Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Preparing your Firstborn to be a Big Sister or Big Brother!

With my due date rapidly approaching, preparing my two and a half year old daughter for the new addition has been on my mind. I ran across a great article on The Cradle that had some great information on how to prepare for your first baby for the new baby!

Here are some of my favorite tips (paraphrased) from the article on The Cradle on how to get your firstborn ready to welcome a new brother or sister. To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Don’t Blame the Baby:
As you get bigger and more uncomfortable, it may be hard for you to pick up your other child. Try to avoid saying things like, “I can’t pick you up because there’s a baby in my tummy.” Simple explanations such as, “Mommy’s back hurts” or “Mommy is too big right now” will do the trick without planting any seeds for future resentment.

Make Your Child Feel Important:
After Baby’s arrival: Enlist your older child’s help. Let them be mommy’s “big helper” and make them feel part of things whenever possible. Here are some tips on how to do just that.
---Have your older child hand you the diaper when changing your newborn.
---Have your older one pick out the baby’s outfit (giving a choice between two that you’ve chosen will ensure the clothes are suitable).
--- Ask your older one to help choose a photograph of the new baby to put in a frame near the changing table or nursing area.

Ride Home from the Hospital Together:
Making the trek home together from the hospital would be really fun for your firstborn! The whole family can share in the momentous arrival home together! If your older child is staying with friends or family, have them bring him to the hospital so he can join his family for the ride home – or have Daddy make a special trip to pick your older one up so everyone can ride home together.

Stick to the Routine:
Try to maintain your older child’s pre-baby routine. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busy schedule of a newborn, but be sensitive about changes to your older child’s routine during this emotionally charged time.

After reading this article from The Cradle, I feel more knowledgeable on how to prepare my daughter for the birth of our son! She’ll be a great big sister, and we are going to do everything we can to make it as smooth of a transition as possible.

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