Preparing Alex for Baby #2

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A lot of changes have been happening in our household lately with a new baby on the way, and sometimes I have to remind myself that even though it’s a big change for us, it has to feel like an even bigger change for Alex. He is use to being the only child, and now he won’t be. He is use to having mommy’s undivided attention, but now mommy needs extra rest. A lot of things are different already, and the change will become even greater once the baby arrives. So I sat down and began to call around and ask friends and family about different ways they prepared their child/children for a new baby and I came across some pretty good strategies which I put to use.

Read plenty of books for your child to relate to…

My son loves books and stories, and no other tactic works better than READING! I used it when we were potty training, I used it to teach him about chore’s, and now I will use it to help teach him about becoming a big brother. I think the whole visual part of it and hearing how the story plays out really motivates him.

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Alex’s two favorite big brother stories right now are Big Brother Daniel, and also I’m a Big Brother.

Give your child a REAL reality check…

Now every parent will have their own way of giving their children “reality checks” but mine really shocked him. I spend a lot of time inside Babiesrus right now for obvious reason’s and at first I would go alone or just with my husband until one day I took a hard look around. Babiesrus is filled with reality check potential! Firstly new babies rarely co-operate outside the comfort of their home and inside a weird store, and that gave my son and I front row seat to newborn baby meltdowns. New confused mother’s still trying to learn their way and calm their babies became a secret teaching blessing for myself, ( I know it sounds messed up, and I have been in those shoes before ) and I was almost ashamed to be looking forward to it until I realized how my son reacted to those babies. He was genuinely concerned and wanted to know why the babies were crying each time, plenty of questions began rolling in from him and I was more than happy to enlighten him.

Another good perk about taking him to Babiesrus was that he got to see first hand, other kids his age and older be in big brother or big sister mode. He also got to see different  relationships between those siblings and I think that helped him become a little more excited, knowing that soon he will have a forever friend to be his sidekick.

Remind your child of ways he/she can be a “Big Helper” once the baby arrives…

Everyone knows that kids love to play “Big Helper” to their parents, and what a perfect time to remind him of all the sibling duties he can help out with once the new baby arrives. Alex is most excited about…

  1. Helping feed the baby.
  2. Passing mommy & daddy clean diapers when the baby is being changed and placing dirty diapers into the diaper pail.
  3. Keeping baby entertained during “tummy time”

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Take your child over a friend or family members house who has a baby…

What better way to prepare a child than to let them get up close and personal with another baby. I don’t currently live anywhere near a friend or family member who has a baby but we are doing some traveling the next few months and he will definitely get that experience.

Practice playing pretend…

How we do that is usually my husband or I will take turns pretending to be baby and Alex and the “non baby” parent will try to figure out why the baby is crying a find a solution to solve the problem. We make up a lot of different scenarios so when the baby actually gets here we can refer back to the game.

Sign your child up for a big brother/sister class…

I remember when I was pregnant with Alex and we were doing the hospital tour, they had all the parents with kids go into a big sibling preparation class, now although I was not there to see all the things they covered I thought it was a genius idea. So I encourage parents to sign their kids up for the class. It’s usually free and most hospital’s offer it (Mine does).

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Let your child bond with baby from inside the womb…

I love this idea and use it very frequently so Alex can feel connected to the baby in some type of way. His favorite ways to bond are….

  1. Talk, Sing, and Kiss the baby belly.
  2. I let him feel when the baby moves (sometimes the baby even responds to him).
  3. I let him read his favorite stories and play is favorite songs for baby.

Of course nothing will compare to once the baby is actually home and crying in the middle of the night and spitting up and doing all types of uncooperative newborn things, but I believe its good to mentally prepare your child for whats about to happen and get them excited about it. Remember to always reassure your child that just because a new baby is coming does not mean that you will love them any less.

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