Now we are well into the third trimester I thought I would share some of the things we have been doing to help Monkey adjust to his new little brother who will be appearing at the beginning of May. Monkey is three and a half and I am hoping because he is that little bit older it will be easier for his to adjust. On the other hand he has had us to himself for longer which may make it harder! Either way I really want to foster a close bond between the boys and so from day one we have included Monkey in a number of baby activities.

Preparing yourfirst born for the birth of a sibling

  • Talking to the baby – I try to encourage him to talk to my tummy and listen in to see if he is sleeping or not, he always finds this hilarious often saying he can’t hear anything but just to get close proximity is a start!
  • Feeling the baby move – he is fascinated that my tummy now moves on its own and we try to catch it in time so that he can feel the baby moving too.
  • Playing babies – Monkey had a toy baby boy when he was a young toddler and liked to push him around in a little buggy. Recently have reintroduced him at bath time and meal times with Monkey role playing with the doll and I draw comparisons with life post baby number two. Hopefully some of it will sink in.
  • Trying to teach patience – I am planning on breastfeeding so that will mean I can not be on constant call. Monkey has always been the centre of our universe and if I am honest a little spoilt in the time department. Now when he asks for something I am asking him to wait a couple of minutes which has been met with a few tantrums but I am hoping it will help develop an understanding that things don’t just stop for him all of the time. Of course there will be times when Monkey comes before the baby and its important he sees that side too. But in the early days especially he will need to get use to sharing our time.
  • Attending scans – we have made a conscious effort to bring Monkey along to scans where it is appropriate. This hasn’t been as much as I would like because many of my later scans have been accompanied by a consultant appointment. However he does enjoying pointing out feet and hands and looking at the pictures afterwards.
  • Reading books – there are a number of books you can buy about becoming a big brother which help Monkey to identify with what will be happening with him. We have been reading this sporadically but we intend to read them more on the run up to the birth.
  • Listening to the heartbeat – we have one of those apps. You know the sort that the midwife doesn’t really approve of because of the worry it can cause if you can’t find the heart beat? Well its quote fun listening to Monkey’s and then listening to the babies and to be honest we have never struggled to hear it.
  • Changing rooms – Monkey will be moving out of the nursery into a big boy room which he is actively involved in putting together. In ad far he has chosen the new bed he wants and what theme we are going to run with. Ideally I would want him in there well before Pip makes an entrance. To be honest with everything else going on at work its very unlikely he will be in before the baby even arrives. Not ideal and if I could I would change it but I can’t so we will just make the best of the situation.
  • Decluttering – if you follow my blog then you know I have been decluttering – maybe something to do with nesting or maybe because we moved into our house eight years ago and haven’t thrown anything out since! I wanted to pack some of Monkey’s baby toys away into the loft. This did spark a couple of difficult conversations around Monkey’s toys being used by the baby at a point in the future, and although initially it didn’t go down very well he has started getting his head round it. Even telling the ladies at his nursery that he’s saving his old toys for his brother. I am glad we started this early as I think its taken about two months to get to this point.
  • Buying necessities – even though we have a boy already there will still be things that I need to buy for our second. I am involving Monkey in this process and asking his opinions on things such as which muslins do you think the baby would like. Muslins are a big deal in Monkey’w world. He uses them to comfort himself and will still sleep with one given half a chance. By involving him in these seemingly trivial decisions actually carry a lot more weight for him than they would for you or me.
  • Spending quality time together as a three – we have been lucky enough to get away for a week just the three of us to Devon. Each day we have day trips planned that focus on the things Monkey likes to do. If you can’t get away then you could still do day trips to places which are special to the three of you. With the run up to a new baby there are always loads of things which need to be done at home or in preparation so its nice to take a break from these and spend time together.
  • Creating more independence –  because of Monkeys age he is already potty trained and can put his shoes in and get dressed (when he wants to which is rarely!). If he were a bit younger then I would be working on trying to get these skills in place before the arrival of a second. That said I still want to encourage his independence as he will be going to school in September so its important he learns certain things before going. Generally he is pretty good and not a timid character so hopefully that transition will go well.

As we get nearer to the date when Pip is due to arrive I will also be doing a couple of other things with Monkey;

  • Explaining about the birth – in an ideal world I would opt for a home birth but its not possible this time round so Monkey will go to stay with my mum when I go into labour. As we get closer I will explain to Monkey this is what is going to happen so that he’s as ready as we are for the big day.
  • Helping pack the hospital bag – an extension of the above point, so he feels as though he’s inputting.
  • Buy a gift from the baby to his big brother – I have not made any final decisions on this yet but many people I know have done this and its helped with the transition. I want to include a big brother t-shirt in this as well as I hope it will help Monkey understand that his role within our little family unit has altered slightly and in some ways become even more special.

What have you done to prepare your children for the birth of a sibling? Any ideas welcome I could do will all the help I can get!  Please let me know in the comments.

Signature

My Kid Doesn't Poop Rainbows

56 Comments

  1. wonderfulandaverage Reply

    Great post! We’re already doing a lot of these things but it’s given me some ideas too! Little T will only be 2 when the baby arrives so we’re a bit limited by his level of understanding but I think he’s going to be a brilliant big brother and I’m sure Monkey will be too 🙂 xx

  2. Some lovely ideas here. I hope he adapts to the new addition OK. I play to read a bunch of siblings books if and when we get to this point.

    #fartglitter

  3. How exciting! I bet your little one is excited for the new member of your family to arrive 😉 Now he’ll be the big brother 🙂 x

  4. You’ve got some great ideas. I did a fair few of these but also went through a list of things my daughter would be able to do with her new brother. I didn’t want her to think she’d be getting one who could crawl, talk, eat etc.

  5. This is a great list and very useful for anyone with another baby on the way. I am sure Monkey is going to make an excellent big brother xx #Fartglitter

  6. Love this. It can be so nerve racking introducing a new baby so preparation is key. I think helping to pack a hospital job is a great idea!

  7. Such a lovely post, he sounds like he’s getting head around it and with your wonderful parenting and cute ways of involving monkey he love having a little brother. There are some great Usborne books for this topic, my favourite is “new baby” involving stickers and a story which also has breastfeeding page! Good luck thanks for sharing, in going to bookmark this for when I have another 🙂 X #twinklytuesday

  8. Excellent advice. We did a lot of these before our daughter arrived. Unfortunately we didn’t know our son was autistic before his sister came and he took it very badly for a long time, despite our best efforts. We enjoyed ‘There’s a house inside my mummy’ while preparing. Good luck with it all 🙂

  9. These are really great tips, and you’ve done well to come up with so many of them! I really don’t think you could do anymore than this. Good luck with the upcoming arrival and the family adjustments that follow 🙂

  10. We only have one child at the moment, but it does worry me about if/when she’ll become an older sibling and how she’ll deal with it. Thank you for all these tips – I’ll certainly be rememebering them in the future 🙂 #BloggerClubUK

    Helen x

  11. Great idea, I probably should have prepared my toddler more, although she is very loving she can be quite heavy handed, hence why we have been doing some baby role play this week where I’ve been trying to show her how to be gentle

  12. Sounds like you’re doing a great job. Monkey may surprise you when baby arrives. I’ve got friends who recently had a second and all have adjusted fine. I’ll definitely be saving this post for when I have a second. #bloggersclubuk

  13. An imperfect Mum (@animperfectmum) Reply

    What absolutely brilliant advice, we tried a lot of these too. Some people thought we were mad taking our son to the scans but he really enjoyed it! We had a great book in dutch something about mummy’s tummy being a house and he loved reading it. We also changed rooms and beds to a big boys bed and spent lots of time together.

  14. We did lots of the above when preparing each child for a new addition. We’ve been very lucky that every time it’s gone well even when my son was kept in for 6 weeks after his birth. My daughter took it all in her stride and loved visiting her brother, now they are the best of friends. With our new arrivals we have given teddies, something special to cuddle and with the suggestion that every time they want to really cuddle baby, they cuddle teddy and baby will know. Good luck in the future I hope all goes perfectly for you x #BloggerClubUK

  15. I always remember the preschool teachers telling me my son had been pushing the pushchair round all morning with his ‘baby brother’ in it when I was pregnant. So cute. Luckily it did turn out to be a brother! Some days getting the balance of your time right is really hard, but mostly the bond they have is amazing to watch. My big one always tells me he loves his little brother, and the little one just idolises the big one! #BloggerClubUK

  16. moderatemum Reply

    I think it’s lovely to let them attend scans and hear the heartbeat. It’s confusing enough for grownups to get their head round so anything that will make it real must be so helpful #BloggerClubUK

  17. Cute post! Now I have to be honest, I’m not sure when number two will come along but it’s good to get an idea of how to prepare baby boy when the time comes. You must all be so excited 🙂 xxx #BloggerClubUK

  18. Great ideas. My eldest wasn’t quite yet 2 when my youngest was born so he didn’t understand as much about what was going to happen. He had a baby doll that he liked to play with and we bought him a present from his baby brother. He was fine with his new brother arriving, it was really sweet how he liked to help out. #BloggerClubUK

  19. This is a great post, excellent tips and ideas here that I’ll be saving for when I have a second. I’m working on teaching my toddler patience, he’s been a bit spoilt too and I’m always on constant call. I’m very excited for you and your family! Best wishes x #BloggerClubUK

  20. Unhinged Mummy (aka Janine Woods) Reply

    Some really great ideas here. My son was only 21 months when my daughter arrived and he has a speech and language dis order and learning difficulties do although we tried to prepare him he didn’t really understand. He paid absolutely no attention to her whatsoever though. I guess his lack of social communication and affection helped in that he did not ever get jealous so we were lucky in that respect.

    #bloggerclubuk

  21. These are some great suggestions, we are wanting another one soon so thanks for sharing

  22. Agent Spitback Reply

    Great advice! I remembered bringing my #1 to the scans and he was quite disappointed as he could not make out the image LOL… I also try to involve the older children as much as possible. We even let them suggest names for #3. #BloggerClubUK

  23. Lovely post and lots of great things to help. We did the present for my eldest, from her sister, I put it under the crib when she came to meet her and she thought her sister had brought it for her. I also took Alice out to buy a present for her new sister and she excitedly wrapped it up and popped it in the hospital bag ready. Another tip is if you have kept clothes from your first, that you are planning to get out for the new baby. Don’t mention to your son that he wore them before, he won’t remember them and it means he won’t have a problem with the baby having his clothes. It can be tempting to say ‘you wore this and looked so cute’ etc. Exciting times ahead for you all x

  24. Lovely post. It is hard for little ones as they go from being right in the middle of everything, to having to share that limelight with someone else. Some that needs more attention for feeding etc

  25. These are all great ideas, I will definitely bear them in mind when we (hopefully) think about having a second baby! I think you’re right that him being a bit older means he can understand better as well as being able to do certain things on his own already. Thanks for hosting #BloggerClubUK

  26. It’s a busy time for everyone when new baby comes home. You’ve lots of great tips here. We definitely did the gift thing, it’s a distraction if nothing else! Hope you are feeling good.

  27. some great parenting advice too! my little monster doesn’t have any siblings (and I don’t plan on any) and my brother and I are 10 years apart so I don’t have much experience :p #BloggerClubUK

  28. I love this post. You are being very thoughtful and kind to your eldest by preparing him so well. I dso think it can be quite a hard transition for them to make to if there are things that can be done to make it easier for them then all the better. x #BloggerClubUK

  29. wonderful advice – I also bought a new box of toys for my eldest which on,y came out when i was feeding my new baby so that she had something exciting and special to do when i was feeding – really helped #BloggersClubUK

  30. My son was almost three when his baby sister arrived, and we did find it quite hard to prepare him for it because we weren’t sure how much he really understood what was happening. We had two great books about it though that we read loads and loads and I do think that helped. He’s been brilliant though, and 2 years down the line is still a great big brother! x #BloggerClubUK

  31. Wonderful post, these are all great suggestions for how to prepare your eldest. My eldest just turned 2 when her baby sister was born so we had a tough time explaining to her but I’m so glad we made sure she was involved, she has been such a good big sister from day one. I’m sure your son is going to be a wonderful big brother after all the preparing you’ve done 🙂 #BloggerClubUK x

  32. These are great things to be doing to prepare. My eldest was 22 months when Noah was born and it was a hard transition but with preparation it went ok. #bloggersclubuk xx

  33. These all sound like really good steps to prepare Monkey. I have two, but my eldest was only 15 months old when youngest was born, so she wasn’t able to understand what was happening really. She adjusted very well from the start, though. She was also very good about allowing the time & attention for little one to breastfeed. She had only stopped breastfeeding herself about 6 weeks before so we thought she might struggle, but she was fine. Little ones are very adaptable. I’m sure Monkey will love being a big brother. #bloggerclubuk

  34. Angela Milnes Reply

    This is a great idea….. We have never had this experience but I did have to prepare Sylvia for John moving in when we got married and did quite a few of the suggestions above. It’s not the same but big changes are important and as your lovely post demonstrates there are things you can do to help a child to be prepared.
    Angela from Daysinbed

  35. randommusings29 Reply

    These all sound like great ideas Clare. I especially like the idea of moving Monkey into a new room and letting him choose his own bed. That will be an exciting thing for him and hopefully something to focus on. I like the idea of the baby giving the older sibling a gift, as I think it makes the child feel that the baby likes them and they are more likely to want to reciprocate. Thanks for hosting #BloggerClubUK
    Debbie

  36. I remember when I was pregnant with my youngest. My oldest was 5 at the time and I was talked to him all the time about how he was going to be a big brother. I talked about babies and read books and let him talk to his brother while he was still growing inside me. When his brother was born, he was the happiest little boy:) #bloggerclubuk

  37. Great and thoughtful ideas, Clare. It can be quite a difficult time for older siblings so anything that can be done to reassure them is beneficial I think. I can’t think of anything extra that I did – your list is very comprehensive! I am sure Monkey will do just fine after all your thoughtfulness – exciting times 🙂

  38. Yvonne - Double the Monkey Business Reply

    Sounds like you are doing all the right things and being super prepared. I am sure monkey will be great, exciting times 🙂 #bloggerclubuk

  39. These are all good ideas. Our eldest is a similar age and we were concerned that when her baby sister came along she would get jealous. She’s been ok and loved cuddling her from the moment we got home but…

    Now there are three to juggle she’s getting lost in the mix and takes after her father too much in not doing well in crowds. There’s been some acting up which is about needing to have one on one time. We had always planned to do that before youngest was born but it didn’t quite pan out so we’re making the effort now to have one-on-one time with each of them while the other two are with the other parent.

    Good luck!

    #BloggerClubUK

  40. Becky, Cuddle Fairy Reply

    Those are all great ideas! I did a lot of the same. I think talking to them about the baby coming is the biggest thing. Let them know the plan & who they will stay with when you are in hospital. Having a nice gift from the baby to Monkey wouldn’t hurt either 😉 #bloggerclubuk

  41. I do not yet had kids but I think you have covered the most essentials and its nice that you’re involving monkey in anything to prepare him for he’s role as big brother

  42. Really thoughtful that you’re thinking things through, parenting is such a tricky business and the more we involve siblings the better. Well done you x

  43. baby1mummy0 Reply

    Great post. Our little one is two and we are planning on a second little one soon. It does concern me how our son will be with a sibling but there are some great ideas in here that I will make a note of! Thanks! Good luck with the new little one x

  44. Some really good suggestions. Thankfully my big girl is nearly 8 so understands really well. We still involved her a fair bit though x

  45. debsrandomwritings Reply

    Hi Clare, preparing your first born for the arrival of the second is important after all it’s going to bring big changes to their life. Taking little one along to scans when appropriate is a wonderful idea as they get to see their sibling before they arrive.

    Talking through what’s going to happen when the time comes is also important, as at least then little one knows why he’s being shipped of to Grannies.

    My daughter bought a box of wooden building blocks for her brother when she arrived, no wonder I was as big as a house!

    xx

  46. Brilliant tips Clare. You have really been thorough. I did many of the things on your list but not all of them. Teaching patience is such a good idea. Our girl was 2 so was a bit harder to do this. I am pleased for you that your boy is already potty trained! Our girl decided to potty train when little sister was just a couple of weeks old and breastfeeding every hour. That was a ‘fun’ couple of weeks for mummy….. Exciting times ahead for you all! Kathy x #BloggerClubUk

  47. Pingback: 31 Weeks pregnant | Mudpie Fridays

  48. Pingback: My 3rd Trimester To Do List | Mudpie Fridays

  49. Pingback: Becoming a Big Brother – 4 Weeks in | Mudpie Fridays

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.