run out of womb

... learning how to be a mum from scratch

Thursday 11 March 2021

The Best Presents for a Sibling from a New Baby

Giving birth is hard enough, but I'm extremely glad I didn't have to also push out the present my baby 'bought' for his new big brother.. It was a toddler version of the etch-a-sketch drawing board. A really, really big version... Good job the new baby Amazon Prime'd his gift rather than buying it in-utero. But it did turn out to be a really good present: his toddler bro loved it, and it was especially helpful in those early weeks when I was feeding the newborn and didn't have free hands all the time - something the new big brother could get along with solo.

Obviously you'll know your own kid's likes and obsessions the best and that will feed into the present - but in my experience of a close gap (mine were born exactly two years, one month and one day apart), you want a toy that your eldest can play with solo, for a long time, and/or which helps them feel involved.

So here are some great ideas for new big brother / sister presents if you've got a toddler (or older kid) who's about to lose his or her I'm The Boss Around Here title...

V Tech Camera + Scrapbook set- make your kid the "official photographer" of the baby with this toy camera from which you can print real photos. Then they can stick their photos into the scrapbook with stickers, glitter etc too - OK, this bit will need someone's help but will be a nice souvenir as well as a great present, and the photography bit really helps them feel included when visitors etc come, as they have an Important Job To Do.
A dispatch from brill Bookabees
* Subscription to Bookabees - the idea of a subscription might be a bit complicated to explain to a tot but once these parcels start dropping through the letterbox each month they'll soon love it...  Bookabees is a kids' subscription book club - you fill in a form about your child's age, likes etc, and each month one, three or five perfectly-pitched books arrive through your letterbox in a personalised box that's also full of puzzles, stickers, bookmarks and activities. You either keep the books forever, paying 50% off their RRP, or send them back after reading them, and either way more arrive next month. It's £5 a month for one book each month, up to £11 for five. We've had two parcels so far and all the books have been really popular (featuring dinosaurs, dirty dogs and cuddling hedgehogs) - especially good as a baby gift as it can be tough to get out to the library etc in the early newborn days, and ongoing books arriving each month is really exciting. 

* Sibling book - Writing for Tiny makes personalised story books about changes, worries and milestones - including becoming a sibling. You fill in details about your child and your family, and receive a super-cute little book with cartoon pictures and a story about the baby. A lovely idea for a gift from your baby, or buy it before the birth as a more personal alternative to 'There's a House Inside My Mummy' et al.

* Drawing Board - As above, tiniest man 'bought' this for his new big brother and it's been great as he gets it out himself, draws, uses the (included) stamps and generally keeps himself busy for good chunks of time, especially when I'm feeding. And no mess...

* Doctor's Set - friends bought this for their eldest and said it worked out well as the baby 'gave' it to his sister at the hospital, and the toddler could then play with it alongside the midwives etc, but still uses it lots at home - including to check her newborn's heart beat :)

* Pound Shop Box - there's nothing nostalgic about this one, but lets face it, crappy pound shop toys are popular, and you can buy a whole bunch of stuff for not much money. Stickers, toy cars, masks, colours, etc - grab a basket in Poundland, put the toys all in one box, and hopefully it'll keep them playing for ages because there's so much in there.
* A doll - especially one with lots of accessories, just like a newborn, such as Baby Annabell (or her brother doll, Baby George) - so your older child can feed, bathe, cuddle, change nappies, clothes etc at the same time as you're doing so with the baby.
* Duplo / Lego - this is the toy that seems to hold kids' attention for the longest, as well as encouraging imaginative and solo play - which is vital in the early days. There are loads of special sets like this one but what's been really popular in our house is just a great big multi box of bricks like this one: pricey, but doesn't wear and gets so much use. Look out for second-hand sales on Facebook mum groups and in charity shops.
* Paint Sticks - same theory as above, you want an imaginative toy that they can play with solo, so the idea of painting when you've a newborn around might seem CRAZY - but these involve zero mess, it's just colouring in, crayon-style, and then you add water. Fab invention and really good quality. Play Do can be good for this too - a bit of mess, but lots of fun.

* Some of the above ideas were sent to ROOW for review but rest assured we're seriously gobby and only rave about things we really love.

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