Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting your first child ready for a sibling

Seeing as how we are about 3 weeks away from adding a little person to the house - I figured it was time to talk about how to prep your first kid for the addition.

I feel like we have been talking about "brother baby" (which is what Katie calls him) FOREVER. I'm kinda sick of it and feel like part of the reason I am so anxious for him to get here is because I want it to be real so that she doesn't think it's just something we talk about ya know?

She has come to some of my doctors appointments and I think that helps her to understand that he's a real person. Especially since she has been playing with some doctors kids she got for her birthday a lot and uses it to listen to heartbeats... So, when we go to the doctor and he listens to the babies - she associates that with him and not me - which I think is good. (she will tell you what it sounds like too - which is hysterical to watch!!)

We are trying to include her in a lot of the "preparation" and I always talk about WHEN brother baby comes home to live with us - so she doesn't think he's staying in my belly forever.

She has seen some babies out and I have asked her who they are - and sometimes she says brother baby -so I think she gets that he is not staying in my belly forever.

Here are some other things we have done or plan to do over the coming weeks.
  • Let her help decorate his corner of the room by putting up the sticker that match his nursery theme....
  • Let her help put away diapers and clothes in his changing table
  • Let her pick out a stuffed animal to give him on his Birthday when she gets to meet him at the hospital
  • We are also going to have a gift to give her from him at the hospital for her... some sort of stuffed animal I think.
  • Constantly talk about how he is coming soon and will be sleeping in mommy and daddy's room
  • Talk about how he will cry because he will be hungry and that we can tell him that it's going to be ok.
  • Talk about how he will only drink from bottles and sleep a lot when we first bring him home
  • Talk about sharing toys and letting him play with her favorites
  • Have her sit in her car seat in the car while we install his car seat - so it's not a surprise when we get in the car and there is another one there... although we have been prepping her about how he is going to be back there soon with her.
  • (I asked her yesterday why she thought we were putting his car seat in the car and she told me so he could go places with us... so I think she gets it

Now, I think we have done as much as we can for prepping her for the new arrival - I am just worried like all parents are about the transition from one child to two. I want to make sure that I share equal time with both of them and neither one of them gets left out or neglected in ANY way. I'm not talking about like, child services neglected -I mean that I don't want either child to be missing out because we are too tired or lazy or overwhelmed to make the effort to give quality time to each.

I think we plan to have dates with each child alone and together to ensure that they get time with us. We do that with Katie now and I think it's very important that she get alone time with my husband to go out and do things since I'm home all the time. They have an amazing relationship and she has started to ask to go on Dates with both of us - so I hope to continue this.

We are extremely fortunate that Dave's work schedule and our being located down the street from his job will allow us to have as much time together as a family as possible.
He can even stop in some days during his lunch break for some cuddle time with the little guy while Katie is sleeping so she won't feel left out - so I think we are in a very lucky position to begin with and I am anxious to see what happens when it finally happens.

I know 3 weeks might not seem like a long time - but when you are worried about making sure someone is around to stay with your first child when you go into labor while you head to the hospital and how that goodbye/hello is going to go - 3 weeks seems like a torturous amount of time to worry!!!!
Good thing we have some reliable and super trustworthy friends that will be helping us out while we wait for our parents to get down here on delivery day. So that hopefully I don't have to drive myself to the delivery room so that Dave can stay with miss Katie:)

Please share your thoughts/suggestions and things you have done or wish you had done in the past to help prepare your kids for siblings! I need all the suggestions I can get!
Happy Monday!!!


  1. I was a little frantic about who would come watch Jake if I was in labor especially with the hubs working nights. It worked out just fine and while I did feel TERRIBLE about leaving in the middle of the night without talking to or seeing Jake (because he was sleeping), we came home to a kid who had a perfectly good time with family members. We have been really lucky so far with how amazing Jake has been with his brother. Like you, we tried to include him in everything we did so when someone asked him where I was - he knew I was at the doctor and he knew he was going to meet his baby brother. Coming to visit in this hospital he was a little freaked out (but there were also other visitors there coming and going and I was in a bed and everything so it was all weird to him). Once we got home, he has wanted to help do everything with Aidan - even asks to watch a show with Aidan and play cars with Aidan which I just think is adorable. Definitely dish out generous hugs and cuddles so they don't feel like absolutely everything is about the baby!

  2. I think the hardest transition wasn't for Bryden but for me. She was/is so young that it doesn't affect her as much as it might have had she been a bit older (although she does show some obvious signs of jealousy). But for me it was really hard. The first couple of weeks James was kind of tied to me (nursing him, getting him on a sleep schedule, etc.) and I definitely felt very disconnected from her and it really broke my heart. But I had to tell myself that it was only until I was able to 'figure him out' and that it wouldn't last forever. And I would be sure that when I did have time away from him (while he was sleeping, or if Mike was bonding with him) that I gave her my undivided attention (no television on, no checking my phone or computer). Now at nights we do story time and prayers as a family, she goes down and then he follows shortly after. I think she feels very important when I ask her to pick the books that we're going to read (hasn't quite dawned on her that we ask her because he physically can't but no matter I'll take it). Sometimes I feel as though I turned my little girl into a big girl way too soon by bringing in another little person to the mix but then I think about how wonderful it will be for them to play together, fight together and grow up so close and that puts me at ease.

    I'm so excited for you and am anxiously awaiting your good news! Good luck, enjoy the last few weeks (days?) of pregnancy (I miss it!) and sooner than you think your family of three will be FOUR!!!

  3. Sounds like you've done it all! Just try not to stress. Halle was already 4 when Kiah was born, so it wasn't as big a deal. She kinda had her own life already. Playdates, swim class, and she started Kindergarten a few months after Kiah arrived. I had a "I'm a big sister" shirt for Halle from Kiah waiting at the hospital for her. And she loved holding Kiah. The best part is that babies naturally LOVE their older siblings. As soon as Kiah was able, Halle could make her laugh and smile like no one else could. It's really a special bond that they have!--Now they fight like cats and dogs, but it was sweet when Kiah was a baby! LOL