[Huggies] Preparing Older Siblings For The New Arrival
With my due date looming, I think I am as prepared as I am going to be for the little guy's arrival, but are my kids prepared? How do you prepare older children for a new sibling?
My oldest was 2 and 1/2 when I brought his sister home from the hospital. We had obviously talked about the baby a lot and knew that she would be a sister and had her name picked out well in advance. By the time she arrived he had already taken to calling her his 'pretty girl.' We tried to make the transition easier with lots of one on one time from Dad and a new toy and movie, both gifts from the new baby. Even so, there were a few rough patches. An entire carton of eggs were smashed on the kitchen floor one by one and the bathroom was painted with baby soap, baby lotion, and baby powder. That was super fun to clean up. That is to be expected though and it is handy to prepare yourself with an extra measure of patience until everyone adjusts. It didn't take long for him to forget that she hadn't always been a part of our family. That is one of the benefits of having babies closer together.
The last time I brought a baby home from the hospital, my kiddos were 6 and 4. Again, we knew it was a sister and we knew her name, so we were able to talk about her in a way that made her more real to her siblings. They came to the ultrasound appointments with me so they could see their new baby too.
This go round we will be bringing home a baby boy to siblings that will be 11, 9, and 5. They have each had an ultrasound picture of their brother since we first told them we were expecting and have watched the videos of each ultrasound. The three of them have offered baby name suggestions, helped paint the nursery, and assisted in putting together baby furniture. My 5 year old has picked out every outfit I have bought for the new baby. I am pretty sure she is convinced she has made all of the decisions, and that is just the way I want it. We have even talked about what her jobs will be when the new baby comes home. She can help bring me diapers and wipes, sing to the baby, and pick out his clothes.
I feel like all of them are ready for the new arrival, but I realized that I have neglected to prep them about how it might all go down. In my head I have this fairy tale of my husband being in town and my kids all being ready for school when it it is time to head to the hospital. In reality I have about a half dozen scenarios of who can come over in the middle of the night, who can pick up the kids from school, and who will take me to the hospital if the baby decides to show up while my husband is away on a business trip. None of these were ever an issue when we lived close to family and my husband didn't travel for work. Grandma was always the go to person, day or night. I think we need to have a little family meeting where we prepare them for the fact that they might wake up in the morning to a neighbor or they get picked up by a friend's mom after school. After that, I think we should be all set. Of course, I am still hoping for the fairy tale!
How do you prep your kids for the arrival of a new little one? I would love to hear your suggestions!
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