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Saturday, 28 December 2013

How we prepared Number 1 for the arrival of Number 2

One of my biggest concerns when we fell pregnant was how we were going to prepare our Daughter for the arrival of a sibling. We figured it would help that she would be 2.5 by the time her sibling arrived., and so hopefully be able to understand what was going to happen. Sort of.  However, we still wanted to make sure that she was prepared.

Started by talking to her and showing pictures of babies

We started by telling her that we would be having a baby Brother or Sister for her. We showed her pictures of babies. We also explained that the baby would be in Mummy's belly, and showed her pictures of that.

Took her to see an ultrasound 

We took her to our 12 week Nuchal scan. To be honest she lost interest very quickly, but she was very smitten with the ultrasound photos. So much so, that that's how we had her announce the pregnancy to family! She was given the photos and proudly showed them off, informing everyone that she was going to be a Big Sister.

Make a big deal about her becoming a 'Big Sister'

Everyone made a very big deal about her becoming a 'Big Sister'. We talked to her about how she would have a baby sibling, and we would point out examples of older siblings from other families she knew, such as her cousins.

Bought her a book

I went on the hunt for a book that might explain what having a baby sibling around was gong to be like. I was very fussy about what I wanted. I didn't want anything too wordy, and I wanted clear pictures. I was so happy when I stumbled across the perfect book.

Baby and Me by Emma Dodd

This book was perfect because it features moving parts on each page. The Sister goes through all the things she does to help her baby doll, such as bath it, feed it, change it's nappy and put it to sleep. To make it suit our needs better wherever they used the word 'dolly' I swapped it for baby. Abbie loved the book, and we were able to talk to her about all the special things we would be doing with the baby.

Transitioned her to her 'Big Girl' room early

We wanted to keep the nursery as is, so that meant moving Abbie to her own room. I didn't want her to associate being moved out of her bedroom with the baby's arrival, and w wanted her to be settled in advance. However, we did talk to her about how she was getting this new room because she was a 'Big Girl' and no a baby anymore.

She was very excited to see the room slowly come together, and really loved it when we did the big reveal. She loved it so much that she actually transitioned from the cot to the bed seamlessly. Setting up her room has turned out to be a great idea as she loves playing in it, and will happily go in her room for a play (or not so happily be sent in there for time out!). She saw it as something special that happened because a baby was coming, as opposed to something negative.

Spent time with other babies

Meeting her friend Liam

It just so happened that there was a bit of a baby boom amongst our friends just before we fell pregnant. Thus meant we were able to introduce Abbie to other babies, and talk to her about how she had to be gentle, and what she could/ could not do with a baby

Had her choose her sibling a gift

We took Abbie to a playschool concert. At the end we were choosing her a toy, when I thought to ask her to choose one for her baby. She decided she wanted to buy the baby a small version of Big Ted. She was very excited to choose it, and put it in the cot when we came home.

Before the baby was born I bought a same sized version if Litte Ted. So now Marcus has Big Ted from his Big Sister, and Abbie has Little Ted from her Little Brother!

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