Activity Pack Ideas For Older Siblings At A Birth

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Preparing for childbirth is a huge hit and miss activity. There’s only so much planning, reading, preparation and thought you can put into it, and then you have to step back and let nature do her thing. Now throw a toddler in the mix and you have a whole new ball game.

I’ve been planning and preparing a home birth in the hope of having my two year old daughter present. We’ve read books to prepare. We’ve spoken about it. We’ve watched birth videos. I tried to do yoga with her in the room. She rode me like a donkey.  Really. There’s just no accounting for a two year old’s frame of mind. So really, when it comes to planning to have a toddler at the birth of a sibling, it’s taken every ounce of my pre-child project and event management professional experience to come up with a plan. And in true project management style, here’s a graph to show you what I’ve realised:

Jokes aside though, that 1% that I have ‘under control’ includes having someone here to keep Ameli entertained when I go into labour and need my husband by my side.  As I write this I’m having random contractions, and my ‘person’  – my sister – is still six days from arriving to look after Ameli!

I have, however, done what I can to prepare. I’ve prepared a Birth Activity Bag with some things that I know with supervision and attention will keep Ameli busy for some time. Since I have no idea how long labour will be, and I have no idea whether she’ll be awake or not, I have no idea if there’s enough here, or too much, but whatever’s left over will be great to share together and keep her entertained while I’m learning to breastfeed a new baby. (By the time you read this, I may have answers to all these questions!)

In our Birth Activity Bag, we have:

  • A colouring book of trains with wax crayons
  • A colouring and sticker book – Ameli loves stickers and they can keep her busy for hours. There are only about twenty stickers for this book, and I’m still tempted to buy her another, bulkier pack of stickers.
  • An unusual ‘pop out’ book. She can pop out all the pieces and build a 3D carousel. This one will need a bit of guidance, but once it’s built I imagine she’ll have great fun playing with it for a while.
  • A six-in-one box of puzzles I’ve taken out and individually wrapped so that she can be given them separately over time.
  • A construction kit which will require supervision, but should be fun too.
  • Dyed Pasta for threading
  • A sticker pack, which I’m sure will end up all over the pool, lounge and house!
  • A prepared jar of cake mix, so you can bake a birthday cake together for baby in early labour.

These are all things we’ve bought new for the occasion, but in reality, they don’t have to be.

  • I’ve also put a few LEGO pieces in a baggie as LEGO always provides a few minutes of fun
  • I will also add the homebirth books we’ve been reading so she can look at them during the birth, for comparison, so to speak!

Some other suggestions I’ve been offered or thought of, but haven’t yet put together are:

  • a digital camera (for a slightly older child – I’d worry Ameli might dip it in the birth pool!)
  • a photo book of the older child with plenty of pictures of them with mama and daddy – something to look through together.
  • a paddling pool next to the birthpool for her to pop in and out of.
  • a favourite DVD, a bag of ready made popcorn and refreshing drink.
These are my currently totally theoretical ideas for keeping a toddler entertained during a homebirth.
If you’d like more ideas for Activity Bags, whether for birth, travel or just rainy days, it turns out there’s a world of activity packs to explore.  Check out my Pinterest board for  Toddler Activity Bags. You’ll (all) be busy for hours!
If you can think of anything else that would work well, please share your suggestions below!
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10 thoughts on “Activity Pack Ideas For Older Siblings At A Birth

  1. colleen

    Written in retrospect: Since I became the “Person”,I must add that the activity pack is a wonderful idea. I have never seen it used on siblings in or outside of the hospital setting and it definitely kept the little sister busy. If there was a point/event I did not want her to become involved in it was easy to draw her attention away from the event and onto a puzzle or a sticker application without removing her from the family unit during this time of bonding.Excellent planning,made the ‘sitters job so easy.

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  2. Thanks for the lovely article, I always have issues with my son Ian and this will help me keep him busy.

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  3. LOVE the pie chart and that you even dared to try do yoga with your toddler in the room. Your post made me smile but is so very close to my heart. I am pregnant and hoping with all my heart to have a home birth. First baby was born at home (planned) and it was magic and perfect and wonderful. Thank you for sharing this. Do keep us posted, and very best wishes to you and Amelie, and baby soon to be and of course the man who helped create them. Loads of love x x x

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  4. infant car seat reviews

    “She rode me like a donkey”..made me laugh!
    your kid is super cute
    God Bless!

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  5. It looks like you’re really well planned – and the pie chart is so like my normal life! Good luck with the baby, it’s a nice age gap (similar to what my 2nd one will be) :)
    Ursula Ciller’s last blog post ..Tuatara – a modern aged dinosaur

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  6. This is what I call effort! I was in the same situation a few months back. Luckily, I had in-laws to take care of my toddler at the time I gave birth. As much as I wanted to have him with us, the hospital did not allow children.

    I could use that activity pack idea for other occasions. Really useful!

    Regards, Les

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