Labor Countdown: Packing the Big Sister Bag

Even with Baby Two's arrival just around the corner, we've been shockingly relaxed (or just lazy). Hospital bags are semi-packed; birthing ball has been bought, but hasn't been inflated. We just set up the co-sleeper last night. Is this the way it is for all second-time parents? (I'm going to say yes to make myself feel better.)

Today, I put together a Big Sister bag to leave for E when we leave for the hospital. Every second-time mom I'd talked advised me to have a gift ready for the new big sibling when the baby arrived so he or she wouldn't feel left out. Since we aren't going to have the usual Filipino busload of family members coming to visit us at the hospital bearing gifts, I'm not too worried about E feeling like she's being overlooked in the gift department; however, I did want to leave her with things she can keep busy with while Woolim and I are busy with the baby, as well to give her a gift from her baby brother, since she's been so graciously picking out gifts to give him whenever we're out shopping.

My initial list of what to include was admittedly too long and expensive, and as shopped around, I kept hearing a voice in my head saying, "Overcompensating much?" It was, after all, for my imaginative toddler who finds a piece of scrap paper and turns it into a train ticket, so perhaps she didn't need a new character-branded backpack and water bottle, a special dress and new shoes, or five new toys to keep her happy. In the end, I trimmed it down to a few essentials and some nice-to-haves.

In the Big Sister Bag:

  • A book to read
  • Something to keep her hands busy - meaning, off the IV drip/bedside buttons
  • Something to care for - since she'll want to "help" with baby brother
  • Something to wear - for a nice family photo (I packed one of her favorites to avert any dress-up battles with the babysitter)
  • Something to eat - a sweet treat that's (almost) better than breastmilk 
  • Hand sanitizer - because hospital, because newborn

And because I'm always looking for an excuse to make something printable:

Download, print on sticker paper, and cut out.