First, I purchased Big Sister / Little Brother shirts here for the duo to wear. Super happy with the quality and customization of each of these little shirts. Highly recommend. Each shirt is part of the kid's gift, but I'd like Tory to wear hers to the hospital so I didn't include it in her gift bag. Aden's onesie will likely be too big for him at birth, so I'll snap a few pictures of them wearing the shirts together at home on a later date.
For Tory's "big sister" gift, I included the following:
- "Baby brother" doll
- Toy diaper bag
- Magic bottle set
- Handmade baby doll bibs and diapers
I probably spent way too much time, effort and money on her gift but hey, a girl only becomes a big sister once in her life so it's worth it.
Tory loves to play pretend mommy to her dolls and with a new brother at home, I know she'll want to imitate everything I'm doing for the baby. I searched long and hard for a "boy" baby doll that looked somewhat real. (Seriously, you wouldn't think this would be so hard to find). I saw cloth boy baby dolls like this one and this one available only in random Target stores (quick, visit a 100 different ones and see if you can find it on the shelf -- good luck!) but I could not find a suitable option. Finally, I decided to cough up the extra moolah and purchase the JC Toys La Newborn Real Boy doll. I bought the girl version for my niece a few years ago, so I knew the doll really looks like a newborn baby. The "boy" doll even has correct anatomy (ahem) which is a feature I didn't really need and will probably bring up a few interesting questions from my toddler, but I suppose the real baby Aden's anatomy might stir up those same inquiries, so whatever.
I also purchased this Melissa & Doug Toy Diaper Changing Set. I considered making a toy diaper bag from a small canvas tote but for a few extra dollars, I could just buy this one and be done with it. This toy came with a baby wipes and baby ointment container, as well as one cloth doll diaper. It's fits all the baby diaper pieces and is exactly what I was hoping for. I know Tory will get a big kick out of carrying it around with her babies. To put inside the toy diaper bag, I also purchased these Magic Baby Bottles. You know the ones; the liquid inside appears and disappears when you tip the bottle just so.
Finally, I used this tutorial to sew handmade cloth baby doll diapers and bibs. I am by no means an expert seamstress, so I enlisted my wonderful mother-in-law, Janie, to pull these together. I used fabric quarters and colored felt I already had on hand for the material and one of Tory's current baby dolls to make a pattern template out of paper for the diaper and bib sizes. What I didn't realize was, by the time I sewed the materials together and flipped them inside out for clean edges, the diapers and bibs would actually shrink to a smaller size than my original template. It worked out fine, but they were a little hard to turn right-side out after sewing. (See? I'm new to this sewing thing). I put in a few hours work on them and then Janie finished them up in an instant by sewing Velcro tabs on the closures. Tory is just going to flip when she sees the baby doll diapers and bibs. The little turkey is already stealing the clean ones I have washed and ready for Aden in his nursery.
I considered buying some activity books and crayons, or a big sister / little brother book for Tory's gift as well, but we already have tons of these things at home. I may throw in a few of our existing coloring books and crayons into my hospital bag for Tory to play with when she's at the hospital visiting. Who am I kidding, though? The girl is going to be all over her new baby brother.
For Aden's "little brother" gift, I've purchased /or am planning the following:
- "Little brother" onesie (pictured above)
- A picture Tory colors for the baby
I'm planning to have Tory pick out some pacifiers and bibs for Aden at the store, as well as color a picture for him a little closer to my due date. We'll wrap Aden's gift together so she remembers she's giving it to him.
I'm hoping all the hoopla around "big sister" / "little brother" gifts makes this time in Tory's life truly special and helps the transition go smoothly. I'm excited to see Tory's reaction when she meets her baby brother for the first time. My heart may literally explode with happiness.