Whew! That weekend flew by. It was a little too short for me. This weekend I was thinking a lot about Sav's reaction to her baby brother and what it's going to be like. She normally likes babies when we see them out but I'm not quite sure how she'll feel about one living here. I know that it's my job (along with my husband) to set the tone for how their relationship will be.
I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my tips for preparing baby number one for baby number two today on the blog. Here we go.
We talk about the baby daily and call him by his name.
Soon after we decided on a name I made sure that we started using it. Kids love learning new things and it's been fun "teaching" her the baby's name. I just slide it into the name game we already play. "What's Mommy's name?" "What's Daddy's name?" "What's your brother's name?" "What's your name?" She gets a kick out of getting the names right everyday. I add new names daily too, like grandparents, uncles, aunts etc.
Let them be "Big Helpers".
I'm all about teaching some responsibility. When I'm organizing the baby's things I let her help me. We fold his clothes together and talk about his little outfits. I tell her she's a great big sister for helping with her brother's things. She enjoys that feeling of accomplishment. I also think it get's her use to the idea that there really is a baby coming. Which brings me to my next tip....
Count baby kicks with baby number one.
If this doesn't freak you out let your toddler feel the baby moving. Savannah and I count kicks together. Sometimes it gives her the extreme giggles so we don't get that far, but at least she knows that there really is a baby in Mommy's growing belly. She knows it's not a game and I'm not making this baby up.
Celebrate becoming a sibling.
All kids love a party. They all love cake so why not make up a reason to give them some. I plan to have a "Big Sister Party" for Savannah. We'll have cake, ice cream and one gift from her baby brother. I also plan to give her one of the "Big Sister" certificates I've found on Pinterest. We'll have this party a day or two before I deliver so that she hasn't forgotten about her new role by the time the baby is here. Her Grandmother will be in town to watch her and I'll make sure she reminds Savannah after I've left for the hospital that she's a "Big Sister" now and that's a fun thing to be.
At the hospital...
Those moments in the hospital are so precious, but for a two year old I can imagine it will be a little overwhelming. It will be her first time seeing me in a hospital around all those machines. It will also be her first time meeting her brother. I plan to have my arms free and open for her when I see her. The baby can either lay in his bassinet or someone else can hold him while I greet her. I think it's important that when she sees me again after being apart that we can catch up a bit before introducing her to the baby. Slow and steady wins the race, right?
This is where being a Big Sister is going to come in handy. Now the baby is on Savannah's turf. I'll be keeping her on her regular schedule with all her activities. He'll be along for the ride as we begin to get him adapted to his new routine. Sav can help with tummy time, baths and whatever else peaks her interest. If she's not feeling it one day I won't press her about it. The way I see it it takes nine (ten) months to get ready for a baby and it probably takes that long for a toddler to realize the baby is here to stay. Pretty soon she won't even remember what life was like before him.
What are some of your tips for getting baby one ready for baby two?