A Gift Before the New Babyby Elizabeth MacDonald
It should come as no surprise that our society is obsessed with this gift-giving tradition!
We are always looking for a reason to splurge on our kids, and becoming a big sibling is the perfect occasion. The bond you have with your firstborn is so intense. Before a sibling is born, there are many emotions you will experience. You will want to try everything to ease this transition for your tiny love! One of the most fun things you can do is find the perfect big sibling gift! Oh, and this tradition is not just for the firstborn as baby #2 arrives, but it is for all big siblings when a new baby is welcomed.
The idea is this: With a new baby comes a lot of attention, attention that used to belong to the other child(ren). The previous ‘baby’ isn’t going to be the baby anymore, and it can be a rude awakening. Instead of expecting the older one to accept this tiny new human, you can basically bribe him.
I’m only slightly kidding. It’s not really a bribe… It is a gift of celebration! A gift that can come from Mommy and Daddy that says, “CONGRATULATIONS! You are a big brother!” or it can be a gift from the new baby that says, “I already love YOU big brother!” or your family can be as awesome as ours, and grandparents can send gifts saying, “We are thinking about YOU as you become a big brother. This gift is for you!”
The gift helps the child feel special and not overlooked. He is getting the best gift on the planet – a lifetime best friend, but he won’t understand that just yet. He will understand that he gets to open something and play with it.
There is of course more reasoning behind the idea of big sibling gifts. A gift can be given the same day as a new baby is born or it can be given days afterward. Typically, children will go through a bit of an adjustment period, with some children loving the baby at first and then withdrawing later. Others will immediately push new baby away and demand the attention be returned to them. Receiving something special can help reignite that bond between a parent and child – or lay the foundation for the bond between siblings. It can also act as a great distraction and tool to keep a child entertained during the many hours of nursing, rocking, and tending to a newborn.
A mother’s arms are always able to hold her children. Her lap is always the best place to be. The jealousy and newness that comes with having a new sibling should never be blown over or disciplined against. It is all part of the natural acceptance of the growing family.
Throughout pregnancy, an older sibling can be prepared in many ways for what is coming, and once baby arrives, a mother can still sit on the floor and actively be involved with the older sibling. There is a true balance that comes as the heart grows to love another. A mother will know when to set a baby down, when to pick her toddler up, and when she needs to take a break.
A big sibling gift is not just a materialistic bribery tool, but it helps a child and mother transition to find this new balance. If you are considering a big sibling gift, check out all of the great ideas we have come up with HERE.