Are you expecting a brand new addition to your family? You must be beaming with excitement after sharing your amazing news with everyone right? Have you thought about what a huge change this will be for your current little one and the impact it will have on them?
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I’m currently in this challenging position myself, and wanted to share some simple tricks that I’ve learned so far to help my daughter get just as excited as me and my husband for our tiny new arrival!
1. Remind Them Regularly That They Are Going To Be A Big Sister Or Brother
From the moment I found out I was pregnant, (even with the risk of my daughter blurting it out when no one actually knew our secret yet), I made absolutely sure that I got her super excited telling her that she was going to be the best big sister ever, and how being a big sister would be so much fun.
I continuously keep drumming this into her everyday and reminding her how lucky and special she is and what an important role she has in helping mummy and daddy look after a new baby. Try this with your son or daughter telling them what an amazing big sister or brother they are going to soon be.
2. Remind Them Regularly That There Is A Baby Growing In Mummy’s Tummy
I make sure that my daughter knows constantly that her little brother or sister is growing inside of mummy’s tummy. This isn’t just for my own benefit of not having my excitable daughter jump up and down on me like she often does, but so that she can understand and get excited for the day where my baby starts kicking and can see the connection and feel this incredible movement for herself.
She already kisses my tummy sometimes as she knows that something very special is growing in there, but I believe once she can actually feel the baby kick she will understand even more.
3. Buy Books On Being A Big Sister Or Brother
My daughter absolutely loves reading and really takes note and listens to what is being read to her so I’m using this to my advantage. When it came to potty training we had a book that worked wonders in helping to get her there and understand what big girls do and how to be toilet trained.
Therefore she can learn so much from reading books about being a helpful big sister. Often what she sees she wants to copy, so it’s a win-win situation.
4. Dolls And Dolls Accessories
My daughter has 2 dolls that she is besotted with, and that literally come everywhere with her. She likes to change their nappies, put them to sleep, make their bottles and feed them and take them for walks in their buggies.
She pretends her dolly is crying and asks them what the matter is, gives them a kiss and cuddle and tells them that it’s going to be alright. She even tells me to be very quiet when she is trying to rock them to sleep as I must not wake them.
Not only is this adorable to watch, but actually it’s preparing her very much for when the day comes that there is a real baby to feed, put to sleep, change nappies etc. It means that she is understanding the concept and learning to help, as well as the basic needs of a new baby.
If you have a son who is going to be a big brother, then you could perhaps get him to help out when you see friends that have babies by passing over nappies and other things your baby might need.
5. Spend As Much Time As Possible Around Friends With Babies And Friends That Have More Than One Child
Your toddler seeing you hold and give attention to another baby is naturally going to wind them up at first and make them quite jealous for mummy’s attention, but the more frequently you do this the better for them and you in the long run.
It’s also going to show them that sometimes your attention needs to be elsewhere. Another benefit is that they can also come and help you hold the baby, pass the baby it’s dummy, or any toys, give them kisses and cuddles and help display their caring nature.
I’m lucky enough to have a friend who’s pregnant with her 2nd child whose first child is friends with my daughter. We meet up regularly, and so we are getting her excited that just like her little friend is going to be a big sister so is she. And that’s a really special thing. A lot of kids want what their friends have, and this is something we can definitely say yes to!
6. Allow Them To Help You To Decorate Baby’s New Room
Another great way to get your toddler excited for their new sibling is to let them help you to decorate the new baby’s bedroom. They could pass you things and you could ask them what color wallpaper prints look pretty etc.
Even if you don’t take what they say, it’s about getting them involved and letting them be your special little helper and knowing they were part of something really special. Kids often love to help and what better way to get them involved than this?
7. Tell Nurseries Or Other People Your Toddler Regularly Sees That You Are Expecting
This one has definitely worked for me. On day one after telling the nursery my daughter goes to that I was pregnant, they told me that she had been telling everybody all day long that she was going to be a big sister and that her mummy and daddy were having a little baby.
This made me really happy to hear and I really feel this should be encouraged where possible. Imagine how excited your toddler will be to tell all of their friends that they are going to be a special big brother or sister.
8. Let Them Come Baby Shopping With You
Taking your child out and letting them choose toys or blankets for the new baby will make them feel really special, especially when the baby is born and they see them using a present that their big sister bought them.
Also, make sure that you buy your toddler gifts at the same time so they don’t feel left out. A nice idea might be to perhaps buy matching clothes. Or slogan clothes with the words “Big Sister” or “Big Brother” on.
9. Bring Your Toddler To Appointments And Scans Where Possible
I must admit I did not take my daughter with to my 12-week scan, in case there were any complications, however, I fully intend to take her with to my 20-week scan, and I’m certain it will get her excited to see her new little brother or sister on the screen.
What I have already done is given her a photo of my 12-week scan so she can hold that and show people and I can keep telling her what the picture is of.
Having a new baby should be an exciting time for all, and whilst it is no doubt going to be a hurdle getting your child used to adapting to having a new baby brother or sister requiring your attention, the above steps can be taken to ensure you have a happier and smoother transition as you expand your wonderful family.