I have a very special place in my heart for the day that we introduced our babies to each other, just thinking about October 22nd 2012 makes me very emotional.
The moment we found out we were expecting our second child we let our oldest son Ryan know that we had a baby on the way. He was a kindergartener and understood a bit more about what that meant, but to say the least, he was very excited to become a BIG BROTHER!
I remember it like yesterday; we told him the news and his first question was, “Can I see?” We had to explain to him that the baby is inside of mommy’s tummy and we can’t see our baby just yet. Every morning for a couple of weeks he would come to me and ask if I still had the baby in my tummy. I was concerned about the questions this was going to generate but we took it one question at the time
We always told him we were ALL having a baby not just mommy. I really think this helped him understand that we were a team and need to work together and help each other.
We started taking him to doctor’s appointments, of course only the appointments that we knew everything was kid friendly. The 20-week ultrasound was his favorite, when the doctor told us it was a girl he said, “Good I don’t have to share my toys!” That was the first time he made it known that he doesn’t like the idea of sharing.
Our doctor recommended a big brother class that the hospital offered, a 90-minute class once a week for three weeks. This class helped us so much on preparing him for this life changing event. I remember one thing in particular the nurse told all the kids in class was “one thing we don’t share with our new baby is food.” My husband and I looked at each other and realized that we hadn’t talked to him about this.
It was just a great tool for us and one more thing for our son to feel very involved with bringing a new baby home.
We were fortunate to have everything scheduled, so the night before baby Charlet came we had a very nice dinner together at Grandma and Grandpas house and our son had a very special sleep over.
I had been preparing my son and my house for this event that I somehow I forgot about myself and how I was going to react to leaving him and returning with a new baby. For the past nine months we made sure that Ryan was not going to feel left out or replaced by the new baby - but now what about me?!
I was hit by a train of emotions and started crying. I was sacred, tired and had no idea how I was going to love another baby the same way I love Ryan.
Baby Charlet came several hours early from what we had planned, by 5:00am Ryan was already at the hospital meeting his new baby sister. Yes, we were a little crazy waking him up so early to come to the hospital but I would not change it for the world.
Who can completely prepare for this part? Here are my tips.
Kids respond very well to routine and consistency, make sure you have something established for them before and after bring the new baby home!
One of our Nana’s gave us a great tip for feeding time with the new baby, she told us to get a little basket with some toys and books so I could read to Ryan while feeding the new baby.
This became Ryan’s favorite time of the day, when both mommy and Charlet get to read with him.
To Do List on Preparing Your Child for a New Sibling
- Communicate as much as you feel comfortable with the older sibling.
- Sibling class is a must.
- Special toy/book basket for feeding time.
- Routine and consistency is very important.
- And last but not least DON’T forget about yourself.
There are many different ways to prepare for a new baby, but the best advise I can give is to enjoy every moment - they seem to pass by way too fast!