It’s almost impossible to live in a home with several children and not experience some sibling rivalry. Most adults know what it’s like to see a sibling receive a gift when you don’t and to feel that disappointment. At no other time is it more prevalent than when a new baby comes into the family. When a second child is born the older sibling has suddenly gone from the single focus of his or her parents’ attention, to sharing that attention with this little creature that only cries. Change is hard, especially when you’re a child who can’t understand it. So, should you buy older siblings gifts when taking the new baby a gift? There are benefits and drawbacks of both, but it may be wise simply ask the mother. |
Yes, Sibling Gifts
Sibling gifts can help encourage older children in their new role. If the baby gift is strictly a baby item, the older sibling will be uninterested and enjoy his or her gift even more. Gifts which encourage siblings include: books about being a big brother or big sister, t-shirts labeling the child as big brother or big sister, “grown-up” toys that only big kids can use. Kids want to be like mommy and daddy. For girls especially, but not exclusively, dolls are good gifts. Big sister can care for her baby like mommy cares for the new baby. Boys can be given action figures that can be taken care of, or cars that need washing – maybe like daddy does.
Mommy and daddy will unknowingly shower the new baby with lots of attention and will have to spend a lot of time taking care of the new baby. Older siblings can be left out unintentionally. A special toy or gift received because he or she now has a little brother or sister can help lessen the disappointment and keep an older child busy for hours at a time. Just be sure you are not buying time, or love, and that you make an effort every day to spend special time with the older child.
No Sibling Gifts
All through life, one child will get something the other child doesn’t, but wants. It’s simply a fact of life. Therefore, encouraging the child to expect a gift every time his or her sibling receives one is a disservice for the child. There are other ways to make an older child feel included and loved, such as giving him or her special big kid duties. It helps to encourage the older sibling how important his or her role as big brother or sister is to the new baby. You can also involve the older child in the care of the new baby.
Learn more about baby lullabies and how to care for your newborn baby.
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