With me entering my third trimester on this pregnancy, it’s officially countdown mode in our house. We haven’t prepared much in regards to baby gear, but I’ve been preparing the girls for the arrival of their new baby brother since my very first appointment.
Avery is about seven months younger than Harlan was when I got pregnant. Harlan was just turning 2 and could understand a lot of what we were telling her about the new baby. Avery was only 13 months when I got pregnant and is only now, at 20 months, starting to understand things that we say to her.
She sees my growing belly, and we talk about her baby brother all of the time, but I don’t really think that she gets it just yet. Despite her full lack of understanding, there are still several things that I am doing to get her better prepared for the baby’s arrival. I don’t want her to be in complete shock when we bring this new baby home. A lot of these techniques I used with Harlan, and they seemed to work rather well. I am hoping they work the same for Avery.
Spending More Time with Other Babies 1 of 7
Avery is obsessed with babies. She sees many on the street when we are walking around and makes it a point to yell, "baby" to every single one of them. I've started to use this fascination to my advantage and am starting to bring her around more of my friends that have babies so she gets used to having one around.
Giving Her Her Own Baby Doll 2 of 7
With two girls, we have a lot of baby dolls in our apartment, but I wanted to get Avery a doll of her own that she doesn't have to share with her older sister. She's really taken the baby doll to heart and loves bringing it around with her. I recently caught her grabbing a diaper and wipes so that she could change her baby's diaper. I love that she's being so gentle and nurturing toward "her baby."
Moving to the Big Girl Bed 3 of 7
Next month we are making the big transition to the big girl bed. I want to make sure to not make any changes to her routine when the baby gets here, so I am going to do these prior to baby so that she can be well used to it before the baby arrives.
Giving Her Independence 4 of 7
Avery has started to show that she wants to do more "big girl" things and do things on her own. As much as I still want her to be my little baby, I have to let go at some point and really let her find her own. I am hoping that this little bit of independence will stick and help when the new baby comes and I don't have as much one-on-one time with her.
Openly Talking About the Baby in my Belly 5 of 7
We talk about Avery's baby brother a lot. I want to be open about it so when he does come, she doesn't seem shocked. I don't think she fully understands it, but I do think that talking about it with her will help her with the transition.
Taking Her to my Doctor’s Appointments 6 of 7
I did this with my oldest when I was pregnant with Avery, and it really helped. She loved seeing the "baby on TV." Avery comes with me to my appointment every four weeks and loves getting to see her baby brother. I think it helps keep her connected with him and in the loop on everything.
Read Her Books About Being a Big Sister 7 of 7
I bought a bunch of books on new babies and being a big sister when I was pregnant with my oldest. Those are really coming in handy now that Avery loves books. I am hoping that she understands enough to know that although there will be changes, I will still love her just as much as I do now.
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Read more from Lauren at her personal blog, A Mommy in the City, where she chronicles her life living in New York City with a suburban mentality. For more updates, follow Lauren on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram!