My mom coming for a couple of weeks after dh had to go back to work! Also, diapers and baby clothes. My last baby was our fourth, but the first girl, and we totally needed girl clothes.
I bought a used digital camera on Craigslist for Big Brother for less than $20. This way he can take his own pictures of the baby and anything else he wants to capture!
What better way to interest an older sibling in the ins and outs of baby care than by offering them their very own diaper bag, stocked with a coordinating changing pad, “quilt,” three diapers, a wipes case, and a reversible bib?
Also welcome are gift cards for Amazon or other stores where the family can pick out what they really need, whether it’s a frilly newborn dress, diapers and wipes, toilet paper and dog food, or a treat for the rest of the family when everyone’s stressed out. A friend once gave me thirty dollars, and I still remember how fabulous it felt to go out and splurge on a de-frumping postpartum haircut.
1.The tried and true meal. I never manage to prepare freezer meals ahead of time, and I always think, “Oh, we can get by with chicken nuggets and pasta for a while.” But nothing beats having the whole thing taken care of by someone else — whether it’s something elaborate and gourmet, or just a bunch of sandwiches ready to eat.
And be specific.”What would you guys like to eat?” is great; but to a fuzzy-minded postpartum zombie, even better is “Would you rather have Specific Meal X, Y, or Z?” If you are feeling super helpful, include disposable plates and utensils, and don’t put the food in containers that you need back.
Something a littler more personal that takes more thought than any of those gifts would be happily received by any man. a mom of multiple babies would certainly need a good supply of burp cloths. Obviously, the gift you choose will depend on your budget and what your special lady likes.
I used one of the pictures we took of the boys announcing the news of the upcoming arrival of their sibling and had it made into a 25-piece puzzle. Little Brother will be especially excited about this gift as he is very into puzzles right now! And I love that the puzzle is simple enough that they can put it together themselves!
When Little Brother was born, we gave Big Brother several Melissa & Doug puzzles (he was 22 months at the time). You could also put together some busy bags to give to your child. Having something new and exciting that will keep him/her occupied will be a blessing for everyone as your meeting the demands of a newborn. Color wonder sets, Ziploc bag books, and I Spy bottles or mats are also great ideas for younger children.
The only truly unwelcome baby present I’ve ever gotten was tucked into the bottom of a “welcome, new baby!” basket from my church: it was a pamphlet titled something like, “So, Hear Me Out, Now. There’s This Thing Called NFP That You Might Maybe Want to Try. . . “. And yes, this was after I had literally written the book on NFP.
Everyone knows being a new big brother/sister involves a lot of “being patient” while the grown-ups tend to the baby. That means the older child will need something super amazing to entertain them. What came to mind for me was a book called My Pretty Pink Sticker Activity Purse, which kept A occupied during an EIGHT hour delay at the airport during the holidays. Over five hundred stickers? Yes, please!
My parents have paid their housekeeper to come clean our house once a month for a year for their baby gift for our twins. And the other best thing ever was the pile of spiritual bouquet cards from many friends and family that I was given a couple weeks before delivering. I had been so nervous about the c-section and recovery and I’ve-done-one-baby-but-two-oh-help and it was humbling and reassuring and so wonderful to have a huge pile of prayers to lean on during that time.
Aw, thank you for the kind words! This journey has been remarkable. I cannot wait to do my summary retrospective on it. The most amazing (and unanticipated) part has been to see how many people have been moved by it.
Diapers, diapers, diapers. With our last baby, I do not recall any diaper purchases for her first year because her godparents kept showing up with the next size. So generous. Prepared meals are tricky for us b/c of severe food allergies in our home, but a basket of fruit was always appreciated. The deliberately brief visit from a friend who was confident enough to discretely/sneakily put in a load of laundry before sitting down to chat while she folded clothes.
Our son was 15 months old when our daughter was born and we didn’t give him a gift. Instead, he got time with Dada (who returned from Afghanistan the day before the delivery), and the spend time walking around pushing the basinet through the hallways. I did pack bubbles to occupy him and some simple snacks like applesauce.
I just had my first baby, but what was most helpful at the beginning was when someone came and 1) took care of the baby for a couple of hours so I could sleep and 2) encouraged me that the newborn phase doesn’t last forever.
You can find the albums here: http://www.mysweetdreamsbaby.com/siblingphotoalbums.htm
Ummmm, I think that these are kinda to baby-ish for my big sister….
UPDATE: The 25-piece puzzle seems to be currently unavailable, but you can find a 30-piece puzzle here. I will update the post again when/if the other puzzle is available.
Just remember, even if you spent a lot of time and thought on a gift, the new parents are not obligated to display it on their wall or dress the baby in it at Easter time. A gift is a gift, so give it with love and then let it go!
I really can’t complain, though. I’m horrible about giving baby gifts, myself. I almost always just bring a fuzzy wuzzy outfit or an adorable bonnet, because it’s fun to shop for those things. But I’ve been on the receiving end of dozens of much more thoughtful, memorable gifts over the years. Here are some of my favorite ideas, which new moms seem to universally appreciate:
There are so many cute ideas for little girls sibling gifts (baby dolls and accessories, jewelry, etc), but very few practical yet meaningful gifts for boys.
While mom and dad are away at the hospital, what better way to help your first child feel connected than by reading him or her a story?
Just knowing people like you are out there has made my day.
Where did u get the big sister album or camera bag. Not sure which it is in the picture. Thanks
Ali, I simply love the idea of date cards for big brothers/sisters! You’re so right that what they really want and need is a little bit of special, undivided time with their mom and dad, and I can see how that would be difficult to pencil in. Giving a 3- or 4-year-old (or even older child) the power to request a “date” is a fantastic suggestion that doesn’t cost much at all or add clutter, as you said. Thanks for sharing!!
Thank you for this wonderful list! 3 weeks to go on my pregnancy and I didn’t know this is something to do for older siblings!
Here are a few gift ideas that we’ve come up with that could be used for big brothers or big sisters:
Did you know that a baby’s skin is a real sponge. The substance quickly penetrate in larger quantity than an adult. Our supplier from Québec offers: Fragrant free, lanolin free, preservatives free, irritants agent free and is enriched with emolients for best protection. (Available in the Alphabet basket)
First off all I really appreciate your content about little Baby gifts and 12 gifts that new Moms!! lebouquetblanc.com
Meals, meals, meals. When I had #4, my friends and family did a meal train for me for three weeks. It was wonderful. I’m part of a playgroup for younger kids (I get to organize it because I keep having babies), and we do a meal train for our new moms. And I make them these:
Here are a few other posts that might interest you:
Welcome Home from Hospital present for my sister
All big brothers and sisters can use a little recognition of their new title, and what better way to announce it than with a brand new tee shirt? The coolest part is that you can get baby a matching onesie in the same pattern from sites like petite lemon!
A variation: a gift card for take-out delivery. No matter how well a day starts out, things are guaranteed to look pretty bleak by dinner time. It’s a happy mom who knows that all she’ll have to do at 6 PM is open the door, open a pizza box, and call it a day.
Before A was born, one of the preparatory gifts my husband received was a pair of Daddy Scrubs to wear at the hospital. We got such a kick out of them that it seems appropriate to highlight the big brother/sister version.
4. Treats for other young kids. The non-newborn kids can feel a little lost and overlooked in the first weeks. How nice for them (and for an over-extended mom) to find a few little (non-messy!!!) activities to keep them busy. Sidewalk chalk, new crayons, coloring books, picture books, small stuffed animals or dolls, or a DVD (something you know the mom approves of) can cheer up siblings and give mom a needed respite.
Looking for a long-lasting memento of the time when your first welcomed their baby brother or sister? How about a piece of jewelry for each child, to symbolize their new relationship? Although most of your options are geared toward girls, I did still come across a few pieces for boys on Etsy that are definitely guy-approved.
Don’t all kids need a space of their own, especially when a little person comes into their home and crashes the party? I think forts and tents would appeal to any big brother/sister as they try to get a little time away from the baby :)
12.And you don’t have to wait for the baby to arrive. For some women, the last few weeks or months of pregnancy are physically and emotionally harder than the postpartum time, so any of the ideas above would probably be gratefully welcomed by an exhausted preggo who is starting to feel like her baby will never, ever come.
New baby gifts! Fun to receive, fun to give, almost impossible to get wrong.