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10 Tips For Getting Your Older Child Ready & Excited For The New Baby

Our first pregnancies are usually all about us — how our lives will change, how our body is changing and preparing ourselves for the labor, birth and new dynamics that are going to change everything. The next time around — when you’re expecting your second or third child, there is another huge focus on our minds — how our older children will handle the new transition.

When I first brought my second child Princess Raru home, I wasn’t sure how Mister Speed would handle it. He was only 14 months old so I wasn’t sure he would totally notice and thankfully that transition went really smoothly. Before we brought our youngest home I knew that with Speed and Raru being older, there was some preparing I would need to do beforehand. I knew that they would noticed the change and feel the transition period much more since they were a lot older.

As my husband and I continue to contemplate adding a fourth child to the mix, my mind wanders over to how to prepare my now (really, but not really) old children for another member of the family because surely the would feel the new addition much more then when they were younger, but I do think they will be able to grasp what’s going on much easier.

Click through for 10 tips on getting your older child(ren) ready & excited for the new baby and how these tips worked for us:

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  • Bring Your Child To Your Appointments 1 of 10
    Bring Your Child To Your Appointments
    Letting your child hear the baby's heartbeat and helping them feel involved will help them realize what is happening.
    How it worked for us: My older kids came to near every appointment with me and it got them excited for hearing the thump-thump and seeing them on the ultrasound screen.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Answer Their Questions 2 of 10
    Answer Their Questions
    Kids have a million questions naturally & when you start talking about a new brother or sister, the questions pop up a lot. Do your best to answer any and all their questions. It's their way of trying to figure it all out.
    How it worked for us: My kids were really interested specifically on how the baby comes out. They were worried that I had to vomit up the baby (heh) so we had a lot of talks about how the baby is born.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Let Them Share Their Feelings 3 of 10
    Let Them Share Their Feelings
    Your kids should be allowed to express their feelings, good or bad. Some kids want you to explain how the new baby won't get all their stuff and some just want to know when they can play with the new baby.
    How it worked for us: My son was really concerned about not wanting to share his Hot Wheel cars with the baby and giving up his room. We allowed him to express that and we were able to alleviate his fears about that.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Show Them A Newborn 4 of 10
    Show Them A Newborn
    If you have a friend or family member who's recently had a new baby, see if you can introduce the newborn to your older child. Letting them see how little they are, what cries sound like can help prepare them for what to expect.
    How it worked for us: My daughter thought that when babies are born they come out looking like she was -- a two year old. She didn't get why they needed so much help when they first came home until she saw how little they are.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Reinforce Your Love 5 of 10
    Reinforce Your Love
    Give extra cuddles, extra alone time and just be sure to reinforce with your child that you still have more then enough love for them too. Kids worry about that sort of thing, even if it never crosses our minds.
    How it worked for us: My kids loved getting extra Daddy-time. We did this so they would be more used to his extra attention when the new baby came, but we made sure there were a lot of Mom cuddles too.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Don’t Blame the Pregnancy 6 of 10
    Don't Blame the Pregnancy
    Kids worry about their mom and they worry about themselves. Be sure to watch how you are speaking of the new coming baby to your older child. Say things like "mommy had a hard day so I'm going to take a nap" instead of "I can't play with you right now because the baby is making me tired". Put the new changes on you and not the baby.
    How it worked for us: This was a hard one for me especially when I had such horrible nausea the entire pregnancy. Making sure I didn't blame it on the growing baby was hard, but important.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Read, Read and Look at Pictures 7 of 10
    Read, Read and Look at Pictures
    Kids have wild imaginations and sometimes that get's the best of them. They worry, the make things bigger then they may be. Take time to read to your kids about why you are getting bigger, how it will hurt when your're in labor, but you will be okay.
    How it worked for us: My kids LOVED looking at pictures about what the growing baby was looking like and how the moms tummy gets bigger. They had a lot of questions answered from the books and the together time reading them.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Get Big Changes Out of The Way 8 of 10
    Get Big Changes Out of The Way
    If you will be switching up rooms for the new baby or transitioning your older child from a crib to the bed so the new baby can use the crib, do that really early. Also be sure not to say that the baby needs the crib so they are getting an older bed.
    How it worked for us: We had to move our youngest out of our room before the new baby came. We made sure to do that really early in my pregnancy and put it far away from when the new baby came in. It helped her feel that the transition happened because she was older and not just because the new baby needed our room.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • Encourage Big Brother/Sister Gifts 9 of 10
    Encourage Big Brother/Sister Gifts
    If you will be having friends and family coming over after the new baby is born, ask them to also bring something small over for your older child. It can be hard on them when the new baby is being showered and they feel left out.
    How it worked for us: We also went the extra mile and bought a small gift to our older child and said they were from the new baby. This helped them feel important and that the new baby wanted to be 'friends' too.
    Photo credit: photostock
  • It’s Their Baby Too 10 of 10
    It's Their Baby Too
    Using language like 'your baby', 'our baby' in place of 'the baby' seem so small yet can have a huge impact. Kids want to feel involved, especially if they anticipate it being a huge change like adding another family member.
    How it worked for us: My kids gave the baby a nickname - we called her Belly Bean throughout the entire pregnancy since the gender was not yet known. Still to this day, 3 years later they still call her Bean. It created that bond very early on.
    Photo credit: photostock

Read more from  on Accustomed ChaosUnspoken Grief
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Photo credit: modified from photostock

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