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New baby: what gift can I give my older child when the new baby comes home?

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Children under the age of 5 are used to getting all the attention, so when your new baby comes home, you should make an effort to do something really special for your older child.

You can always buy that new toy that your child will love for a week or two, or you can do something that will give them a lasting memory and help them accept their new sibling and feel like an important part of the picture.

Here are some ideas for special gifts for the older sibling:

A gift from the baby!
Buy a gift and a special note or letter that says the gift is from the baby. This will help your toddler understand that the baby loves him or her and it may not be so bad to have a new little brother or sister.

Special date with mom and dad!
Having a special day with mom or dad, or both is great for an older sibling. You and your toddler can create coupons that are good for a special day with mom or dad. Have fun with paper, crayons, or markers, and let your child redeem the coupon that they have made for that special day. On that special day, arrange childcare for the new baby. Your older child will then understand that the attention is just for them. Also, let them pick out what to do on the special day to make them feel extra special.

A baby to call their own!
Give your toddler a baby doll so they can care for their baby just as you care for your new baby. This will teach the child they babies do require a lot of attention, and care. They can name their baby and pick a birth date. Encourage them to mimic what you do; when it’s time for your baby to eat, have your toddler feed their baby doll. 

I’m the big brother/sister!
You can get simple t-shirt paints from the craft store to make a t-shirt that says, “I’m the big brother or sister”. It will be fun for your toddler to help you make the shirt and you will get to spend some quality time with your toddler. Take this opportunity to talk about being an older sibling and what your toddler can do that the new baby cannot. This will show them that you are proud of them and that they really are a great older sibling.
 
Becoming an older sibling is can be tough, but showing your child how proud you are of them and how much you love them will help them to accept being a “big brother” or “big sister”.
 
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