30 weeks pregnant and we are all so excited to meet you baby Lennox! Surprisingly I am feel way better than I did maybe even a month ago. My back and vericose veins have been feeling so much better lately. He seems a bit lower, so I can breathe. Acid reflux has decreased. Although I am a frequent visitor to the restroom that is for sure. With most likely 10 weeks left we are getting our list, plans and house ready for you. And of course preparing your big brothers and “sister” for the new changes that come with your arrival.
I am sharing some ways I’ve prepared our young boys during the past 7 months for their new sibling, we got the positive test with baby Lennox when Jameson was almost 2years and Kingsley was 5months old.
I’m one for focusing on early communication with your baby, even if he/she has really no idea what you are saying just yet. Its better to get used to talking things out so it’s a routine for you and eventually he/she will catch on, understand and not feel so insecure with all the changes.
a} talk about your pregnancy and baby
So start by explaining your pregnancy, as your belly grows talk about how baby slowly grows from the love of mommy and daddy. Explain how baby is safe in mommy’s belly until he/she is strong enough to come out. How now baby can hear you, smile and move around. Talk to them about how they are now “BIG”, now a “Big brother/sister”. I suggest finding a few books for them. Anything with stories about becoming a “big brother/sister” or a new baby sibling! Amazon has a good selection.
I’ve pulled out their ultrasounds and pictures of when I was pregnant with them. Might have been my walk through memory lane but I like to think they appreciate knowing how much I loved them from the start just as much as the new baby.
b} talk about changes
If you plan to sleep in the same room with your newborn, explain it to your child, and repeat it often. Your little one might be small, but if you repeat often what changes are going to happen it will be less surprised and shocked by the change.
For example – Lennox’s crib arrives this week so I will be bring the boys in our room and showing them “baby’s” bed and his other things.
c} talk differences between baby & big boy/girl
Babies can’t eat snacks, ice cream, bananas or whatever your toddler loves. Babies can have only milk. Can babies watch cartoons? No, but a big girl/boy can. Can a baby play with toys, go to the park or have friends over? No. As you see it’s all about making them understand that it’s cool being a big girl/boy. Just examples..
It’s great for a your little, especially as a toddler to imagine a baby growing in mommy’s belly. There are many books that illustrate pregnancy to children. My oldest has one and he has really enjoyed it.
e} show & tell
Show them other pregnant ladies and babies. If there aren’t any around, I’ve been known to stalk a few at the grocery store or mall.
f} involve them in preparation
Before the baby comes plan with your little one what you’ll be doing together with the baby. Can they diaper change- pass the diaper? Can they sing to the baby or “read” them a story? Hand the pacifier? We planned all that she would be doing with the baby, and she was really exited to take part in all of the above!
My oldest loves to be helpful. So he will grab the wipes when he notices I am about to change his brother.
g} physical touch
Get a doll. We have several baby dolls, talk to your little one about how babies are delicate. Show them soft touch and how to hold “baby”.
Especially since my boys are already really wanting to be involved in many things I do and help each other. I think it’s important to show and remind them how to be soft, that they have to even gentle with baby.
h} spend intentional time
Make them feel special, feel helpful and involved. I make sure to spend time alone with each of my boys, sing to them, read books and go on short adventures. To make memories but also let me know that everything isn’t all about the new baby.
After baby arrives make sure to also spend time alone with each of them alone. Take a short trip to the mail box, read a book while baby sleeps or enjoy a snack together. Have your partner tend to baby while you give the other(s) a bath. Whatever makes them feel special and set apart.
I also think it’s important to prepare your pet of the new bundle that will be arriving soon. I am a firm believer in that dogs sense that their owner is pregnant. I am sure that other animals might have an idea as well but I have only had experiences with dogs while being pregnant the last 3yrs. The dog we had my last two pregnancies, a stunning pit lab with brindle coloring was definitely aware. We weighed about 80lbs, was extremely powerful. But she was the biggest lover and companion. We miss her dearly! Each time I became pregnant she was constantly by my side. Seemed more on guard of our home especially when my husband was away and just over all more protective. When we brought each of our boys home she did so great. First few days we let her sniff them and then she always just laid down at our feel or at the end of babies bed.
Now our dalmatian Jewel will be just over 6 months old when baby arrives, she is great with both boys. They all play together throughout the day. But a newborn baby will be completely different, and it will take a lot of time for me to fully trust her around baby Lennox. I do think she has an idea that I am pregnant but she is still pure puppy. I will also be introducing her to all of babies things, let her sniff it all. Giving her a sense of what is babies and what is hers. When the crib is set up we will be telling her that bakes corner and reminding her of her place in the room (yes she sleeps with us lol). I’ve even started to play videos of babies crying so she isn’t too started or unfamiliar with the sound. Promoting a safe and calm safe for baby and your pet is important. I strongly suggest when you’re in hospital, send home a blanket or wrap that has your baby’s scent on it. Get your dog to sit calmly and then allow them to sniff the item. This allows them to get used to the new smell, while also associating their calm behavior with the scent. Then also plan some alone time with your pup.
With all this being said- there are always going to be things I won’t know/learn until baby Lennox arrives. I experienced bringing a baby home just over a year ago and the year before that. But I am still a little anxious about how it will go with Lennox in a couple short months. Because each situation is different. And this time around my husband and I will be outnumbered!
I think it’s important to always remember as long as you are doing your best, even with all the efforts every child has the chance of still acting out in some way. We just hope and pray that it’s less than it could be with preparing as much as we can before hand. It will be a transition for everyone.