Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Preparing Older Siblings for a New Baby

The other day I was at work with Alan. He was running around the room, yelling and terrorizing like he normally does lol. I had a coworker come up to me and ask me if I was nervous for when the new baby comes. Confused, I asked her why. What she said kinda offended me, but only really because I am pretty hormonal right now. She said that because of how active of a toddler Alan already was and quickly paused searching for better words to use. I told her she had permission to call my son a wild child because that's what he was. She laughed and said that she was just concerned that I might have my hands full with a toddler like Alan and a new baby. I told her we would be fine, by that time Alan would be almost three years old and would be going to preschool in the fall. But it really kinda bothered me. To me it seemed like she didn't want to directly say Alan was wild, and why she would even be concerned in the first place? I work at a daycare and have dealt with multiple babies and toddlers before. Or was it not me she was really concerned about?

But I'm hormonal, and thankfully I realize that. So I have just chalked it up to me looking into it too much. No biggie lol. However, it does give me a wonderful topic to write about.

I am actually not at all worried about how Alan will react to the new baby because Lon and I have already started talking to him about it. There are some specific things that we have already done or plan on doing, to help Alan understand this new chapter of our life. I am also going to post some other ideas as well, ones that don't work for my family but maybe will work for your family. So enjoy and feel free to comment any other ideas you mamas have!

*** One of the easiest things you can do to prepare your child(ren) for the new baby is get them books, DVDs or sign them up for Big Sibling classes. Alan is too young for Big Sibling classes (most places will require the children to be at least 3) but we got him the Elmo's World Babies, Dogs and more DVD.








Via


We also ordered Alan the What to Expect When Mommy's Having a Baby book on Amazon. We have yet to receive it but we can't wait to read it to him!








Via


*** The next step, is talking with your child(ren) about the baby as if it was your child's as well as yours and your husband's. Refer to baby as "your baby" or even "our baby" when around your child. This makes your child feel more involved in the pregnancy, and even in the raising of your new one. Alan already calls our baby his. :) Its one of my favorite things to hear lol.

*** When you next go to your OBGYN or midwife, ask them when it would be appropriate to bring your child to an appointment. It is recommended normally only for children over two, but taking your child(ren) with you to your doctor appointments and even the ultrasounds can be very beneficial to older siblings. They get the chance to hear baby's heartbeat and even see baby on a screen! This definitely helps make things more real for them.

*** If your child is a girl, or your husband is not so against it like mine is lol, give your child a baby doll set to practice on. This should include the baby, clothing and a diaper, and a bottle. Let your child pack the baby around places like you would, and encourage them to take care of their baby. Show them how to properly change their baby and feed their baby. If you plan on breastfeeding, explain to your child that baby will get food from another way than just the bottle. From mommy. Like I mentioned above, Lon is totally against this idea lol. He still thinks dolls are only for girls. :P My silly husband!

*** As your due date nears, try these fun little crafts with your child. Together the two of you can make a Countdown Calendar for baby's due date, and then be sure to check it with your child each day. You can also get together a Big Sibling Pack, something that will have all the things a big sibling would need. Pick the items out together and pack the bag. Things like crayons, coloring books, cars or small dolls are good ideas, as well as extra wipes for baby (to help mama out, your child will love this idea) or even a diaper and an extra outfit! Don't forget to have your child take her Big Sibling Pack with her when you go to the hospital.

*** Another thing that we plan on doing with Alan to prepare him for Baby is taking him shopping to get Baby a present for when he/she comes. Have your child pick out the gift, help you wrap it, make a special card together, and be sure to have them bring it with them when they come to visit you and Baby in the hospital.  You should pick out a special gift for them as well and wrap it, from Baby. These gifts should be exchanged during the first meeting together.

*** I am also planning on having no one else present when I have my children's first meeting. Only Lon and my mother, who will be caring for Alan while I labor and deliver. I want their first meeting to be personal and special for everyone, and this will become a challenge if I have several other guests wanting to meet Baby at the same time. I want a good hour of us alone, as a whole family finally, before anyone else can come in. Sounds maybe a little greedy, but I know how small those hospital rooms are and I know how fast they can become a stress zone. Plus remember this is Alan's Baby too. :)

Is there anything else you did to help prepare your child(ren) for the new baby's arrival? Please comment below and let me know! I love new ideas! :D

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