than big/little siblings.
Between then and now, two more little siblings have arrived, and all four children are excited to welcome our newest addition in a few short weeks. I am happy to say that my kids truly are friends. Yes, they fight, but because we have never pushed them away from one another, they know nothing other than true sibling friendship.
With every new baby, we have always followed the tradition of ‘Big Sibling Gifts.’ Our daughter was given a doll house and family of 4 when her first brother was born. That same dollhouse is still played with by the kids! We have given (or received from family) some pretty great sibling gits over the years: kid-size instruments, floor-size coloring pages, recordable heartbeat stuffed animals, baby dolls, doll accessories, books, matching shirts, and more!
Our absolute favorite big sibling gifts (with links) are as follows:
My Baby’s Heartbeat Bear has the sweetest collection of stuffed animals to choose from! They come with a recordable heart that can capture the new baby’s heartbeat or a message to the big sibling… or even a song!
I prefer one with correct anatomy (yes dolls can have a vulva or penis). Oh – and every boy needs a baby doll.
My kids love the cute cloth baby doll diapers that Velcro closed. They get to wear their babies in slings as I wear the newborn; they push their doll in a stroller next to me; they can even buckle their doll in the car!
Our boys love playing house as much as our daughter does, but we also have a killer fire station that gets loved on too!
A toddler-friendly, droppable camera is always fun. You can upload the pictures and make a scrapbook together.
There are tents in every shape, size, and theme available. We love the basic house version, and it has been used for over 7 years here.
Depending on your toddler’s attention span, or affinity towards stickers, these can be a hit or a miss!
The blocks are big enough for tiny hands and sturdy enough to not fall over every time the ball rolls by.
We love MagnaTiles, but there are so many other brands out there! The magnetic versions are the best because there is little required help needed!
Books – Personalized Books!
These are great for naptime or bedtime.
Big Sibling Kit
A box full of fun items for creative play! We love dress up scrubs, doctor kit, baby dolls, and anything else that will stir the imagination!
Remember that a gift is truly not needed, but it is a fun tradition to follow! A gift alone will not magically make your toddler accept a new sibling; that will take lots of love and quality time with Mama!