We often hear of giving our older child a gift “from the baby” when they arrive to help ease the transition. This often looks like gifting your older child with a new toy or their favorite snack and letting them know their new baby sister or baby brother brought it just for them. This is a great strategy and often helps the older child warm to the new addition much easier. But, it is also true that doing the opposite—having the older sibling give a gift—can help build a strong foundation too.
No matter how old your current child or children are, a new baby will be a shock to the system. Some children embrace a new addition, while others have a hard time with the change. There are many things we can do to help them cope with that change, from talking about the new baby long before they are born, reading books and watching shows about becoming a big sibling, and doing our best to stick to their routines, so life doesn’t seem too overwhelming. A simple gesture like having your child give the new baby a present on their first day home can go a long way. Here are some great ideas for gifts an older sibling can give when they meet their new baby sibling.
Gifts From the Older Sibling
Something to Snuggle
Whether the older sibling or siblings are two years old or eight years old, they probably still have something that brings them comfort at night or when they are sad. Suggest your older child offer that same comfort to their new brother or sister. Your child can give it to the baby the day they meet and continue to give it to them to help them calm down and even learn to sleep as they get older. We love the soft, delicate options at Maileg, specifically their little sister and little brother mouse in matchbox sets.
Something to Take with Them Everywhere
As a younger sibling, this new addition will likely be on the go more often than not. From dropping their older brother off at school to picking up groceries with mom, the youngest sibling is rarely home at every nap time and mealtime. Because of this, pacifiers and lovey’s come in handy to help soothe when out and about. Have the older child gift one of these to your baby. You can find adorable options to coin the baby’s “special binky” or “special lovey,” like this knit cuddle cloth and these adorable pacifier straps from Scandiborn.
Always remember the first gift your older sibling gave their new sibling by making it personalized. Browse through Shutterfly and let your older child pick a framed picture, a puzzle, or a card. Our personal favorite is their personalized baby blankets. You can add the new baby’s names and pick the design and color. It can be a great activity to do together that will result in a beautiful and special gift for your newborn.
Something for Both of Them
If your older child or children is younger, it may be hard for them to grasp the idea of giving something without receiving. Make the transition easier by gifting them a matching set so they both get something. The Cuddle & Kind dolls are not only adorable and soft, but they also donate 10 meals for every doll purchased. Each option comes in a large and small size, making it the perfect matching gift for siblings. Bonus: you may even be able to find a doll with your child’s name!
Something They Can Read to Them
A great way to bond a baby and an older sibling is through reading. There are many big brother and big sister books out there that would be great for this, but as the first gift to your newborn, why not make it extra special? Places like Shutterfly allow you to create personalized stories that fit your family. Your older child can create a story about them and their new sibling that they can read to them for years to come.
Something to Wear
There is nothing like the moment your children meet for the very first time. Help your older child understand how important that moment is by gifting them a new “big brother” or “big sister” shirt to wear upon meeting the baby. Explain that they officially have this very important title today because their new sibling is officially born. Amp up the photo-op by putting your newborn in a “little brother” or “little sister” onesie as a gift from their sibling or siblings. You can also get creative and do hats or headbands instead of shirts.
Above all, there truly is nothing like a handmade craft. Create a special day before the baby is born to spend with your current child or children where you spend quality time together and make something handmade for the new addition on the way. Of course, the level of this craft varies by age, but this can be as simple as painting a wooden heart to hang in the nursery or as elaborate as drawing a picture of your family or hand painting baby’s new name.
No matter what you choose to gift your newborn, be sure to explain the meaning behind the gift to your older child. This is the first of many gifts they will give their new sibling, many of which will go beyond tangible items. Congrats to your growing family!