Ryan and I have talked many times about wanting to make the transition for A to be a smooth one when B arrives at the end of next week. The last thing we want is the major shock factor to happen or for her to have any negative associations with the new baby. I have heard countless stories of kiddos that don’t do well with the adjustment period of having a new brother or sister in their house. Since we have always been extremely close with A, as well as, very hands on when including her in day to day tasks we wanted to make sure our adjustment period will be as smooth as it can be. Or at least do what we can to make sure we make every attempt at it being that way. I decided I wanted to share some of the ways we have included her for those that are struggling with how to make their own littles feel included in the expectancy of a new baby.
- We Talk About Him Often.
I feel like this one is so important. Since the very beginning we have talked about the baby – how he’s growing, things he will do once he’s here. The baby center app has been great for her to see what he “looks like” currently. We encourage her to feel his kicks and movements. Sometimes she wants to, other times she doesn’t – we don’t push her to if she’s not interested either. We don’t want it to be a point of contention. We talk about fun little things too like “are you going to share ___ with your brother?” or “Are you going to be a big sister? Are you excited?” This keeps the anticipation up and the excitement flowing. She loves babies so we want to continue that excitement for her rather than blindsiding her with a little person that isn’t just visiting us.As next week draws closer we have talked more about how things will go. How she will wake up and eat breakfast with her Papa (my dad) and then she will come see mommy and daddy at the hospital to meet B. We’ve talked about how he won’t be in mommy’s tummy anymore and that she will be able to hold him. We want to make sure that we’ve talked through all the important details for her to expect.
- I Bring Her to Each Appointment.
A has come along with me for each and every baby appointment. She now understands we go to listen to B or to see him on the sonogram. She brings her own baby (this is all her and super cute) to each appointment and knows the whole process. One visit I laid down to be measured and as I sat up she said “He’s BACK!” and the Dr replied “yep! I left him in there this time!” For the 1-hour glucose test they just sent home the drink with me so we didn’t have the hour wait time in the waiting room which was super helpful too.My doctor’s office is attached to the hospital, which is also fantastic because she’s used to the building so when she comes to see us she will already associate the visit with the Baby. I also got very sick a few weeks back which landed me on Labor and Delivery for a day so she was able to see where we will be, what the rooms look like, etc. which will help with her being more comfortable when B arrives.
- We Let Her Pick Things Out for Brother.
Every time we go to the store to pick up baby items to prepare for his arrival we always include her in the decisions. We let her pick baby blankets, or clothing. We even let her pick out his first toy. This keeps the conversation going about the new baby and she’s involved in the new items coming into the house that are specifically for him. She helps put items away and we talk about the clothes he will be wearing. When going through old clothes that were “unisex” I say things like “This was yours! Do you think we should give it to B to wear?!” Her answers are usually very excited and enthusiastic.
- We Included Her in His Nursery Set-Up.
We went with the zoo animal theme for his nursery which worked super well considering she loves all of the zoo animals. It’s made her excited and enjoy the process. Aside from just the zoo theme, we also had her help us set up the nursery itself. She helped us set up the crib and the other details. We also bought a canvas for her to paint as a piece of decor in the nursery – something special she made just for him. We also made sure that we converted our office into his nursery a good month before we had him that way the transition of how our daily spaces changes wouldn’t be so abrupt. We decided it would allow for her get used to the new layout of our house before we abruptly brought home baby. We decided spacing it out would be easier across the board.
- We Found Out The Hospital Rules for Overnight Stays.
We have only left A with someone else for a few hours at a time and never overnight. This was something we were quite concerned about. Since we haven’t had anyone keep her overnight we wanted to see what the hospital allowed. We knew that obviously she will be with a family member during my c-section but overnight was a different story for us. We factored in things like that we already want her to be as included as possible so she’s not away and then home with a new person in our house but we also didn’t want her to have a rough time staying with someone else and associate those poor feelings with her brother. We called and asked the policies of the hospital and found out we are welcome to have her stay with us the entire time. This was a huge weight lifted for us knowing that we have that option or if needed Ryan can go home with her for the evening and come back the next day. Ryan and I both felt at ease knowing the options we had!