My 6 1/2-year-old kids seem pretty resilient, but our baby's arrival in a few short weeks may be akin to throwing us all into the washing machine on the spin cycle. We're doing what we can to prepare them: My husband and I talk often about babies, we visit friends and neighbors who have little ones, and we've got a stack of big sister and new baby books. While our girls grow more excited and curious by the minute ("Mommy your tummy is SO BIG! Is our baby is going to be THAT BIG?"), I know I'll need some tricks up my sleeve to show there's room in my heart for all of them! So I asked friends around the blogosphere, and got some great ideas.
Hit the Dollar Store
"One thing we did was get a stash of small gifts and toys—dollar store stuff—for Boy Wonder. When people would come over to see Little CEO, of course they'd always be bearing gifts. So we'd bring out a gift for Boy Wonder at the same time so he never felt like he was being overlooked. He was just over two, that age when keeping score is a big deal and it would have been easy for him to feel like nobody cared about him."—Gigi Ross, Kludgy Mom
Go Over the Sibling Version of "What To Expect"
"Around my second trimester, we started telling our 3-year-old what was going to happen when his brother arrived. We explained babies cry a lot and not to let that upset him, it's just because babies don't know how to talk. We also stressed that babies are small so he needed to be very soft and gentle around his new brother. Just two months in, he is really sweet with the baby."—Amy Declouet
Remind Relatives to Pay Attention
"We made a point of asking relatives to greet our little girl before they cooed over the baby. Katie beamed with each and every bit of attention paid to her."—Liz Jostes, A Belle, A Bean & A Chicago Dog
Carve Out "We" Time
"I think the best thing you can do is to plan one-on-one time every week with the older kids. It doesn't need to be elaborate or expensive—a park to the trip, doing errands. The important part is to focus just on that child and open the lines of communication. The other day, my little girl, Ella, and I drove to Dairy Queen, shared an ice-cream, and talked. Good times!"—Mindy Farmer, The Inquisitive Mom
Get the New Baby to Give Some Gifts
"We bought a present for each sibling and attached a card that said, 'Here is a present from me, I can't wait to meet you. Love, New Baby." I gave them to my mother-in-law and asked her hand them out after the baby came—instant love for the new baby who knew just what to get them!"—Alexandra Rosas, Good Day Regular People
Enlist Some Little Helpers
"When I was pregnant with my last child, we included the big kids in the transition as much as possible. They helped get his room ready and set up baby things in the house. Once he came home, they all took on little 'jobs' such as stacking diapers or picking a book to read to him. Making them feel important and part of the process of bringing a new baby into the house was really helpful to their adjustment."—Jessica Watson, Four Plus An Angel
Remember: Don't Worry So Much!
"My oldest was just shy of 17 months old when my second was born. I was so worried about how he would adjust. But when his brother was born, he accepted him so readily and was instantly protective of him. If some well-meaning adult leaned down to coo over the baby or try to touch him, big brother would swat her away and say 'That's my baby!' Sometimes we parents have a harder time adjusting than the kids do!"—Shell, Things I Can't Say