So you've found out your pregnant... it's brilliant but not quite like the first time, not only do you have friends and family to tell, this time you need to plan for how this new arrival will impact your first child. Well planning is key, each little move can be carefully thought out. Here are my top tips for preparing an only child to become a sibling.
Telling the first child
This really can depend on their age and what the gap will be. For me first time around we never really told our first child, we just drip fed her information once my tummy really got bigger. The gap is only 23 months so until it was very close to the EDD she was too young to really understand. For an older child you might like to surprise them with a gift, or a scan picture to tell them about a new sibling. This time around we gave the both tops with BIG Brother/Sister on if they are old enough to read something like this can be a nice way for them to discover the news. However if you are worried they may not take it so well, ensure you don't surprise them in front of a group or let them guess. An honest conversation and asking them about their feelings towards the changes that will happen are important. You might be excited but at times the older sibling might not and that's ok.
Reading books together
I found that reading books about having a new baby and why mummy's' tummy was growing really helped Everley to understand and be involved in what was going on.
My top recommendations are:
There is a house in mummy's tummy
I am a big brother
Princess Polly/ Pirate Pete I'm a new big sister/brother
My new baby & waiting for baby
Involve them in your pregnancy
Encourage them to talk to the baby, show them when your tummy moves and let them feel if the baby kicks or has hiccups. If they are old enough you can even show them your apps, what fruit size is your baby this week etc. Help them to understand (in some degree) about whats going on in your tummy and to try and start building a bond before the baby even arrives.
Actually get them involved with everything
Before, during and after the baby arrives, younger children especially toddlers and pre-schoolers love to be 'helpful'. So ask them to do little jobs for you. If you are decorating a nursery involve them in choosing the wallpaper or colour scheme, as them to pick up a paint brush and lend a hand. Let them help you to hand up the baby's clothes or come shopping to choose a special outfit. On the day you're in labour don't hide it from your older child, it's a natural and normal event. Let them know mummy is going to