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Second Baby? Activities, Tips, and Gifts for a Smoother Transition

Updated: May 7

Welcoming a second child into your family is an exciting time filled with love, joy, and a bit of adjustment for everyone involved. Whether you're eagerly anticipating the arrival or have recently brought your new baby home, ensuring a smooth transition for everyone is so important. Here are some thoughtful gifts, practical tips, and engaging activities to make the transition as seamless as possible!


For convenience - I created an Amazon list that has all the items linked in this blog - check it out here!


All links in the blog post are affiliate links, which means I make a percentage off your purchase at no additional cost to you.


Gifts That Make a Difference


For the New Baby


  1. Personalized Keepsakes: A customized blanket or a name puzzle adds a personal touch to the new baby's nursery, making them feel special from the start.

  2. Sibling Bonding Toys: Soft toys, like stuffed animals that the older sibling can give to the new baby, encourage early bonding moments and may help to get the older sibling excited about the new baby. It might be fun to take the older sibling out, before the baby arrives, to pick out a stuffed animal to give the new baby when they meet! Addy had SO much fun picking out a stuffed animal for her baby brother - it was such a special trip with her that gave us extra quality time in these last weeks of just us.


For the Firstborn


  1. "Big Sibling" Kit: Include a t-shirt that says "Big Brother/Sister," books about becoming a big sibling, and a toy camera to take pictures of their new sibling. A photo frame with a picture of them and their new sibling would also be a great gift after the baby arrives.

  2. Special One-on-One Date Cards: Pre-made cards the firstborn can redeem for special activities with each parent, ensuring they still feel important and loved. Examples of activities could be a breakfast/lunch date, coloring time together, a one-on-one walk, park time, etc!


Tips for a Smooth Transition


Preparing the Firstborn


  1. Pack a Special Bag: Have a bag packed for your firstborn with all the things they will need to feel comfortable if they are staying at someone else's house while you're in the hospital. This can include any pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals they sleep with, and all necessary toiletries. It might also be helpful to include their favorite snacks, toys, and a few new items. Having this packed will be a LIFESAVER when it's time to head to the hospital or in my case, send Addy to her grandparent's house while I give birth at home!

  2. Schedule a Sitter in Advance: If you need someone to watch your firstborn while you're at the hospital, make arrangements well in advance. This reduces stress and helps maintain a sense of normalcy for your older child. Tip: Make sure to communicate that you may need to call them at any hour of the day/night and that they will answer and be available!

  3. Introducing the Baby: When introducing your firstborn to their new sibling, choose a quiet, comfortable time and place. Encourage gentle interaction but don't force it. Celebrate the moment and reassure your firstborn of your love and excitement for them both. If the sibling picked out a stuffed animal/gift for the baby, gently encourage your firstborn to give it to the newborn when they are ready. It may also be a great idea to introduce them while the newborn is in a neutral space instead of mom or dad's arms!


Activities for a Smooth Transition


Creating a "mom is nursing basket" filled with engaging, quiet-time activities is a fantastic way to keep your firstborn happily occupied, especially during those times when you're nursing. This basket will only be available when you are feeding the baby, in order to keep your toddler excited about the items in the basket.


Check out my Sibling Basket List on Amazon for a bunch of items discussed below!


Toddler Nursing-Basket Ideas


  1. Coloring Books and Crayons: Choose mess-free options like washable crayons or markers and coloring books that match their interests.

  2. Puzzle Boards: Wooden puzzles or magnetic puzzle boards are great for independent play.

  3. Quiet Books: Fabric or felt books with zippers, buttons, and different textures encourage quiet exploration.

  4. Sticker Books: Reusable sticker books allow for creative play without the mess.

  5. Special Toys: Include a couple of new toys that are only used during nursing times, making them extra special. Make sure they aren't toys that will need your intervention and help!

My Toddler Wishlist on Amazon has TONS of toys, puzzles, busy boards, learning activities, etc! Check it out and grab whatever items would be perfect for your little one!


Encouraging Independent Play


  1. Art Station: Set up a small, child-safe art station where your firstborn can create while you're busy with the baby. Check out my Amazon Arts & Craft list with tons of items perfect for setting up and stocking your art station.

  2. Story Time: Record yourself reading their favorite books or invest in audiobooks and storytelling apps they can listen to. We LOVE our Toniebox that plays audio like stories, songs, etc. based on the character you place on the box.

  3. Imaginative Play: Encourage imaginative play with dress-up clothes, dolls, or action figures, allowing your child to play independently nearby.


Hopefully these tips are helpful as you prepare to welcome your second little love! I know firsthand how challenging this time can be, for everyone involved! With my experience the first time around, I created a New Mom Bundle that has SO MUCH information that will help you navigate and prepare in every way. The bundle includes PDFs for creating a baby registry, nesting checklist, creating a baby cart and postpartum cart, hospital bag and homebirth checklists, and so much more! Please check it out as I've created it for moms just like YOU!



I know it can feel a little overwhelming, with a flood of so many emotions, as you prepare to welcome your second baby! I'm currently feeling it all right now! I am right here cheering you on and embracing everything that comes with this season of life. You've got this Mama - your firstborn will do great and your newborn is going to feel SO LOVED.


Always,


Jess



L E T ' S B E F R I E N D S!



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