When a new baby is born in the family, it is a reason to celebrate. There are several ways to include older siblings in welcoming the new baby and begin building the sibling bonds for their future relationships. These ideas can all be accomplished without breaking the bank.

Plant a tree or garden

When the baby comes home, plant a tree to celebrate the birth of a new life. Enlist the entire family to pick it out and care for it. If you do not have a tree for the older siblings, consider getting ones for them as well. If you are live somewhere that this is not an option, you can plant a container garden with flowers to represent members of your family.

Make a snow, rock or clay family

If your new arrival comes in the winter months with snow on the ground, make a snow family to represent each member of the family. If you don’t have snowy weather, you can make a “snow family” with Styrofoam balls to display for winter holidays. If snow is not your style, gather rocks and embellish them to make a family with Google eyes, felt or foam accessories or bows, etc. You can sculpt family members out of polymer clay as well.

Decorate the car

When a couple gets married, their family and friends decorate the car to wish the new family well. You can do the same when going to pick up baby. Make sure that you leave adequate space to safely see while driving on the windows.

Wear matching family t-shirts or outfits

You can buy t-shirts (and a newborn sized one piece undershirt) from any craft or discount store. They can be embellished with fabric paints, patches, with fabric markers or with homemade t-shirt transfers. Read the directions for the fabric paint or transfers to see if the shirts must be washed before decorating. Fabric paints and markers are obviously permanent on fabric, so use with care with small children. Use a piece of cardboard to put inside the shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding through. It can take up to twenty-four to forty-eight hours for the paints to dry, so this is not a good activity to do within a few hours of going to the hospital to pick up the baby. T-shirt iron-on transfers can be purchased and an image or text can be designed on the computer and printed onto the transfers with any inkjet printer. Follow the directions to apply the transfer. Make sure that you make one for Mom and Dad too!

If you want to go fancier, make matching t-shirt dresses for the girls and Mom and Dad and the boys can all wear matching ties.