Mom And Child “Date” Ideas For When A New Sibling Arrives
Bringing a new baby into the world is a monumental change for families, especially if you already have a young child at home. Sibling rivalry and jealousy is to be expected, but there are many ways you can make the transition from one child to two a little smoother. One simple way parents can help older siblings adjust to having a new baby in the house is to set apart special time for one-on-one activities with the big sibling, away from the new baby. This allows your child to feel special, appreciated, and secure!
Many parents choose to call this special time with the older child a “date,” but really it just refers to the one-on-one attention you give your child away from the new baby. These “dates” can be outings, adventures, or even just engaging in an exciting new activity at home.
1. Have a tea party
If your little one enjoys playing with her stuffed animals or dolls, try putting on an afternoon tea party together. Get dressed up, wear fancy hats, set up a table, and let your child choose which friends are going to attend! You can make actual (decaffeinated) tea, or you can make a “tea” concoction with just warm water, lemon, and honey. You can also warm up some milk or hot chocolate as a substitute for tea. Gather some snacks like small cookies, graham crackers, pretzels, or sliced fruit. As you enjoy your tea and snacks, teach your little one about table manners, serving other people, and practice engaging in conversation! This can be a great activity if you’re nervous to actually leave your house when another caregiver is looking after the baby.
2. Explore a new park
Even if visiting neighborhood parks is part of your normal routine, take some time to scout out a new park to take your child to! Many local parenting blogs or social media pages will recommend parks and give information on the playground equipment, location, and amenities, so be sure to check those out for some new ideas.
3. Children’s museum
When a new baby arrives, older siblings need to know that there are special places designed just for them. A visit to a local children’s museum can be just the solution for a child feeling out of place. Children’s museums usually offer activities such as water play, digging for fossils, dress up and pretend play, story time, climbing structures and slides, puppet shows, music and movement, and more!
4. Baking together
If you’re looking for an activity where you don’t even have to leave the house, spend some time flipping through cookbooks with your little one and let them pick out a special new recipe to try! Even if you have a young toddler, encourage her to participate in the process by shopping for the ingredients, letting her scoop and pour the ingredients, helping set the timer on the oven, or helping decorate whatever treat you’ve created. Preschoolers and school-aged children can help measure ingredients, chop with child-safe knives, stir batter, and help decorate cookies or cakes.
5. Berry picking
Summertime can be a great time to go berry picking at a local farm. If you can find a spot that is open to the public for fruit picking, your child will be delighted. Berry picking is fun because you can taste test the fresh fruits as you gather them. There’s nothing more delicious than eating freshly-picked berries - or you can bring them home to create a fun new recipe with! Berries are delicious in pastries, smoothies, parfaits, and pie!
6. Library story time
Most public libraries host special story times for different age groups. Find the story time appropriate for your child’s age, and take him along for a fun outing together. Library story times usually include books, puppets, and music, and are so much fun for young children. After the story time is over, you can take your child into the library and let him pick a few books to take home.
7. Have a picnic
Picnics are so much fun for kids. Whether you do a picnic at a local park, or just take a blanket into the backyard while your baby takes a nap, your child will enjoy getting to eat in a different environment. Some good foods for a picnic include sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salad, fruit salad, watermelon slices, grapes, vegetables and hummus, carrots and ranch dressing, pretzels and peanut butter, cheese and crackers, veggie straws, juice boxes, fruit and vegetables pouches, and chips.
8. Trip to the zoo or farm
Young children are delighted by animals, so take advantage of this and plan a day at the zoo or a local farm! Playing with animals is so beneficial for a child’s overall wellbeing. Learning how to care for animals teaches children responsibility, kindness, and gentleness. Interacting with animals can also enhance your child’s confidence and self-esteem. Since newborn babies are too little to truly enjoy being around animals, going to the zoo or farm is the perfect outing for you and your older child to do together without the baby in tow!
9. Visit a trampoline park
Kids love trampolines, and they’re the perfect way to get out all that extra energy! Find a local trampoline park to visit and let your child jump to his heart’s content. Trampoline parks usually include an area sectioned off for young jumpers, so you don’t have to worry about your toddler getting bulldozed by an older child. Trampoline parks can also include climbing walls, basketball or soccer areas, dodgeball arenas, and foam pits for extra fun. Chances are, your little one will take a great nap after this adventure!
10. Backyard (or indoor) “camping”
If you enjoy camping, but don’t want to leave the comfort of your own home, you and your child can try camping right at home! Set up a camping tent either in your backyard or in your living room (if the weather outside isn’t great), and fill it with blankets, pillows, lanterns, flashlights, and books. Get some snacks, read together, and take a nap in the tent with your child. Camping is so much fun for young children, and it’s easy to recreate the experience right at home. If you have a backyard fire pit, you can even roast marshmallows or hot dogs over the fire, just like you would on a real camping trip!
Adjusting to life with a new sibling can be a difficult transition for young children, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a terrible period in everyone’s life. You can help make the transition easier on your child by taking time to have one-on-one quality time together, while another caregiver watches the new baby. From stuffed animal tea parties to trips to the trampoline park, the opportunities are endless to create wonderful memories with your child!
Parenting is awesome. Sleep is overrated. Every day is an adventure.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.