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My husband has 2 kids already and we just talk openly about the baby. We let them listen with the doppler, show pictures, show them what we've bought. We're turning the one room into a nursery/toddler room for my 3 year old step son
When I was pregnant last time, DD #1 was not even two yet, so we talked about the baby in mommy's tummy and she would kiss my belly, but we didn't really do anything big. We would make sure to always talk positively about babies- how much fun they are and how cute and sweet. I tried really hard not to let her hear me complaining - "Oh, this baby is hurting my back!" or anything like that. We just wanted her to have positive associations.
We moved her into a big girl bed about two months ahead of time, because even though we were going to cosleep, we wanted to have the crib just in case, and we didn't want the change to be at the same time as the baby's arrival, just in case she didn't like the bed.
We also bought her a special toy that she got to unwrap at the hospital. It was her present "from" her new baby sister.
This time, DD #1 is five, so she understands a lot. DD #2 is almost three, but she still seems really young, so we're doing the same thing we did last time. It's getting closer to time to think about Big Sister gifts!
I'm not sure, but I'm kind of worried about this. DS will be 3 years and 8 months, 2 years older than we had hoped for and I think it will be a big adjustment for him. I'm trying to check out books from the library like " The Berenstein Bears and Baby Makes Five", etc. I let him listen to the baby's heartbeat on my doppler and he does think that is cool. In a few weeks hopefully he'll be able to feel the baby kick and stuff like this. Our hospital also has a "Sibling Preparedness" class for new big siblings and I'll be sending him to that too.
__________________ Joyful Mama to 2 Sweet little boys
My son is almost 2 so he doesn't understand much. He'll point to my belly when we ask him about the baby so i think he gets that there is a baby in there but doesn't understand more than that. I'm sure there's not much we can do to prepare him since he can only understand so much. I will keep talking about baby and tell him about her. It is kind of funny, when i asked him once if he wanted her to come out he said "yeah" and then said "shhhhh" which is what he does for sleep so i think he's associated babies with sleep since most pictures i show him of babies they are asleep.
We got him a Little People House that has a Mommy and a Daddy and a Baby in it. We used one of his other Little People to be "Nathan" and we play "house" with "Mommy's new baby" and the things you have to do for a baby. I'm also planning to get him a little doll of his own. Also - we've been reading books about new babies.. his current favorite is "The New Baby" by Mercer Mayer
My daughter will be 2 on Frdiay, and she doesn't really understand either. She likes to poke my belly button, but generally isn't too interested. So we're just speaking about the baby frequently, and I bought her a baby doll to help her learn to be gentle.
Bella is 2.5 and isn't really interesed yet. We talk about the baby and she loves to hold her own babydolls and all but I think once I hit like 6 months and have a big belly, she'll be more interested. Also we can start saying your baby "brother or sister" once we find out (3 more days!!!)
Leah is 4 now, she will be 4 1/2 when the baby gets here. We talk about the baby all the time, tell her what a great big sister she will be, and last night, we took her shopping so she could pick out her brother an outfit. She asks if she will be able to help, and my goal is to include her as much as possible. She's an only child now, an only grandchild on Geoff's side, and the baby of the grandchildren on my side...it's going to be an adjustment, for sure.
Kelly will be 6 in July. We include her as much as possible in the process. She goes with me to ultrasounds and once we find out the gender, she'll go shopping with me too. I am going to buy her a "Big Sibling" book I saw and it has all kinds of info for her and charts and stickers for helping mommy with feedings or getting a diaper or singing to baby, etc. Also, the hospital here offers a sibling class. It's $10 so I registered her for it. She will make a birthday card for the baby and learn all about newborns.
I'll also be buying her a gift. Not sure what. but it's important to me that she feels important too. I think the fact that Mommy still bought her a present even though I'm having a new baby, will make her know that she is still important.
I'm worried that my DD #1 is going to hurt the baby. She'll be 18mths when I have
'new baby' and she has no concept of gentle. Any advice??
Obviously the pack and play will help, but I used the bouncy seats/ swings/ playmat all the time with #1 and don't want to feel like #2 is always in the crib/p&p. Do you think #1 will be better, 5 mths doesn't seem like that far off.
One of the best things you can do NOW to help prepare your little one is to STOP carrying them around. This does two things. Gets them used to walking on there own (your arms will be full) preventing you then from resenting the baby when it comes. It also will help YOU to adjust your expectations on how long it takes to get things done.
Best piece of advice I ever got. When getting out the door, either to the mall, grandma's house or a doc appointment. ALWAYS give yourself 15 min per person (adults too)! This may sound crazy but it really helps decrease the stress level when trying to leave the house.