Getting the Older Child Ready for the New Baby

Diaper stocks? Delayed breastmilk? Hospital bills?  Are these all the problems we need to face on birthing our second child?  Well, my dear friends - we are forgetting about our first born's feelings and confusions.  

On the firsts months of pregnancy, from then, we must start preparing our first born to the arrival of a sibling.  Communication, more bonding time and getting her involved in the preparation for the baby's arrival will give her a positive idea of  becoming an older sister or brother.

Happy siblings...
We, moms, must have a heart to heart conversation with our only child about the idea of having a new baby.  and what she would become once the baby is in.  Let her know that she has grown-up to be a big sister/brother now, and a would-be hero for the new baby.  And as soon as the tummy becomes noticeable, tell the child that the baby is growing inside and will soon come out to see everyone of you.  I have experienced this with Angel Reign (my first born), she is just three when I got pregnant with my second child.  She could understand a little but I tried to tell her in a language that she could grasp how is it gonna be; that she has a new throne -that she is the big sister princess and the baby would be the little princess when she arrives.  Everyday we had a conversation, even just minutes about the new baby and she would sometimes end-up talking to my tummy, I can not forget the day she is crying after her dad got angry of a wrongdoing-she talked and embraced my tummy (maybe 6mos. then).  She cried her sentiments and she really thinks that the baby inside understands what she is  saying.  That is somehow a good progress -seeing her welcoming her unborn yet sibling as a friend.

When they are eight and five years old 

Bonding Time
Make the monthly check-up with the Ob-gyne a holiday for her. Treat her out after the check-up, drop by a fast food or go malling and buy her even just little things that would make her day.  I bring Angel to my check-ups, I let her hear the doppler sounds and taught her what is it -even letting her know what part of her body is making that sound.  I also let her peek on the monitor during my check-ups and she is always getting excited of the heartbeat and the baby's movements in the monitor.  I also let her feel  with her hand the baby's kicking and even when we are out telling her that she is strolling with us.  

Getting the Older Child Involved in the Preparation for the Baby's Arrival
My husband and I ask Angel to choose some stuff for the baby.  The trick is- moms choose first and get two designs or colors we like most - and then let the child pick-up the one she likes without compromising the baby's comfort and the cost that we have considered first before letting her choose. I am sure you get what I mean.  For the bedspread and accessories you can let her choose the cartoon character she wants, she will be excited to do that even for the bottles (for water and juice).  I also prepare the bag to carry on my delivery I folded the clothing and prepared some other things and let her hand me small things as I put them inside the bag. It works.  

Riana, months-old.  Angel Reign 3yrs. old

On the day of the delivery nobody is more excited than Angel :) I even had a picture of her, crossed-legs while we are waiting for a private room vacancy in the hospital.  I also had a photo of her lying beside Riana, her hours old baby sister and I can remember her saying with a teary-eyes "At last I have a baby sister now.."

Angel Reign & Riana Ysobel
(7 and 4)
Angel never had a time thinking she will be replaced. Let the firstborn feel she has a "little" responsibility being an older sibling, do not get tired explaining and give her bonding time before the baby arrives. Get the older sibling involved with little tasks for her baby sibling.  And when moms are busy with the baby dads, can do some bonding time with the older one.

Hope I had helped you second-time moms-to-be on how to tame your beloved firstborn. 

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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.