Your family is growing!
How are your older children going to feel?
How are they going to react to the change?
While you can't know this until the time comes, you can help prepare them for the new addition ahead of time.
Here is a list of suggestions that we have found useful in the past.
- Give your child a time frame he/she can understand for when the baby will be born. For example: around the middle of Summer, around Christmastime or right after/before a Birthday.
- Tell your child the story of how they were born and show them pictures when you were pregnant with them and after they were born.
- Read books about becoming a big brother or sister.
- Give your child/children appropriate expectations, such as explaining that the first few months the baby won't do more than eat, sleep, and cry.
- Bring your child/children to your provider visit to listen to heartbeat or even to a sonogram to see the baby (if age appropriate)
- Making major changes, such as potty training, or giving up a crib several months prior to the birth or wait several months after the baby is born. Making a huge change while they adjust to a new sibling can be very frustrating for child and the parent.
- Have fun activities planned for the kids when mother goes into labor. Prepare them also ahead of time by discussing where you will be to have the baby and where they will go while mom an dad are gone.
- Hang out with your child/children with a friend or relative's baby to see what it is like having a baby around.
- Allow your child/children to meet your postpartum doula ahead of time so they can get acquainted if she is going to help after birth.