1.big brother shirt 2.big sister shirt 3. pretend play 4 I’m a big brother book 4. Best- Ever Big Sister book 5. The Berenstain Bear’s New Baby 5. storage pins 6. Melissa and Doug Activity Book7. Leappad2 8. castle logic
Hey Loves! I hope everyone is having a great week! While growing up, it seemed as though we never had less than 10 animals in the house at one time. You name it, we took care of it! Dogs, cats, hamsters, ferrets, iguanas, parakeets, fish, and squirrels. Yes even squirrels! I went through my college years living with Alison’s pet squirrel. So I have taken a break from being a pet owner, but I loved Alison’s blog last week on How to Prepare your Pet for a New Baby. It motivated me to expand the discussion to include siblings as well. My blog today is dedicated to help prepare your child for a new sibling.
When I had my second child, Charlee, I was very stressed out about how it would affect my son, Mason. Although I know how special it is to grow up with siblings, I was so scared of how he was going to transition with a new baby. I learned some amazing tips that really helped our family adjust. I wanted to share the tips that I found most helpful. Let’s get started!
BEFORE YOUR BABY COMES
1. Don’t rush it! I would recommend waiting until you are out of your first trimester to introduce the concept to your child. There is a lot that can happen in the first trimester and you want to make sure the baby is healthy before telling your child that they are going to be a big sibling. In addition, there are some unpleasant symptoms that can occur during the first trimester and you don’t want your child to associate their new sibling with their mommy being sick and tired. If they have a negative response, don’t worry. Just allow for some time to pass and revisit it later on in the pregnancy. You have plenty of time to prepare them.
2. Read books. In my opinion, this is the best way to communicate an idea to a child. There are so many great books that address all the different feelings that a child can and will feel after the arrival of the baby. Start reading these books to your child as your belly starts to grow and they will learn that the baby is growing.
3. Pretend play. As you get closer to your due date, start to introduce them to the concept of the new baby through pretend play. Purchase a baby doll with a stroller and bassinet. Pretend with them, while always enforcing how much you love them and how much the baby is going to love them too.
4. Make them part of the process. Allow them to help you prepare for the baby. Whether it’s picking out their sibling’s name or helping decorate the nursery. The more they are a part of the process, the more welcoming they will become.
5. Establish a routine before the baby comes. Make sure that if you are planning on starting a new school or changing your child’s hours, that you do it at least 2 months before the baby arrives. You don’t want your child to associate having to leave for school with the idea that the new sibling gets to stay home. I also recommend keeping your child’s environment consistent. Try not to change their room or furniture weeks before the baby comes.
AFTER THE BABY COMES
1.Sibling present. I love this tip! Do some research into what your child really wants. When the baby is born, wrap the gift up, and tell them that their baby sister or brother bought them a gift. It meant so much to Mason that his new baby sister bought him his favorite truck.
2. Special alone time. This was the most helpful with Mason’s transition. It is important to dedicate special time for just you and your child. We called it Mason/Mommy time and once a week I would dedicate two hours to doing something special with just Mason.
3. A designated space in the nursery. I recently went to this adorable store in North Miami called Give Wink and the owner had an amazing tip that I have to share. It is hard in the beginning, especially when it comes to nursing, to divide your attention and time. She recommended having a basket of toys dedicated to the older sibling in the nursery so that when you are nursing, your older child can feel close to you but entertain themselves. The toys should be geared towards independent play so that your child can entertain alone.
I hope this helps you with your journey! See you next Wednesday!