I remember when I came back from hospital after the birth of our second child. Our 20-month-old was waiting eagerly by the front door. It was the first time I had been away from him for the night, and when I got out of the car I expected him to run straight to me.
He didn’t! He ran straight past me to the car to find his new baby brother. He was so excited that Baby had finally come!
It’s special when older children are excited about new Baby coming, and welcome them into the family.
Here are some ideas I found useful in preparing my children for each new baby:
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1. Talk about Baby coming, and how he or she is growing in your tummy.
2. Let your children put their hands on your tummy and feel Baby moving.
3. Let your children talk to Baby. They can ask Baby questions. A kick or movement in response means ‘Yes’. No movement means ‘No’! This is fun!
4. Let your kids put their ears on your tummy & ‘listen’ to Baby! Maybe they can translate what he or she is saying!
5. Pray together with your children for the new baby.
6. Read story books together about babies and about having a new brother or sister. My boys loved *Billy and the Baby
by Tony Bradman. We had to read it over and over, and it really helped prepare them that Mummy would go into hospital and they would stay with Granny.
7. Let your children come on a doctor’s visit with you. Then, let them play doctors on your tummy (gently)!
8. Let them help you get ready, and wash, and play with baby toys, pram, clothes and other baby items.
9. Nearer the birth, help them make something special for Baby. For the birth of our third child, Josh and Dave decorated boxes. Everyday they wanted to make something new to put into their boxes -pictures, cotton wool sheep, even some of their own special toys. As soon as he arrived home, Sam was presented with the boxes!
10. Get your children used to Mummy having a rest in the day before Baby arrives, so that ‘less of Mummy’ is not such a shock when Baby arrives.
11. Leave a special present for each child to open when you go into hospital.
12. Give each child lots of love before and when Baby arrives.
13. Above all, pray for each child to feel secure and loved, to adapt to their new brother or sister easily, and to enjoy the new addition to the family.
14. And remember that adjusting to a new baby will take time. Give grace to your children, to your husband and to yourself!
What are some ways you’ve prepared your children for a new baby? Do leave a comment below.
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