Busy Kits for Big Siblings During Labor
Labor is all-consuming. It is raw, real, and a life-experience in which the entire family can be a part of. There is actually nothing more natural that a child could ever bear witness to in their lifetime, until they become a parent themselves. There is a shift happening in the birth world; a shift that has mothers understanding and believing in their bodies to accept labor naturally, handle contractions at home, and wait until needed to leave for a birth place. There is even an upward swing in birthing at home. But it doesn’t matter where you birth, if you have another child (or four), there is opportunity to include them in the entire birth journey. I highly recommend having a doula or caregiver present to help with any children so that you can focus solely on yourself and bringing a baby earth side. Your partner should be able to completely focus on you as well. But your children can be there, it’s just easier if someone they know is able to focus on them! All of that being said, labor can be long -insert the word ‘boring’ here for young kids. Toddlers and young children need entertainment, and now is not exactly the time for Mom and Dad to be the ones doing so. One of the greatest ideas ever is known as the “Busy Birth Bag for Big Siblings.” Simply put, you pack away a bunch of awesome crap that they get to play with while you are in labor. How easy is that? Instant entertainment while you labor away. So, what does one include in said ‘Busy Birth Bag’ anyway? Anything your creative mind can come up with! Along with a few of these winning ideas:
Snacks and Water: Include a cute, new sippy cup to fill with water, and add some pre-portioned snacks that will keep them happy.
Big Sibling T-shirt: Your little one can get dressed for the occasion by changing into a shirt that says she’s a big sister! Disposable Camera: This one is great for kids ages 3 years and up. It may be hard for them to wind on their own, or even hold the flash button down, but with a little encouragement and some help from whomever is in charge, you may get some great pictures to remember the day by!
Sticker Books: Every kid loves stickers. Mine especially love the big sticker books by Usborne or Melissa and Doug that allow them to dress people or reuse the stickers as they design something fun.
Recordable Stuffed Animal: My Baby's Heartbeat Animals can record a message from a big sibling about how excited she is to meet her little brother!
Large Coloring Pages (Even better – mess proof marker coloring!): You can find giant coloring pages or stick with a normal book of pictures and a pack of markers, just make sure you know that your child won’t be coloring the walls. If that problem may arise, stick with those brilliant markers that only work on the magic paper! A New Movie: DVD or iTunes, it doesn’t matter, just as long as it’s a movie that will keep your child sucked in for at least an hour! Books: Depending on your child’s age, you can find a few books that can be enjoyed in between contractions or alone with the caregiver in charge!
Puzzle: Kids love puzzles. Set of Blocks or Easy-To-Build Product: My kids love the magnetic blocks because they require zero help from an adult, but you can pick up any style that your child may love. One of my favorite ideas is to bake a birthday cake to celebrate the birth of a new sibling. You can bake it while in early labor or entrust the caregiver of choice to work with your child to create a wonderful cake while you concentrate on birthing a baby. All you need is:
- Cake Mix
- Icing Ingredients
- A Zero Candle
You can’t go wrong with anything you decide to throw into the busy bag. Just remember to include your little one however you can because it is a once in a lifetime experience!