Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's Getting Real

The anxiety and excitement about tomorrow's appointment to confirm the sex of Connor's sibling, AKA our second child, has made me worry. And wonder. How are we going to make sure we have helped Connor to be as prepared as possible for this big change that is coming his - and our - way in just a few months?

Dennis and I were pointing to my belly and explaining to Connor that Mommy has a baby in her belly. We'd ask him, "where is the baby?" and he'd point to my belly. We thought we were on the right track...until Connor started to point to strangers belly's saying, "baby, baby". For some reason, people seemed to take offense to that.

Facing this new anxiousness, I did the natural thing: I googled it. And to my surprise (and pleasure), I came across several good suggestions. One of the best ideas that I came across was to read books about a new baby joining the family to Connor to help him understand the chaos that is about to turn his world upside down.

Here are a few others that I copied from

Give your child a time frame she can understand for when the baby will arrive, such as right after her birthday, around Christmas time, or just before nursery school ends for the summer.

Give your child the appropriate expectations: explain to her that for the first few months the baby will do little more than eat, sleep, and cry.

Take your child on a brief tour of the hospital where you will deliver. Explain all the details of who will look after her and where she will stay while you are in the hospital.

Tell your child the story of her birth and when you were pregnant with her.

Read books or watch videos about becoming a big sister or brother.

Decorate the newborn's room with your child.

Make major changes, such as toilet training or giving up a pacifier or bottle, at least a few months before you expect to give birth, and expect backsliding once the baby comes.

If you plan to use your older child's crib for the new baby, get her into her new bed long before baby comes. Remove the crib from the room for a while so when you return it for your new baby, your older child will not think of it as her crib. Buy new bedding and bumpers for your baby so your child doesn't feel like she's turning over her entire bed to a newcomer.

Start your child's new routine a few weeks before your baby is due. Have helpers begin coming to the house, or start her at a new day care program or school.

Begin arranging time for your child to spend alone with grandparents, caregivers, and your partner, so others can tend to her needs while you care for the baby.

Sit for a friend or relative's baby a few times before the birth of your new child, to get her used to having a baby around.

Any other suggestions? I am all ears for ideas that worked well, not-so-well, or that you heard about from a friend at work! Please share.

1 comment:

Katie said...

It just works out!!! I was extremely nervous adding Sammy to the family when Cooper was still a baby (just 17 months) but he cannot remember her NOT being part of the family. This one makes me nervous too seeing as they are OLD enough to tell me they want the baby GONE. LOL. BUT my best advice, what I did with Cooper when Sammy was born, was carved out time for he and I. Phil would take Sammy and it was uninterupted Cooper/Mama time......EVERY DAY at the same time so he could expect it. Ours was after he woke up and before Phil left for work at 6 am, eeeek. We watched a cartoon and snuggled and Phil helped with Sammy. I plan to have that time with Cooper/Sammy from 6:30 (when Phil gets home) til 7ishpm to play a game or something with the older two and give Phil time to snuggle baby Emme. We shall see how that works. You will do great, as will sweet Connor. Keep me posted today please.