1. Baby doll

While mom is busy with the real baby, both big brothers and sisters can benefit from the opportunity to play with a nice quality baby doll. We received an American Girl Bitty Baby years ago, and it’s still one of the kids’ go-to toys. What I love about these dolls is that you can purchase one with characteristics similar to those of your children, in terms of hair, skin, and eye color. So Bitty Baby can look a whole lot like the real thing!

71L5PPn369L._SL1500_2. Big-brother & big-sister books

We’ve had a lot of big sister books around our house over the years—some that were gifted to us, some that I’ve purchased, and some that we’ve borrowed from the library—but these are our favorites. Sweet little stories and sweet little illustrations by Joanna Cole.

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3. Costumes

While everyone is all wrapped up in the baby, wouldn’t it be nice to offer big brother or sister an escape through the world of costumes? You could certainly go for something like the Pediatric Nurse costume, below, or even a favorite super hero.

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4. Reward chart

Sometimes adding a baby to the family can make big brothers and sisters a little bent out of shape, causing them to act out. Introducing a reward chart or a responsibility chart to them around the time of baby’s arrival helps define expectations and set them on a path to positive behavior and success. These two are my favorites:

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5. Toys and activities for independent play

Sometimes the greatest gift you can give big brother or sister AND mom and dad is the gift of independent play. There are so many demands on parents when there’s a new baby in the house, and big brother and sisters are often asked to play by themselves even though they aren’t well equipped to do so.

Check out our list of 20 toddler toys and activities that promote independent play, including things like these Melissa & Doug reusable sticker pads, which my kids can play with for an hour straight!

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81dxAKc+u0L._SL1200_Thanks for supporting merelymothers through our affiliate links!