I've been keeping up with posts about how this pregnancy is going-- you know, the typical stuff! Symptoms (lots), weight gain (plenty), stretch marks (too many), etc. Most recently, I've shared the back story of how didn't think we'd even have another baby (part one) to deciding to foster care instead (part two). Today, though-- I wanted to post about the kids preparing for their new baby sister!
The kids have known and have prayed about their baby sister for months. They have joined me in prenatal visits and heard the heartbeat and got to see the baby during our gender sonogram! They've each contributed to the baby name pool. Belle's pick: Minnie. Jack's pick: Berry (after Eric Berry, #29 for the KC Chiefs). Together: Lucy, aka Wyldstyle from the Lego movie.
Until recently, we haven't really engaged the kids in a lot of baby prep because 1) several weeks away is practically forever in their minds and 2) we've been slow to prep for baby in general. But, over the last few weeks, we've gotten the kids involved and they have been having fun and are getting excited, too!
Our hospital sent us information on the birthing and newborn classes they offer. We've done those before and didn't feel the need to attend again, but they recently added a Big Sibling Class! It was a fun time for them to learn about the baby in my belly and Jack was fascinated to know that the baby can "hold her breath" underwater the whole time she's been in my tummy.
Check out the teacher's shirt! :)
They practiced changing a diaper.
And the proper way to care hold a baby!
They had a little tent with a pretend umbilical cord, they watched a video, and they just got to hear useful information from a real nurse at the hospital. They both got brand new books as special big sibling gifts and a fun coloring sheet booklet.
Earlier this week, I took the kids to Babies 'R Us for them to pick out gifts for the baby. Belle wanted to buy every pink, sparkly outfit but I had planned ahead for what I wanted them to find. Both kids have blankets for a lovey and I knew it'd be special if they'd pick one out for the new baby since they both love their blankets so much. Belle was quick to pick out a cute blanket and so that's her gift! Jackson picked out a carseat toy and he had fun testing out all of the options. I really wanted their gifts to be items that they'd see the baby use and enjoy and I think we accomplished that!
And tonight, after asking all week-- they were finally able to help put the crib up! Both kids think it's pretty cool that it's the same crib they used as babies. They "helped" with the screws and also by washing it down to get rid of the dust!
Also this week, one of the kids favorite PBS character, Daniel Tiger, became a big brother and so we have watched the episode a couple of times online. Talk about perfect timing!
I know that a new baby is going to be huge adjustment, but I think having the kids go to their special class and getting them involved in baby preparation is going to help with the transition! Still on the agenda is to let them help pick items for Baby Girl's hospital bag, packing their suitcases for when they spend the night with family while we are in the hospital, and they'll be the first to know the baby name (once we actually decide ourselves). I picked up a few books at the library about mommy having a baby, the trip to the hospital, bringing baby home, etc! I used this link to pick out some books.
Here are the ways we've kept our kids involved and helped prepare them for the new baby:
- Tell them first about the new pregnancy and let them help tell others!
- Bring along to some doctor appointments to hear heartbeat and to see sonogram.
- Involve them in discussions about the baby name (even if we veto every name they suggest).
- Attend a special Big Sibling class at the local hospital.
- Buy meaningful gifts to give to the new baby.
- Have the kids "help" build the crib and get nursery ready
- Read books and watch shows about becoming a big brother and/or sister.
- Help pack items for baby hospital bag
- Most importantly, praying with the kids about and having them pray for the new baby!
What are your best tips and tricks for prepping older siblings for a new baby? I'm all ears! :)