5 Ways to Involve Older Siblings In Your Nursery Design
Designing a nursery for your little one is always a time consuming process, and that doesn’t change when it’s the second or third time around! As a seasoned mom, though, you may also be thinking about ways to involve your older children into the nursery design process. After all, introducing a new family member to the mix can be exciting for your older children, but it may also overwhelm them a bit. They may be thrilled to have a new playmate on the way yet also worry about having to compete for your attention or feeling left out. Including your older kids in nursery prep is an excellent way to help reinforce that they’re part of your A-team and will absolutely be valued as a sibling! Read on for some of our favorite ways to involve your older children into the nursery design process, no matter their interests.
One of our favorite ways to involve your older children into the nursery design process is by asking them to contribute their artistic talents to make the space great! Grab your stash of craft supplies and encourage your older children to go to town making some art pieces to hang up in the nursery. Older kids will appreciate being involved in the decorating process all while feeling as though their creative contributions are appreciated (you know how hard kids work on those paintings and drawings!). You can choose to display these masterpieces either by hanging a bulletin or memo board in the nursery or by popping favorite pieces into frames to go on Baby’s walls. If you’ve already shared Baby’s name with the entire family, you can work that into the designs somehow—you could even ask your kids to make an acrostic with fun words that correspond to each letter of their sibling’s moniker, for example. Kids may also enjoy collaging old catalogs or magazines and cutting out images that they think Baby will like. A collage activity in particular is a great way for little ones to develop their motor skills while keeping busy.
It can be difficult to get kids to share their belongings, but remind them that they’re now going to be a “big kid” in the family and need to pick some books and toys to pass down to Baby. Ask your older children to go through their rooms and pick a couple of books or toys that their little sibling may like. You can then set everything out in the nursery all together and arrange it so that it’s ready to be enjoyed when Baby is here. By choosing items from around your home to give to Baby, you will also be indicating that it isn’t essential to buy everything brand new all the time. There is plenty of value to be found in reusing favorite things and reducing both waste and spending!
Ask each of your children if they’d like to help write a letter to Baby that they can help “read” when he or she arrives. Of course, you may need to do most of the physical writing depending on your child’s age, but kids love to dictate their thoughts! Not sure what to touch on in this letter? Ask your child to share with you what they’re most looking forward to about having a younger sibling, what advice they have for Baby, and what Baby should know about them—like their favorite color, dream profession, birth date, and best friend’s name. Then place the finished letters somewhere safe in the nursery so that they can be enjoyed and read out loud after you’ve given birth. As a bonus, it’ll be fun to look back in five or 10 years and laugh together as a family about all of the things that your older child thought would be important for his or her younger sibling to know. These will be ones for the memory book, we just know it.
Let’s face it, despite being able to do tons of shopping online, you’ll most likely have to take your older kids on some of your nursery errands. However, there are ways you can make the process more engaging for them while still getting all of your tasks done in an efficient manner. One of the ways to involve your older children into the nursery design process is to ask kids for their input when picking out things like crib sheets and basic furniture. You could even pretend that you’re on a reality show and your child is your “celebrity designer” whose advice you value immensely! (Bonus points if you decide to get the salesperson helping you in on this plan). Kids will feel ultra important getting to weigh in with their own opinions and share their style, even if deep down you know you’ll never buy that hot pink dresser. And because your children may feel jealous that all of these fun new pieces are for their unborn sibling, it may not hurt to reward them with a small treat of their own, like a new stuffed animal or board book.
Sure, this may not be the playlist that you put on when you can’t get your little one to sleep at night, but your kids don’t have to know that! Work together and ask your children to make a list of their favorite songs that they think their little sibling may enjoy, then pull up Spotify and get groovin’. It will be fun to listen to the playlist as you all work together to get the nursery in tip top shape. And again, a few years down the line, it will be fun to look back on this playlist and see what songs your family was absolutely loving at this point in time.