Congratulations, you’re having another baby! Now how do you go about preparing your little one to be a big brother or sister? For today’s Mom Tip Monday Stephanie, fellow KidSteals fan and blogger at The Leaky Sippy, shares her tips on how she is preparing her kids to be older siblings.
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Now that I am over halfway through my pregnancy I am starting to feel like we need to start to prepare our almost two-year-old for the new baby. Although we are expecting our fourth child, this is the first time that we need to prepare a child under the age of four.
Being that he is still so young, the biggest thing I have been working on with him is how to be gentle. He has a Curious George monkey that has been helping us with this. He is a rambunctious toddler and I don’t want the first weeks of the baby being here to be a onstant reminder that things have changed for him. I want him to learn now what being gentle means.
We also have started talking about babies a lot. We talk about that when babies cry they need something like a diaper changed or they need mommy’s milk. He only stopped nursing about 12 weeks ago himself so I really want him to realize our new baby will be needing it. You never really know what he is actually understanding, but when we are out, if he hears a baby cry he starts talking about it. “Baby
cry. Diaper.” So, I think we just may be having a breakthrough here!
Of course we have started reading him books. I read “I’m a Big Brother” and “What a Baby Needs,” which was a little over his head, but it is a fantastic book and I would recommend it to anyone. Since he was a little young we talked about all the pictures.
We will need to transition him to a toddler bed so the baby can have the crib. We have neutral bedding in the crib now and it is completely useable, but I got to thinking that might make things harder for him if he sees “his” bed with a baby in it. I was able to find some beautiful, flowery sheets to make it look like it’s completely different. I’m hoping this will help.
I came up with the idea to make a story book of how Charlie became a big brother. I am using one of the photo processing sites to organize it into a story. I think seeing pictures of him as a baby and reading what a big boy he is now will be a very special way to help with the transition. It will also be a pretty awesome keepsake!
My older girls have been through this before so I’m not as worried about them. We realize though that this is still a big adjustment for them and want to help ease the stress. We have started with how they organize all the papers they bring home from school. The things that are a priority (need signatures) go on top. Then their homework, projects, etc. By being organized we can eliminate some of their worry that we aren’t interested in their lives anymore simply because we forgot to sign something. Also, we reminded them that the first three months will be hard for everyone. They know we will be tired and that we might need them to help out a little more. Knowing what to expect really helps ease their worries.
The most important thing to remember is to be patient. I know it’s incredibly hard to remember that when you only had a chance to close one eye for twenty minutes last night, but you need to try. Just do your best. Take deep breathes and remember, this too shall pass. Give your child(ren) as much special attention as you can, but be ready for them to need time to work through it all. They need to know you love them as much now as you ever did. Once our baby arrives, we’ll get to know her and arrive at our new “normal” but, that’s life with a new baby!
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Steal Network or its employees.