Preparing For a Full House: Newborn Baby

Congratulations! You’re expecting a new baby in your household. This can be an exciting an adventurous time for you and your family. This can be especially exciting if this is your second child you’re expecting! So how exactly do you prepare your oldest child, for what is all to come?

For a young child, it may be a little harder to understand the new excitement that is happening around the house—but they do know that something is different. By setting them aside, and explaining to them what this new stage is, and by following the simple tips I have, your house will be in perfect harmony.

When to spill the beans

Obviously not too early—usually the best time is when your oldest notices your growing belly. This is a great time to introduce a new baby coming to the family. Get your little one involved by patting your tummy, or listening for anything. Tell her there is going to be a new little brother or sister, and that she’ll have someone to hang out with.

Little things to prepare

Take your child on errands with you for your anticipated baby. Have her pick out cute toys, the color of the crib, and other easy decisions. This will help your oldest feel included with what is happening, and you’ll get to spend that special one-on-one time before the new baby arrives. It’s also a good idea to have your child be babysat a little extra than normal—this way, they’ll be comfortable with being handed off to grandma or grandpa when things get a little hectic with your new comer.

Give a gift

Another great way to have your child feel included is by giving a gift to represent their new “title” of an older sibling. You could give something as easily as a big sister shirt, or a teddy bear. This can also be used in reverse when the baby is born: have your oldest give—her now younger sibling—a blanket or a toy—this will mean the world to them when they’re older, and they’ll remember it forever.

Post Baby

Remember that your toddler is still a toddler. They’re going to still be needy, and want attention. As long as you take a step back and remember that, you won’t have high expectations of how your home will be.
A great way to make sure your oldest is still feeling included, is by telling him or her that you’re going to be spending “special” quality time with them. Make it known—even if it’s just a quick amount of time together, they’ll be happy you made the time, and you will too.
Have your oldest be included as much as you can with the newborn. Have them help with picking out clothes, or grabbing a towel for you after bath time. The little things mean the most, and they’ll begin to establish a sense of responsibility towards their sibling.
Having a new baby in the house is exciting—just remember that there will be momentary bumps along the way, but it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Enjoy this new stage in your life, and learn to grow as a family. 

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