Pregnancy Hot Topic – Preparing Siblings

What did you do, if anything, to prepare your children for the arrival of a new sibling? Share your thoughts with us.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

KC June 23, 2014 at 11:24 am

We gently incorporated talking about the new baby without it becoming the only topic, kwim?

The hospital where I delivered has Sibling Classes which my children attended. Also, my children would often accompany me to my appointments, my midwife encouraged this. Of course, we read some of those “New Baby” books (like Arthur’s New Baby).

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Heath June 23, 2014 at 11:25 am

We found out that we were having a boy about halfway through the pregnancy, and named him Quentin right away; that seemed to make the transition easier because we could refer to him by name as a person for months before he was actually born. As a middle name, we used a suggestion from Emmett.

We also got the books “What Baby Needs” by William and Martha Sears, and “I’m a Big Brother” by Joanna Cole and Maxie Chambliss (they also wrote I’m a Big Sister). Emmett wanted these books read to him regularly, even after Quentin was born.

Finally, we didn’t notice much sibling rivalry at first but once Quentin could crawl it was harder. Our solution was to gate off a toy area for Emmett. That way Emmett could play in there undisturbed when he needed a sanctuary, and we were still right near him so neither boy was alone.

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debra June 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

Just to get started Hunter turned 3 a couple of weeks after baby was born.

We did a lot of talking. About when the baby would come (after Christmas, but before his birthday). About how Mama would go to the hospital. About how babies cry and need attention. We bought several books — the best one (of course the name I can’t recall) was just a picture book that didn’t have any words. That we could fit the words to our family and he could bring up questions easily. Having it as a book that he could choose to read when he wanted to discuss things made it easier. We also sorted out his old clothes and toys deciding what things would go to the new baby. We moved all his toys and books to his “new” room and set up his old room for the baby (we got him excited about it). We bought gifts to give him in the hospital from his sister. We showed him pictures of the ultrasounds and had him feel the baby kick. We did most of the talking about realities in December and November because we didn’t want to get started to early. However, we did tell him about the baby right away (actually he told us we were pregnant).

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anonymous June 23, 2014 at 11:26 am

We have a ridiculously complicated “telling the sibling” moment coming up in about a month, and it’s really stressing me out! My stepdaughter is nine, and lives with her mom half the time and us half the time, but nowhere nearby, so we don’t see each other at all during the other parent’s time. We didn’t want to tell my stepdaughter over the phone, because we want to be available to answer her questions etc. She has been the only child in a very large extended family for almost a decade now, and is used to being “it” for armies of grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. She’s so much older than Baby that it’s not a competition, but still will be an adjustment – I think she would have preferred to get a dog, lol.

With all of that in mind, we bought her a copy of “Ramona Forever”, by Beverly Cleary, because her aunt’s getting married this summer, Dad’s back in school, Baby on the way, etc, so we thought she might be able to relate to the story. (And I love Ramona and wanted to share her!)

I have NO IDEA how I’m going to start the conversation, however. Daddy is going to be gone for work when I pick her up, and we can’t wait for him to get back, because she will notice the changes in the house, and potentially, in me (it will be about week 17 when she arrives). We told our parents with cutesy “What happens at Grandma’s, Stays at Grandma’s” style onesies, told my sister and my close cousins using the “blurt it out” method, and both of those went fairly well. So, here’s to hoping!

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anonymous June 23, 2014 at 11:27 am

Our new arrival which is a boy is part of everything we do. We have 2 girls and to them Anthony is a here although not outside. Every day they narrate what they are doing from playing playdough to playing outside. We read to him everyday and the girls sing him their favorite songs (“if you’re happy and you know it” is a favorite!)

We have lost 2 pregnancies in the 1st trimester and to us a new baby is something we thank God for everyday! To our family bonding is very important and we believe it starts before they even arrive. He even responds now! When he hears their voices he kicks. It’s so much fun now because they can feel him. The bond siblings share is amazing and someday when we are gone they will have each other.

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anonymous June 23, 2014 at 11:29 am

I carried a baby doll twice a day for about 5 minutes–sometimes I burped the doll, sometimes rocked–this opened eyes by my son, gave me a moment or two to chat about doing this with him when he was a baby, that grama and grampa did this for me etc. I also fixed a shelf to put small amounts of snacks or water cups the night before and incorporated it into the burping routine by asking if he would bring mommy a snack pretty please; he loved that he could do this. Little did I know that I was setting up my own routines for elementary school by getting lunches together the night before.

I would pretend baby was crying and I would ask my son, “I wonder what we can do for baby”. Some very funny things came out. As we got closer we would change a diaper every other day, baby would go down for a nap, then we would check on baby. No more than 5 minute increments, this way was helpful, by the time we got to bathing the doll, he knew just what to watch out for.

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