We are getting super anxious to meet our newest Baby Bear over here! I’ve been trying to soak up this last little bit of time with my other two kiddos before a new baby arrives. One of the things I’m trying to be mindful of is keeping my other two kiddos involved as much as possible.
I tried to plan any big changes for them a few months before or after the baby arrives, and I plan to let them help with him as much as I can. I’ve seen a lot about making gift bags for older siblings to celebrate a new baby, and I did that with when J was born.
But to be honest, Lulu was so enthralled with her new baby bro that she hardly even cared about her gifts– she just wanted to snuggle him! This time around I thought it would be special for them to be involved in making a homemade gift for the baby instead, so that’s what we did!
I looked for a while at things newborns or young babies typically use, and came up with a few cute ideas. What we settled on was making a high contrast sensory baby book for our little dude to look at! I doubt he’ll care too much when he’s first born, but the kids will love having something to give him.
High contrast: the best way to stimulate (without overstimulating) babies!
Apparently high contrast patterns are one of the best ways to stimulate little babies. First, because they can’t see that well in the few weeks after birth, so black popping off of white is the best chance they’ll even notice it. Once they can see better, black and white with touches of red are still a lot more interesting for them to look at than something more colorful.
So, here’s what the kiddos and I did to make this little baby book.
- Black and white construction paper (thicker cardstock with work better if you have it)
- Red sharpie, or red cardstock as well
- Glue– preferably a stick, not liquid, top avoid wrinkling paper
- Paper cutter– not essential but will make your life soooo much easier
- Laminator with sheets
- Hole punch
- Some sort of small ring that can open and clasp closed
Making the high contrast sensory book
First, I took full pieces of 8.5×11 inch papers and cut them in half both ways to make 4 smaller rectangles with the paper-cutter. I had black cardstock that worked great, but only had computer paper for the white pages.
I cut double the amount of white and just doubled them up at the end rather than putting pictures on both sides of the same sheet. Cardstock for all of it would be ideal though!
Let the kiddos help you decide what pictures to put on each page. Our book has 7 pages, so 14 images total. I didn’t feel it needed too big since babies don’t need much to stimulate them.
Same goes for the pictures themselves! It can be tempting to want more detailed pictures, but simple really is better for babies. We stuck to basic images with splashes of red here and there.
Here are the pictures we put in the book:
Book cover, stripes, deer, snowflake, heart, Lulu’s hand print, leaf, cross, dump truck, flower, bear, sun, music note, and half white half black.
I suggest writing out what pictures you want of each color so that you can keep track of it. I drew some of them free hand, and others I traced from an image online. Thankfully babies don’t have super high art standards 🙂
Once you have your pictures drawn, just cut them out and add any final touches! I put hints of red here and there, but I just used a red sharpie for that since I didn’t have any paper that was red enough for my liking.
Another idea is to let your kiddos actually draw pictures themselves that can be included in the book. I may end up adding that to our book since my little ones loving drawing so much.
Once all your pictures are done, let the kids help glue them on to the pages! If you’re using thinner paper like I did for the white pages, I suggest gluing 2 pieces back to back and putting the pictures on either side of them. Especially if you’re planning to use a red sharpie, you don’t want the images to show through too much on the other side.
Now you’ll want to laminate the pages so they don’t get destroyed! Lulu loved helping me place the pages in the laminating sheets and put them through the laminator.
After we laminated the pages, I cut them down to the size of the original pages again. If you want to curve the edges you can, but I didn’t feel they were too stiff anyway.
Put all the pages in order and punch a hole in the top left corner of each of them. Place the ring through the holes, and your high contrast baby book is complete!
Now you have a sweet keepsake for your baby, and your older kiddos can feel special for helping make it! My little ones definitely love getting presents, but there’s something so mesmerizing about a new baby that everything else seems less important. They are so excited to give him his high contrast sensory baby book!
These little books also make great homemade baby gifts. I have several friends and family members expecting that I plan on making these books for 🙂
Being the end of my pregnancy, I loved any activity with them that didn’t require me being too active haha! If you’re like me and get super tired from chasing your older kids around while pregnant, be sure to check out my post on turning playtime into a spa day– for YOU!
Don’t forget to pin this high contrast sensory baby book for later or share with your pregnant friends!