Is it necessary to send a gift upon receipt of a birth announcement?
No a gift is not required, though it is sure to be appreciated. Another option might be to send a congratulations note.
My friend has a daughter that's only four years old. I don't want her to feel left out - Is it okay to bring a gift to her?
It most definitely is! Young brothers and sisters need to know they are just as important. They still need attention and love. A gift will reassure them that they are special too.
What kind of gift is appropriate for the big brother or sister?
Great gift ideas might be a new doll - a baby of their own to care for by feeding and putting them to bed. Check with Mom and Dad first - and if it's ok, make a homemade gift certificate with crayons for a full day with just Mom and Dad at the park or the zoo. They might also like an "I'm a big brother or sister" T-shirt.
What gifts are suitable for older children?
If a child has already developed their own interests like baseball or ballet; then give them something like trading cards, a baseball mitt, or maybe a tutu and/or leotard.
I don't have any children of my own, and I know my niece would really like some new Kindergarten clothes. My sister is too busy with the baby to go shopping.
See if you can pop into your niece's closet when you go to pick her up. This should give you an indication of what size to have her try on in the department store. Mom can probably tell you as well!
My best friend's newborn is only 4 weeks old and already her 6-year old seems to have behavioral problems. Can I help?
Try to see if you can steal one of the parents for the day and take the 6-year old to their favorite place. Usually a child will act out when they feel neglected, so sit down with the child and explain to them how much their new little brother or sister will need them too and will love them as well. Give the child small responsibilities like helping to feed the baby or drawing the bath water.