My daughter is almost three years old and we are expecting her little brother in the next couple weeks, Now, when I first found out I was pregnant, I had a moment of panic. My daughter has been my whole world and we are about to change all of that for her. Thoughts raced through my mind like: How will she handle this? How will I handle this? She isn’t potty trained yet…heck, she isn’t even sleeping through the night! My husband, being the rock that he always is, assured me that we had 9 months to prepare and a lot could change in that amount of time. He was right! Here we are, my daughter is just about potty trained and is FINALLY sleeping better. Alas, it wasn’t all just magic.
From the day of the first ultrasound, we started talking to her about being a big sister. We wanted to give her plenty of time to begin processing the idea. We also made sure that her new role as big sister was a big deal! When we got the results of the genetics testing, we came up with a way to involve her in the reveal…a new toy of course! Our main goal was to talk about the pregnancy, the baby, and her new role as much as possible so that she was as prepared as she could be for the huge change that was about to rock her little world. Here are some of the other things I have done to help ready our toddler for having a sibling:
- Involve her in everything!
From setting up the nursery to picking out outfits to even opening gifts for baby, she helped me with everything. And I was always sure to thank her for being such a good big sister and helping mommy. I feel like this makes her feel proud and hopefully, she will still want to help when her brother does arrive.
- Planning out our hospital stay.
I am a Pinterest nerd…so of course I must credit this idea somewhat to that. I know I am having a cesarean section, so I will be in the hospital a little longer than normal. I made sure to plan out everything for my daughter and my sister while we are away (the longest we will have been away from her). So, for every day we are gone, she has a fun activity/gift to open and do/play with her aunt. Inside each gift will be a picture of my husband and I and a little note to her. I also typed up very detailed (borderline crazy) instructions for my sister so that she can stick to our routine and keep things as normal as possible.
- Gift from Brother.
Now, many people have suggested getting my daughter a gift that could be from her new baby brother. This is a piece of advice I was sure to follow! I am also planning on breastfeeding and I came across the idea to have a special toy or activity for your toddler to have during feeding times. So, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to combine the gifts into one.
- The first meet and greet.
Last, but not least, I have heard to make sure the first time my daughter comes to the hospital my arms should be wide open to greet her. I’m sure she will be missing her dad and I, so making sure both of us are free and not holding the baby are huge. We will be there to hug her and say hi, then introduce her to her little brother. At the same time, we want to make the introduction more about Big Sister and less about new baby. That way, there are no feelings of being left out or jealous (even though I’m sure jealousy will be inevitable at times.).
Even though I don’t have all the answers and I’m not even 100% how this all will go, I feel like our little family is slightly more prepared for the arrival of our little man. We are so excited for the changes to come!