Preparing Children for a New Baby
In June, we are expecting our fifth baby, so this definitely isn't our first rodeo. When we announced this pregnancy, our kids were the first to know. We feel it's very important for them to know general information about the pregnancy and when the baby will be coming. A few readers wanted to know what we do to prepare our children for a new sibling!
- I regularly talk about the baby. My weeks turn over on Thursdays, so I check my pregnancy app with the kids. It shows us the baby's approximate size, some of the development, and also includes sample ultrasound pictures.
- Above all, let your children be involved. There's many ways to do this. At our ultrasound, we received a DVD with pictures, so I watched that at home with the kids. I'm also planning taking them to my midwife appointments one at a time. I feel that it's important for my kids growing up knowing pregnancy and birth is a natural part of life, not something to fear.
- Talk about the babyhood of your older children. I've pulled out my older kids' ultrasound photos, birth pictures, and random pictures of their first year. I've been sharing with them some of the funny things they did as babies. They've loved hearing it and laugh their little heads off! "Mommy, did I REALLY do that?!"
- After the baby is born, let your older children help if they desire. When my oldest was five, he actually was a part of things right after his youngest sister was born. He assisted my midwife in cutting the cord. From there on out, he was eager to bring diapers, hold the baby, and just love on her. Hallie will be two in a little over a week and they still have an incredible bond!
- Set extra time aside for older siblings. Be sure they still feel valued and spend special time with them.
What are some of the things you've done to help your children prepare for a new baby?