Now that you know that your second baby is on her way, it is time for you to prepare your first born for the arrival of her sibling. Here are eleven effective tips to get you started.
Get a doll for your child and make her play with it. Tell her that the doll is like the new baby who is coming and that, like a big sister, she has to take care of it.
Get your child adjusted to the concept of sleeping on her own bed. Place it right next to the main bed so that she can still hold your hand at night and yet will get used to sleeping on her own.
Gift from the Baby
Get a gift for your elder one and wrap it with a card that says it’s from the new baby. It will help her to like and accept the new arrival more easily.
Well before its time for the new arrival begin telling bed time stories to your elder child about the special bond that siblings share. Get some picture books too if you wish too.
Tell Her When
Tell your elder child when the baby will come and relate it to her birth. For example; the season when she was born, who all were there in the hospital when she had arrived, how you used to feed her and rock her to sleep etc.
If she is 4 to 5 years old, she can accompany you to the hospital for a tour and you can even introduce her to your gynecologist. Have her listen to the fetal heartbeat and feel the kicks too. Get her to help you pack your hospital bag as well.
It’s best to let your elder child know that although she can play with the baby, for the first few months all that the new one will do is cry, feed and sleep.
Using Old Stuff
Children are attached to their things, even if they no longer use it. So if you plan to use your elder child’s crib, clothes, rattles etc for your new one then get her prepared for the same, explain how she, as the elder sister, should share.
You should get your elder child used to being with grandparents etc. well in advance. Also, if you plan to keep a nanny for her, then do get her used to her too. For example: being dropped and picked from school by her, instead of you.
Much before your due date, babysit for a friend’s infant with your elder one around or after informing her of what you are planning to do. It will get her used to the concept of a baby being around.
Long Distance Connect
Let your elder kid get used to being in touch with you through the phone. Set aside certain times in the day when she would only be able to hear the sound of your voice. If she is of an age where she can read, then you could even leave notes for her, like simple tasks that she needs to complete in your absence etc.