Is Your Eldest Ready for a New Baby?
Preparing Your Older Child for a Sibling
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The concept of a baby being in your tummy may be hard for a young child to understand. In many ways, this kind of ignorance breeds bliss because if big brother is too young to conceptualize the miracle in progress, he’s also probably too young to worry terribly much about the ways in which it might affect his life.
Krisi Monsivaiz, having done this a few times as a mother of four, advises pregnant moms: “Purchase a book that tells you each day about the new baby’s development. Read it aloud to your children. They often find such excitement in knowing that the baby now has ears or toenails.”
If you are comfortable doing so, include your child in your doctor’s visits so that he can hear the baby’s heartbeat. (And know that it’s perfectly normal not to be comfortable taking your child with you once internal exams begin; those can be confusing even for the person going through them!) Take your child to your ultrasounds with you. I have personally never been able to make heads or tails (literally) from an ultrasound monitor, but I took my daughter—who was then four—with me when I was expecting my fourth and final child, and she spent the entire time professing, “Oh, I think that’s the head. I think I see a hand. Yep, that’s a foot. That’s definitely a foot.” I just lay there saying, “What? Where?” So, in addition to including her, you may even need her to help you identify the various body parts of your unborn child.
Once the baby starts kicking, let your child feel his new brother or sister moving around. Talk to him about the way that his little brother or sister is already trying to play with him. This may encourage the bonding process between your older child and your unborn baby, and may increase his excitement over the baby’s actual entrance into the world.
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