My Tips to Prepare a Child for a Baby Sibling

It’s hard to believe that the gremlin is going to have a little sibling soon; a very fidgity sister if the amount of wriggling is to go by at the moment.

I have heard so many stories from others about how the first borns reacted to their siblings; positive, negative, really helpful, indifferent, attention seeking, naughty; the list does go on.

Hubby and I have obviously talked a lot about how we think the gremlin may react. Personally, I think she will be very gentle and attentive to her sister until the novelty wears off. She is not aggressive and generally very kind. However, she can be very giddy, giggly and just show off, so we think we will be in for a ride with the attention-seeking behaviour! However, we will see.

We have tried to prepare her for her sister’s arrival with no serious clear plan as such but I thought it may be worth sharing for any Mums having their second.

So what have we done?

  • Told her about the baby coming from a very early stage. In fact she came to the 8 week private scan. I felt she needed to understand and get the idea in her head from the word go.
  • Shown her my bump and let her watch the baby move. Initially she would hug and kiss the bump but if I lifted my top up to feel movement when I was playing with the gremlin, she would protest and move my top back down. It was as she did not want the baby interrupting her games or distracting me. This has got better and she has been quite excited to touch a foot and tell people there is a baby in my belly.

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  • Told her about what happens when the baby is born. We haven’t been graphic of course but she understands Mummy will get tummy ache when the baby comes. She knows it comes out of a baby hole or sometimes a doctor cuts the baby out. If I go into labour at home she understands I will need to go to hospital for a midwife to help me. She has started some role play acting all of the above out so I know some of it has gone in.
  • Taken her to all my midwife appointments. She is usually as good as gold and helps to do my blood pressure and presses the button on the doppler. She has heard the heart beat and watched me get examined. The midwives are all great with her and I feel this has helped her understand.
  • Talked a lot about what her sister may be like at first. Β She understands breastfeeding and bottle feeding; as we bath together she has seen colostrum leakage (!) and gets this will hopefully feed her sister. I have explained her sister will not eat like her or steal her toys (yes she asked this) or really do a lot when she is born. If we have seen loving sisters playing together when out and about, I have been really encouraging and explained this would be her in the future. Family and friends have also done the same.
  • Let her pretend to be a baby. This has really vamped up and she loves playing babies where she or I is the baby. She wants to have a dummy and use a bottle during the game and we have humoured her. She also has played a lot with her dolls recently. We have seen no signs of actual regression as such as we are happy for her to pretend, as long as we get back the props after each game!!!

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  • Involved her in getting all the baby bits out of the garage. She had a blast. She was sitting in the pram and Moses. She went through all the baby toys and has played in the cot numerous times. I have had to remove toys and the lullaby machine from her room several times but she knows her sister will use her old bits. She also likes looking at the baby clothes when we are out shopping together.

It’s small things and I hope she is feeling as ready as we are. I think until a little baby is brought back to the house, the reality of this will sink in and we will see her reaction. I’m hoping she will be my little helper and be kind and loving.

We are no experts and have no idea if the preparation will help. I just know my gremlin reacts to situations and change better when she has been prepared and had things talked through.

Will it help? Let’s see and wish us luck!

 

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16 Comments

  1. September 16, 2016 / 9:12 am

    It’s going to be a big change for you all but I think you have prepared the best you can….Wishing you the best of luck. I’m sure your girl will be an amazing big sister x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…A Humdrum Week. #WotWMy Profile

  2. September 16, 2016 / 10:13 am

    I think you’ve done lots of great things to prepare Gremlin for the new arrival, this is a brilliant post for parents expecting their second baby it’s full of valuable tips & advice as I think children cope better with change if they are well prepared. #WotW
    Angela Webster recently posted…Word of the Week – RoutineMy Profile

  3. September 16, 2016 / 10:33 am

    You’ve done lots to prepare her, and as you say, you can then only see how it goes and how your two will get on. My girls adored her brother from the start and has always been good with him, though I’m glad they were born the way round that they were as I’m not sure my son would have been so patient with a baby! Thanks for sharing with #WotW x
    The Reading Residence recently posted…Word of the Week 16/9/16My Profile

  4. September 16, 2016 / 2:01 pm

    I bet it’ll be a big change for you all, and may take a little time to get used to it, but I’m sure when Gremlin finds her feet she’ll be a fab big sister! Thanks for linking up to the #BinkyLinky

  5. September 16, 2016 / 2:11 pm

    Such nice things to do to prepare her! I am ancient and yet I still remember that day when my parents arrived with my sister from the hospital. I guarded her with my life haha. I am always beside her hammock (we dont have crib in the Philippines.. its too hot) & I am sure in really thinking and preparing Gremlin to her sister that day would be special to her too. #wotw
    Merlinda Little (Glimmer of Hope) recently posted…Birthday WeekMy Profile

  6. September 16, 2016 / 6:44 pm

    I love the questions they ask. So sweet to worry about her toys. It’s always a slight shock for them, but I’m sure you are preparing her well. #wotw
    Cheryl | TimeToCraft recently posted…MomentsMy Profile

  7. September 16, 2016 / 8:13 pm

    It sounds like you have done all you can to prepare her, although I’m sure she will just adapt as children do. Lewis was 8 when we had Eva so he wasn’t overly phased by it, and by the time we had Harry Eva and Megan were still only babies so we never really had to prepare them, they have no recollection of him being born or of a life without eachother! Good luck with it all, I keep checking for updates! #binkylinky
    five little doves recently posted…There aint no party like an Aquabeads party!My Profile

  8. September 17, 2016 / 11:38 am

    I think you are doing all the right things, we tried with Alfie and he knew what was going to happen but it was difficult when Elarna actually arrived, I’m sure A is going to be a fabulous big sis πŸ™‚ Looking forward to hearing your updates honey #binkylinky
    helen gandy recently posted…School Trips Away!My Profile

  9. September 17, 2016 / 3:35 pm

    Aw congratulations on baby no.2! I’ve really enjoyed reading this as I’m currently expecting no.3 so lots of ideas there to share – I think my two will also be the same, kind and genuinely interested but both prone to getting a little silly and showing off for attention – I’m sure it’ll all work out once everything settles πŸ™‚
    I was quite surprised at how open and interested my two have been, it goes to show that jealousy isn’t always apparent if you include them – my eldest has even come up with a name for baby which we all love and is on the list πŸ™‚
    xx

  10. September 17, 2016 / 7:08 pm

    Great steps, Jack had a book to fill out when I was expecting Joe it was amazing, like a little diary that he could fill out or add pictures and drawing, its so important to include them in the preparations x

  11. September 17, 2016 / 11:21 pm

    This is good advice and steps. We did the same, my first was only 15 months when I got pregnant again but he came to all of the appointments and all of the scans etc. When i saw the midwife he knew she was making sure mummy is nice and healthy for his little brother! My best friend is a nurse and she also came round and let my first take my blood pressure. We bought a doppler too and he had a go at trying to find his brothers heartbeat πŸ™‚ We read books about him coming and what would happen etc and yes he felt left out in the beginning but now they are inseparable. They are 3 and 1 next month! #binkylinky

  12. September 19, 2016 / 1:15 pm

    Sounds like you’ve done loads to help prepare the gremlin for being a big sister and I am sure that it will all help ease the transition for her once her baby sister arrives. Love that she’s come with you for midwife appointments – it is lovely to involve little ones in that too πŸ™‚ #WotW

  13. September 19, 2016 / 10:15 pm

    I tried to prepare Harry for the Birth of Charley but he didnt understand. He just fell in love with her from the second they met. 12 months later and they are as thick as theives.#BinkyLinky

  14. September 20, 2016 / 9:25 pm

    Sounds like your playing it pretty well. I’m really close to my little sister and my parents did this sort of things, and we want to get the same sort of bond between Little Bear and his younger sibling, so will keep these in mind!
    #Binklinky