Prepping Your Kids for a New SiblingMolly Thornberg
Since we unveiled the news to the kids that we are having a new baby, life in our house has changed. While I think we have finally settled on who has to move bedrooms to make room for the new bambino… the anxiety and anticipation of having another sibling is evident.
My daughter who is 8, at first wanted us to have a baby girl. She had asked Santa for a baby sister. At the time we had no intention on having another baby and her request was denied. But little did we know it maybe a reality, if this little baby is a girl. Since thinking through what having a sister would mean, she has since stated she wants to be the only girl and doesn’t want any little sister ripping her Barbies’ heads off. She is a naturally mommy, and of all the kids will adjust the easiest *crossing my fingers that doesn’t change*.
My oldest son (6 years old) is my sweetheart. He is the most loving and kind child. News of ANOTHER baby, taking his place yet AGAIN (he would prefer to be the baby) – has nearly devastated him up until the last month. He has finally turned a corner and now is often found telling our youngest how fun it is to be a big brother. The adjustment of the new baby will be hard, and we will make sure he has the 1 on 1 time he needs to make him feel loved.
The baby is clueless as to what is in his future. He just knows he is the center of the universe and that jumping on my belly is no longer allowed. Me not being able to carry him has been hard, as he’s confused. Iza is just 14 months. There will only be 16 months between him and the new babe. We’re in for an adventure with 2 this close. Our last 2 were 25 months apart and posed some challenges. 16 months apart, we’re buckling our seat belts and praying our way through it.
All that said, pregnancy is 40 weeks and using that time for prepping the children is essential.
How Do You Prep Kids for a New Sibling?
While I don’t know what will work for your household, here is what has worked best for ours last go around and things we are working on this time as well.
Big Sister and Big Brother Books
With the 6 year old starting to really read books, these books are what we read during story time. They introduce the role of the big brother and sister as well as introduce the changes that will happen when a new baby is around.
The Beginning of Sex Education
While we aren’t prepared to give our kids all the details on sex, pregnancy does bring up several questions that are sex related. Gently moving into the open conversations and providing age appropriate answers is helping build the trust and openness needed for conversations we will have in the coming years.
Include Your Kids in All Things Baby
With our 3rd child we included the kids in the 4-D ultrasound. They were able to see the baby, while a technician explained the parts of their new sibling. The kids talked about the experience for months. We plan on doing this again with our 4th child.
When shopping for the new one, letting the kids help pick out important things, like blankets and bibs help them feel apart of the experience.
We often play name the baby. While my daughter thinks the baby should be named, if it’s a girl: Purple Lilly Flower and if it’s a boy: Gary (after some character on Sponge Bob) – it’s fun for them to talk thru the possibilities and again, make them feel included.
Each night when we tuck them in and pray, the oldest 2 always pray for the baby. It’s sweet and sentimental, especially for me who is being kicked constantly by that little thing they are praying for.
Include Your Kids in Your Belly Photos
I wish I could remember to do this more. The kids love this, here is a photo from me, the kiddos and #3 in my belly.
When the Baby Arrives…
When the baby arrives, as we did with our 3rd, we will make sure there is time in the hospital room for JUST OUR FAMILY. No Grandmas, Grandpas, Aunts and Uncles. The kids need to meet their sibling and gulp in the newness of their little life friend.
It was so sentimental when our boy and girl met #3. The joy showed on their faces, my daughter cried with happiness. The connection was immediate. (Though I know with #4 – #3 is NOT going to be as excited.)
Read Nicole’s post on Introducing Baby and Building Health Sibling Relationships.
How Do You Ease Your Kids With The Adjustment Of A New Child?