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One of the first things I thought about when falling pregnant was how a new sibling might affect Emilia. Obviously we discussed it before we decided to have another baby, but once it happens it all becomes very real. I wanted to make sure Emilia felt included and knew what was going to be happening.
Emilia was only 2 when we found out I was pregnant, and so we made the decision to wait to tell her. It is a long time for a toddler to wait and I wanted to make sure everything was OK before we told her. We ended up waiting until after the 20 week scan, and as we found out the gender we could tell her it was a little girl and that she’ll have a little baby sister.
One of the first things I did was buy Sarah Ockwell-Smith’s The Second Baby Book
It gave me some useful insights about introducing a new sibling and lots of practical advice. It is worth considering even when you start to think about another baby as there are tips around pre-conception as well including the best age gap for example.
Books were high on my list of ways to help prepare Emilia, we luckily didn’t have to buy any as my sister passed some over to us and so we used these. There are so many options though, There’s a House inside my Mummy*, My New Baby* are great choices, one of my favourites that I read to Emilia is Waiting for Baby*. Emilia loves to read and having these there for us to read with her and help explain what was going on was great.
We also made sure Emilia was involved in all the practical preparations for her new sibling.
She helped Daddy build the Snuzpod, she helped fold and put away her little baby sisters clothes and we made sure we explained what everything is to her. The nappy bin, the bath and all the other little bits and bobs. She helped me clean the pram. Emilia knew whenever I went to the midwife or hospital it was to check on her little baby sister and we talked to her about it alot. She also felt her moving which was lovely.
She was really excited about the baby’s arrival and often said how she wants to help to look after her, and changing nappy and feeding her. She also wants to take her to feed the ducks so I am sure that will be a trip we will take as soon as we’re up to it.
We have also made the decision to buy Emilia a selection of Big Sister gifts, which I will share more of in a later blog post. I didn’t want Emilia to feel left out with all the excitement of a new baby and the possibility that her new sibling gets lots of gifts. Also with lockdown we have had to order most things in for the new baby so we’ve had lots of deliveries and all the time we have to say it’s for your little baby sister so it will be nice for her to have some presents.
As I mentioned the lockdown definitely made things harder, I would have loved to do lots more fun stuff with Emilia in the last few months we had as a family of 3. We wanted to go to the zoo, lots more trips to the playground, our favourite museums and play centres but sadly that hasn’t been possible. We have had lots of one on one time and I have tried to make it as fun for her as I can. That in itself has been difficult though as I am struggling to entertain her on my own all day every day. Having a new baby in the house will definitely add a new dimension to our lockdown.
I hope this post helps you with some ideas for preparing a child for a new sibling, did you do any of these with your children?