So, you're expecting Number Two.
You're excited, scared, nauseous, and still taking Number One (who oscillates between being very much a baby and a teenager) to kindergarten five days a week. Prepare? What does that word even mean?
Goal one: make sure Number One feels safe, secure, and (dare we say) excited about their new sibling. And why shouldn't they be excited? You loved your sibling! You're giving Number One a constant playmate! A witness to your embarrassing parenting moments! What could be bad about that?
But, of course, we all know children can react differently to the idea of a new baby in the house. They may be happy, sure. But, they may be angry or possessive. They may be terrified. Thankfully, you can take control of the situation. And we know that because we talked to the experts.
"Provide valuable opportunities for children to understand this upcoming change through concrete experiences," say parenting experts and hosts of the podcast, No Silly Questions Jordana Fruchter and Danielle Freilich. "We suggest experiences that allow them more time to connect with you. Giving a child a baby doll and engaging in play to care for the baby doll can be meaningful. Other ideas: showing your child a picture of the sonogram with an accompanying fruit or vegetable that represents the size of the baby inside your belly can help them understand why your belly is growing, or looking through pictures with your child of you and your sibling when you were young will reinforce feelings of warmth around family," they say.
We also chatted with Mariel Benjamin, Director of Groups at Cooper, an online parenting resource, for more tips and tricks: "If there's something the big sibling loves that they can give the new sibling, that's nice. You can also do the reverse and have a gift "from the baby" – a big brother or big sister gift that helps share the special moment." And if you’re looking for some of those special gift ideas, look no further than right here. We curated the best Big Sib Gifts from our site to make your life just a tiny bit easier. Shop our favorites, below.
Genius building blocks that transform before your eyes. This 42 Piece Magnetic Wooden Block Set sets an entirely new standard for wooden blocks. Sustainably made in Honduras, each shape has been thoughtfully designed to magnetically click together with other shapes, allowing for hours upon hours of fun, educational play while promoting fine motor skills and spatial problem solving.
Meet Richie. Hand knit from 100% lambswool, this might be the world's most fun-loving stuffed animal. Complete with a soft golden mane, Richie is full of lively charm, and sure to provide your little one with endless hugs and snuggles.
Donna Wilson Richie, $119
Makeup for little ones that you can feel good about. This So Much Yum Makeup Set is a total dream, complete with 6 essentials — from gloss to mascara to the cutest-ever hand mirror — that allow your little one to express themselves while creating subtle but playful looks.
The world is yours to discover. The Explorer Suitcase is full of delightful and practical accessories that will help your little explorer find their way. Binoculars, a water bottle, a compass, and so much more, all stored in an easy, super portable suitcase.
Store your cars in style. Made from sturdy from pine, beech, and plywood, this Magnetic Garage is ultra-stylish way to store and display an awesome car collection. Beyond easy to assemble, this garage takes your little one's stable of automobiles to the next level.
An entire universe of play, all in one place. The Suitcase Series: Surf Shack is absolutely genius, a self-contained universe of surf-themed toys that packs up neatly into its own suitcase making for easy transportation and even easier clean up. Made from eco-friendly bamboo, this 17-piece set is perfect for picnics, playdates, and travel.
Let play time take flight. This Airport Set has everything your little one needs to learn the ins and outs of a busy day at the airport. Whether they want to play pilot or head up to the air traffic control tower, this play set has endless possibility and is ready to fly at a moment's notice.
Mini-sized goes oversized. Made from recycled polyester, the Angy Jacket features color blocking and a warm teddy fabric — two of our favorite things. With a slightly oversized fit and deep, functional pockets, this is the ultimate layering piece that can stand on its own as the star of any outfit.