3 Reasons to remember a gift for the baby’s sibling
3 reasons for remembering a gift for the new baby’s siblingWhen a new baby arrives in the family most people forget to congratulate the sibling, preferring to focus all of their attention on the bundle of joy and the new parents. Although inevitable, given that the birth of a baby invokes such spontaneous joy, it can be devastating for the toddler who cannot understand what all the fuss is about. Not yet old enough to realise that friends and relatives behaved in exactly the same way when he or she arrived, the older sibling can easily feel left out and resentful. Here are three reasons why it’s better to factor in a gift for the sibling:
Help the toddler accept the new baby soonerThe idea is to get a toddler excited about the arrival of its baby sister or brother, to leave room for love to grow. Receiving a dedicated gift addressed to themselves (which mum or dad can confirm) can help to make the older sibling feel more connected to the celebration of the new baby. It also promotes harmony during an otherwise emotionally charged time when the little toddler may feel intense feelings of jealousy and resentment that mum and dad’s attention now has to be shared with another person who is so demanding. The sibling gift need not be anything extravagant. It can be as simple as a T-shirt imprinted with the words ‘big sister’ or ‘big brother’ to help the toddler accept his or her special role in the new baby’s life as one who baby can look up to and learn from. Little children, like anyone else, love to receive surprises and even a small token is enough to settle them and put a smile on their face, while gently introducing them to the responsibility of now having a younger sibling to help look after.
Help to build the sibling’s self-esteemInitial jealousy is a natural part of becoming a big sister or brother. After all, the arrival of another person in the family is a threat to older children who cannot understand why they must now constantly compete for the attention and affection of their parents. They may experience intense emotions and lash out through tantrums without even knowing why. As well as the instant surprise a small gift can provide, a dedicated sibling gift addressed to the toddler can help to diffuse some of their anxiety and reassure them that the celebration is not only all about the baby. Obviously, nothing can nor should replace the affections of mum or dad, but even the smallest gift can help a toddler to feel just as special and important as the new baby and present an opportunity to enforce their new role as a knowledgeable big sister or brother.
Help in the bonding of the growing family
Children thrive on feelings of belonging and affection that come from having caring and supportive families. When they realise that other than the presence of a new baby in their home nothing much else has changed in relation to themselves, they feel less threatened and more secure about their new role as older siblings. A gift can help to reassure the toddler and allow them to feel more connected to the celebration of baby’s arrival. The sooner they can accept that the new baby is just another sibling to love, care for and help mum and dad to look after, the quicker they will adjust to the idea of sharing mum and dad. Ultimately, family members who bond early through feeling connected to each other and more secure in their individual roles within that family unit make for stronger and more supportive families in the long run.
Photo Source: Julie Newell Photography