What to pack a toddler

Adina - posted on 06/05/2012 ( 33 moms have responded )

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I am going to have my second child a week from today, and we are taking our 2 1/2 yr old daughter with us. I want to pack her own bag of things for her to do when up there. I want her to be happy and content the whole time she is up there. This is going to be my first time at the hospital with a 2 1/2 yr old. What are some of the things I should pack for her? Thanks!

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Korine - posted on 06/05/2012

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If you are able- don't bring your 2 1/2 year old to the hospital during labor. He/she is not going to understand what you are going through. It could put them into a panic. If it is something you must do- pick out their favorite toys, blankets, any comfort item that they have- even bring a movie with you- the hospital will have a dvd player.

Elfrieda - posted on 06/05/2012

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She'll need somebody to take care of her, to take her out of the room if she's scared and maybe to a playground if she's bored, and home for night if you go into labour in the evening. I would suggest a grandparent or favourite babysitter.

As for quiet activities, my 2.5yo son likes cars, stuffed animals, magnets, colouring books, play-dough, puzzles, and things to put together and pull apart.

Bekah - posted on 06/07/2012

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Bring gifts/new toys that can be opened when she starts to get bored with what you packed.
Snacks and juice boxes
Bring DVD player with movies but check to see what the hospital has first or what they allow.

Grace's - posted on 06/05/2012

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It's not a good idea to bring your daughter with you. As soon as the heavy labor kicks in, you and your husband (who I assume is your coach) are going to be focused solely on you. A 2 1/2 year old can get in the way in the hospital, and some hospitals don't even allow children in the room during labor. It'd be best to make other arrangements and have her come meet her new sibling after things have calmed down. This is what I did with my 4 year old when her little sister was born (now 7 months old). My mom came and stayed with her while my husband and I were in the hospital, then brought her to the hospital to meet her new sister a couple hours after the birth. We didn't have her miss school or anything, as there would've been no point in her being at the hospital, just waiting.

That being said, if you HAVE to bring her to hospital with you, bring as many independent play items as you can that don't have a lot of pieces. Avoid messy stuff like playdough and puzzles. If you bring crayons only have about 10 total. Baby dolls, books, and movies are things she can quietly do.

Margo - posted on 06/05/2012

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I recently gave birth to my second child.. amazingly he is now 7 months old. the answer to the question was no because of the labor issues I had in the past and the supposed C-section that was scheduled I was not about to have him there for that. I did however, have him come afterwards and spend time with us in the hospital! I packed quiet toys that he would love to play with, had his favorite aunt around to take him in and out so his dad and I could know he was entertained and taken care of and when then we had gifts for him from our newborn! He felt special. He received a robe, new slippers, pjs, quiet toys, books etc! I also had his father the second night take him home to our house and sleep there for the evening. All in all he missed me but he was prepped along the way and transitioned very well being a great BIG brother.

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Rebecca - posted on 06/09/2012

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Oh and heaps and heaps of snacks I mean pack more than what you think she'll need...

Rebecca - posted on 06/09/2012

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All her favourite things and tuck away a pressie from the new baby we did this for our son and he was soooo excited that the new baby knew what he liked already and was the same age as your daughter when we had our second...

Erin - posted on 06/07/2012

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Whatever she is into! When my daughter was that age she liked to color & play with babies and she loved my cell phone or some other electronic with kid games! You will definitely need someone to help out with her though!!! Good luck!!!

Pamela - posted on 06/07/2012

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Her favorite toys, pillow, snacks. Take it from there and use your own INTUITION!

Becky - posted on 06/07/2012

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A blanket for her to play on - I would never let her crawl around on a hospital floor...

Becky - posted on 06/07/2012

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Snacks (no sugar) cheese crackers, laughing cow cheese or string..pretzels, squeeze juices or small cartons of True Moo or whatever...

Paper, crayola crayon pens.. pipe cleaners and beads (to make bracelets)

Doug & Melissa crafty kits at the Hallmark Stores now... are nice.. her favorite stuffed animals and baby blankys for them in a little tote bag... Her favorite pillow and book so she can nap...

Meema

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I packed lots of books, some crayons and paper, a few plastic toys that could be easily disinfected since I knew I couldn't stop her from playing on the floor. I also wrapped a new toy for her to open when the new baby came.

I like crayons over markers, I find the wax to be easier to clean off of things.

If the room has a TV and you are ok with her watching that, it should distract her for a while.

You might also want to check to see if the hospital has a child's play area. I found the one at the hospital I delivered at to be extremely helpful. It distracted her for hours.

Adina - posted on 06/07/2012

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Thanks, my first delievery wasn't bad at all....I went in at 5am and they started all the IVs and whatever. My doctor came in at noon broke my water, then right after that I had the epedueral and I never felt anything until the pressure and the feeling I needed to push. That started maybe at 5 or 6 in the evening then at 8:59pm I had my first daughter and I only pushed for about a half an hour. My doctor says my second one should go faster which I kinda hope so since you can't eat or drink anything until you have the baby, that was the only hard part. My daughter is very advance and acts alot older then 2.5 so I think she will be fine as far as crying and throwing fits. She only does that when she gets up too early, thats why she is staying over night with her grandparents then they are bringing her up later that day. I do plan on bringing our computer for my better half since he will be bored as well. I was thinking about getting my daughter some of those mess free coloring things and they have other products, has anyone tried them? And is the finger paint really mess free? I know I brought her the mess free coloring markers with a princess coloring book which had glitter...the glitter got everywhere so I didn't think that was really 100% mess free. Well just let me know about the mess free products! Thanks

Lisa - posted on 06/07/2012

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I'd suggest packing more than you expect to need. Movies, computer games (ipad etc..) plus toys and books. Young kids will need to walk around and "see" things because they are not used to being still and quiet so long. As long as someone is there to work with her your daughter should be fine but don't anticipate quiet the whole time she's there no matter what you bring- this is an exciting time and lots of people and your daughter may decide she really only wants you or her daddy. I had my just turned 3 yo son with me when my daughter was born and he thought it was really cool. In fact the first thing that he said when he saw her (still attached to the placenta and all goopy) was "Oh. She's SO beautiful!" Good luck to you with your delivery and enjoy the craziness of 2!

Laurel - posted on 06/06/2012

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Make sure you have lots of snacks!!! Books to read, and coloring and other activities. Games are good too...something another adult could play with her if you can't. Bring music if you are allowed to. Also any favorite toys, a blanket or favorite stuffed animal. Hope this helps!!! Good luck :)

Jennifer - posted on 06/06/2012

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Her comfort items and favored toys, our oldest also packed a toy she picked out and "bought" her sister. It was a Care Bear cousin the penguin at about 2.5 she collected Care Bears she still has them at almost 10 LOL and her little sister still has the Penguin. We also got her a couple small things, one thing that was important to her was a new outfit, her sister got a special outfit to come home in so she needed one as well.

Sherri - posted on 06/06/2012

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Honestly other than a visit I wouldn't have her there for too long. She is going to get tired, hungry and bored. It is not a place where she is even going to want to be. You are not going to be able to chase after her and watch her and honestly not sure if anybody else is going to want to try and amuse her for hours on end either. Of course I would have her there for an hour or so to visit but after that I would take her back to her grandparents or have dad bring her home.

Katy - posted on 06/06/2012

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Anything new is always a good idea. My oldest never even got to come to the hospital to visit her sister when she was born. My MIL came and stayed the night before because I had a non stress test the next day and I ended up going into labor instead. I had my daughter on Friday afternoon and was home on Saturday afternoon.

Heather - posted on 06/06/2012

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I am so glad that my 2 1/2 year old daughter and 4 1/2 year old son WON'T be there for the birth of our third daughter. Thank goodness my MIL is flying in to watch them and help out! I wouldn't want them there.

Adina - posted on 06/06/2012

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Thanks to all the comments. Just to clearify...she will not be in the room when I deliever. I am getting induced so I have to be at the hospital at 5am, so her grandparents is keeping her the night before then bringing her up in the morning. The hospital I am having my second one is the same as my first and when I was up there before they said any child of any age can come in before I have the baby, but after I have the baby only the siblings can be in there. There is going to be alot of people going to be up there for her to be with, but I wanted to also keep her quit on her own. Yeah she does have her fave things but she does get bored fast. And with the playground thing I never thought of that...I don't think there is an out door one which I am not for sure, but they might have an indoor one or a playroom thing. I'll look into that thanks! We are going to let my daughter pick out some stuff for her baby sister, and I am sure people will take her down to the gift shop. And one thing my family is good about is that if its ones birthday or getting gifts for some reason the sister (since all my family has girls) gets a gift too, so I bet my oldest will get gifts too. I love how she seems to love the fact she is getting a sister, but I am not sure if she understands that her baby sister is coming out? LOL....we have told her but I am not sure. Well thanks for all the info, I am going today to get her some new things to play with....Thanks again!!

Beth - posted on 06/06/2012

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If you're certain the hospital will allow her in, you still need to be sure you have an extra set of hands to deal with her during labor and delivery. You and your husband will want to be focused on that. But, I guess I would pack some of her favorite toys, and some new toys that will keep her distracted for a while. We always pack new toys (simple stuff, don't go overboard) when we go on airplane trips, it works well. Or, some people suggest buying a kind of larger gift for a first child when the second is born, to make them feel special when all the attention is on the baby. Maybe do that and make it something she can have in the hospital.

Kelly - posted on 06/06/2012

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i'm due any day now with our second as well. we opted (and had to--hospital policy) to have a close friend watch her during delivery either until we actually give birth or until a grandparent can get her to watch her in the waiting room. our hospital only allows siblings during visiting hrs (spouses have 24hr access), plus we didn't want to scare her or think mommy was in danger (she's freaked out a few times when the doppler goes on my belly for the heart rate check).

i'm sure by now you have checked with your hospital on its policies, but i do agree that the ladies that said it would be best to have some one there to take her out of the room if things get complicated. every labor is different and you might need some emergency medical interventions, a c-section, etc. you never know what could happen. plus if she is the inquisitive type like my child, she may get into everything, which could drive the staff a bit nuts and you don't want a frazzled/angry staff to deal with while their focus is on you & your baby. and you don't need to worry about her as well when you need to concentrate on labor.

it seems like you want her to be apart of your birth experience, which is a great thing. but there are a lot of other non "hands on" ways to have her be a part of it too. have her give a present to her sibling and the new baby give her a big sister present back, video tape your birth so that when she gets older and starts asking "where do babies come from?", you can show her the video, have whoever is watching her bring up some cupcakes & balloons so you can celebrate her sibling's birth day. and don't forget to capture he moments with your camera too, along with a big sister t-shirt. :)

Lisa - posted on 06/06/2012

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Check with your chosen hospital first! Many do not allow children under 12 in Labor & Delivery.

Violetsprinkles - posted on 06/05/2012

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Take lots of little snacks - more than you think you'll need as little ones
that are bored really like to eat!

Nancy - posted on 06/05/2012

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Snacks, new crayons and a new coloring book, and maybe an inexpensive digital camera if you can. :) I have seen them for $30 or less. Make sure you pack jammies so she feels comfy in bed with Mom and her new sibling. If you forget something, send hubby/partner home to retrieve it.



My daughter was 18 months when our oldest son was born.If you can, it might be best that she is not present during labor but joins the family shortly after. At that age (my youngest is that age now) she will not understand and will be distressed because Mommy is in pain.

Lori - posted on 06/05/2012

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My son was almost 2 1/2 when his brother was born, we weren't planning on having him in the delivery room but my labor went super fast and Grandma was stuck in traffic. My son was not traumatized at all, my husband held on to him and explained what was going on and he was one of the first to hold his baby brother in his arms, it was the cutest thing ever to see the excitement on his face. We had been talking about his baby brother forever but you could see he finally got it. It was a really beautiful moment and my boys are very close, if I had it all to do over I would, exactly the same way. He didn't stay the night, he went home with Grandma. Its a personal choice and only you know what is best for your family.

If you have an iPad or iPhone there are some great apps for toddlers, my daughter (she is adopted so their was no labor to witness) is 3 and she stays entertained for hours during her big brothers many sports and after school activities. Many of the apps are free or less then $2. I would also bring lots of snacks and a pillow pet or something comfy to sit on.

Good Luck!

Tina - posted on 06/05/2012

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My son was two when my daughter was born. He cried while I was having contractions, I guessed he sensed I was in pain. I ended up having my parents pick him up and they came back after she was born. We got him a big brother shirt and gift for her arrival too! That made him feel better.

Jeri - posted on 06/05/2012

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I also took both of my oldest children when having my third child. My son was 9 but my daughter was 2.5. We packed her fun rolling Hello Kitty suitcase with playdough, activity books, markers, a small portable dvd player, dvds, a cheap ipod withDora amd fresh beat band songs on it. After my c-section was when they came in to start the 4car night slumber party with their new baby sister. When friends and family came to visit they took them down to get fresh air, special treats from the cafeteria etc... oh, also they each got a disposable camera to take pics &he keep them entertained. Hope this helps! Good luck &he congratulations

Lyra - posted on 06/05/2012

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I gave birth a couple of months ago and brought our 3 1/2 year old son with us. We packed his favorite dinosaur toy and after he saw his baby brother we gave him a Baby Brother Certificate that I made --- http://sweetheartsam.wordpress.com/2012/... And we also got him a gift and we told him it's from his baby brother. It was a box of toy trains which he liked so much. Helped in the transition too in his becoming a big brother.

Crissy - posted on 06/05/2012

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i brought my laptop and some movies for my son and just some of his favorite toys and of course his phineas and ferb pillow he wont go without it just make sure she is comphy and yes just whatever her fav toys r i went to the doller store and bought him a couple of toys wraped them up and gave him one to open each day i was in the hospital to make him feel special and to keep him entertained it worked really good and you will have so meny family and friends in and out they will help also hope this helps

Jennie - posted on 06/05/2012

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Ask the hospital if it is ok first. My daughter wasn't quite 2 when Sonny Boy was born and my in-laws waited until later to bring her.

Khinaya - posted on 06/05/2012

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Thanks for posting this i need the same info. I'm due next month and I have a two 1/2 yr old also.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/05/2012

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Have you tried asking her what she wants to play with? You'll be amazed.

At 2.5 years old, she is more than old enough to have an opinion on what she wants to bring. And, she should have favorites that you've already noticed.

Pack her favorite activity things, and make sure you have a sitter to take her out if necessary.

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