BABY & NEW SIBLING
No matter the age of your first or second or third, one thing that I'm sure doesn't change with each child is wondering and worrying about how they will be effected with a new addition.
My son, Charlie, is only 16 months old and will be a big brother in 6 short weeks. Though it's been hard preparing such a young little person for another baby, there are some things we have been doing as a family that have been helpful.
WATCH & REPEAT
Anything Daddy does with Mommy, Charlie wants do it. Whether it's hold my hand, dance with me, kiss me, Charlie wants to get right in there. We found it very difficult to teach Charlie why my belly was growing or even have him acknowledge the sudden growth. As soon as my husband started paying attention (kissing, rubbing, talking to the baby) to my belly in front of Charlie, Charlie has changed his attitude completely. All he wants to do is love on my growing bump. He now not only acknowledges it but he hugs and kisses his baby brother in utero, as well. This gave us the opportunity to start talking about the new baby and pointing to my bump.
We ordered this Manhattan Toys baby soft doll which has been so useful for teaching Charlie about the new baby. She comes with a pacifier and says MAMA. You can find the girl version, HERE and the boy version, HERE.
We pretty much have been doing everything with the soft toy doll.
We practice :
-Reading to her
-Putting her down for naps in her bassinet
-Carrying her in the baby wrap
I just started doing a little at a time, but will probably start incorporating more activities with his “baby” into our routine now that the new baby is almost here. Charlie is way more into it than I thought he would be. We will probably change his stroller into a double soon and take out the infant seat as well, just so he gets used to his old equipment coming out and being eventually used by our new addition.
Here are some products I recommend to help with the transition:
The Manhattan Toy Soft Dolls: I love this product; it's been such a great tool for getting Charlie ready for the new baby.
The New Baby work book: This book is a little old for Charlie but a great book for a family with kids of all varying ages. There are so many useful activities to talk about, everything from what’s going on in your tummy to what things you will need with the new baby. I highly recommend this product.
Books: Charlie, like most toddlers, loves books and reading time. I would recommend books about a new baby addition to the family. However, don’t force it too much, but if your child seems interested, try and get a book in there once a day or a few times a week. We let Charlie choose what he wants to read, but instead of letting him pick from all of his books, I will let him choose from five and throw two baby books in there. It then becomes his choice to read about the event that will forever enrich our growing family.