Now that you are eighteen weeks pregnant, you are probably feeling more comfortable with your pregnancy. You have probably told everyone that you are pregnant by now. If this is not your first baby, your other children may be feeling very anxious about the new baby. How can you help your kids to prepare for the new baby? Maybe they are very excited and looking forward to being a big brother or sister or they could be angry, jealous or anxious about no longer being the baby of the family. In this week’s newsletter we are going to give you some ideas for “big brother” and “big sister” projects you can do with your kids. We are also going to talk about what to do when your other kids are not happy about the new baby.
What is going on with mom & baby
By (c) 2005 Jérôme SAUTRET (image by myself) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or CC-BY-SA-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons
|Baby: Baby’s crown to rump length is around 15 cm. (about the size of a sweet potato) Your baby weighs about 250 grams. Your baby’s bones are hardening. She can suck and swallow now. The pads of your baby’s finger tips and toes are forming. If you notice little jerky movements it could be because your baby has hiccups.|
Mom: You may notice a thick whitish vaginal discharge known as leukorrhea. You may notice your gums bleeding when you brush your teeth. This is a common complaint for pregnant moms. Now that your belly is getting bigger, you may have to be more creative with sexual positions during intercourse.
This week’s Pregnancy Checklist
|Purchase a crib for your baby’s nursery.|
|Purchase a video tape for recording your baby’s ultrasound (if your doctor allows this).|
|If you have other kids, help them make a special craft for the new baby.|
|Sign up for a childbirth preparation class.|
|Design a memory page or scrapbook page for your ultrasound photos.|
|Take a new belly picture for your scrapbook or journal.|
“Big Brother” and “Big Sister” Projects
Here are some fun ideas of things you can do with your kids to help them prepare for their new baby brother or sister. Kids love crafts and projects These are a lot of fun to do and will help your little one to get excited about being a big brother or sister.
Big Brother and Big sister tshirts - Purchase some fabric paint and help your kids to write “I’m going to be a big brother” (or sister) on the shirt. Then let him decorate it with paint, glitter, or whatever he wants. You can also buy already printed shirts but your kids will probably have more fun making their own.
Make a door hanger- Take a piece of cardboard and cut a hole at the top so that it can hang on your doorknob. Get some markers or craft paint, glue, glitter, beads, buttons or other decorations. Write “Big Brother’s room” or “Big Sister’s room” on the door hanger in marker. Let your child write his name on the door hanger and decorate it however he wants. Hang it on his door so he can admire it.
Getting ready for baby bag - Purchase a baby doll from the dollar store for you child and have her create her own list of things to do to get ready for the baby. Kids love to pretend shop and buy from pretend shopping lists. Then take a pillow case or tote bag and have your child fill it with all the items you would need for a new baby such as diapers, baby powder, a rattle, or baby lotion. You can have them decorate the bag and keep it handy for the day the new baby comes home.
Make an “our family book” - Purchase an inexpensive photo album. Take photos of every family member. Then take construction paper and make a biography page for each family member. It can be a very simple page with the family member’s birthday, favorite things to eat, favorite color, and other little things about them. Your child can give the new baby the book when she arrives and help make a page for the baby.
When Your Child Isn’t Happy About the New Baby
Some kids get excited when they hear the news about mommy being pregnant and other kids get really upset. Sometimes it is because they were not included in the decision to have a new baby or they are jealous of the new baby. If you ask your child why he is upset about having another addition to the family, you will likely be greeted with the answer “I don’t know”. Kids don’t always understand their feelings, they just know they are not happy. What are some things you can do to help your child deal with his feelings.
Be honest - Be honest with him. Once he understands that the baby’s arrival is permanent and you can’t just send him back, he will start to accept the situation. Give him time to adjust and talk about his feelings.
Don’t get angry - He is looking to you to help guide him through this transition. Try to be patient with him and let him talk about why he is upset. Sometimes talking about things will help him get to the bottom of his feelings and deal with them.
Let him be part of your pregnancy - Make some special time for him to cuddle, tell stories or sing to the baby in your tummy. Tell him that baby is listening to his voice and getting excited to meet him.
Be patient - It may take a little time for him to adjust to the idea of being a big brother. The more time he has to get used to things, the better he may feel about it. His first reaction to “you’re going to be a big brother” might be , “no I don’t want a baby ” but later he may actually get excited. Reinforce any positive statements you hear him make about the baby. If he says something that shows excitement, go with it. You may be surprised to see his feelings come around on this whole baby thing.