by: Michael Kabel
The big day comes, the baby arrives... and amid all the joy, the children already part of the family feel confused. For older siblings, especially infants accustomed to a very limited and set understanding of the world, a new baby in the family can lead, however unknowingly, to powerful feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, and even resentment. Unfortunately, the arrival of gifts for the baby can only compound this problem.
One possible solution many godparents and family friends are using to evade this dilemma involves the relatively new category of sibling baby gifts. These are gifts specifically targeted to soothe and reassure big brothers and sisters who may be anxious to define their place in the expanded family. With the gifts, young children feel included in the festivities and gain insight into their multi-faceted role as a big brother or sister.
A sibling gift popular with many families is the gift T-shirt. From an early age, children understand the legitimacy and "official" quality of clothing, and having a garment reading "I'm A Big Brother" or "I'm A Big Sister" clearly shows their arrival into the official capacity of older sibling. These shirts can be fun, breezy, and creative, but they allow the child to feel his or her own sense of identity. Some even feature professions such as fireman or astronaut, jobs children perceive as both admirable and important, linking in their minds those professions with the role they themselves are about to assume. As they grow older, the shirt can also serve as a reminder of when they first met their sibling, and of their very first days together.
A similar gift - one with a more personal touch - is the sibling photo album. These allow the child a visual record of their first encounters with the younger member of the family but also foster a sense of purpose and history to that time in their lives. The photos can be taken by parents or by the child himself, for an extra creative touch.
Of course, solidly made toys can also be a way to reward the child for his new role as sibling. These can include simple, semi-educational toys such as toy fire truck or baby doll, items which commemorate the new arrival and at the same time make the older sibling feel rewarded for taking on his new responsibilities.
Keepsakes are another means of celebrating the new arrival by making the siblings feel wanted, by trusting them with an item of permanence. Such an item might itself speak to maturity and responsibility. For example, giving a sibling a piggy bank might interest them in the virtues of savings and consideration. Giving them a jewelry case would help them to see the importance of organization and care for important items.
These are just a few ideas, but in truth the possibilities are virtually limitless. Corner Stork Baby Gifts carries a full range of the gifts described above, including personalization and engraving on some items. Their online showroom can be found here:www.cornerstorkbabygifts.com.