As we start to grow our family there are plenty of concerns about how your only child is going to handle the news. Every family is different but what our family decided to do seemed to work for us. My husband and I knew that we wanted to have another baby after JaMonkey turned 3 or 4. 3 rolled around and we weren’t ready yet so we waited another year. We even decided to plan on when we wanted to have the baby, I wanted a spring baby so that their birthdays were spread out.
Once we had those aspects in our minds we started to talk to our daughter about how she would make a great big sister one day. We started noticing how nurturing she was becoming with her dolls. We also started asking her if she wanted a baby brother or a baby sister. She was undecided for a long time. She thought it would be fun to have both. During this process of speaking to her about becoming a big sister she started to do some reverting to a baby state. She wanted to crawl everywhere and talk in baby talk. After doing some reading I realized that it was completely normal for kids to do this when a sibling comes into the picture. At the time, I wasn’t even pregnant but its something she went through before the baby arrived so I think it was good.
The way we handled the situation was lots of cuddling and saying that she was our baby. After a few weeks she realized that she got to do way more fun stuff as a big girl so the phase was pretty short. I’m sure we will have to go through it again once the new baby arrives but we plan on handling it with the same care. Reassuring her that she will always be our baby also.
Keeping the conversation going and positive about your little one becoming a big brother or sister is always the best. Some of our conversations go like this.
Me and my little sister
Would you like a baby brother or a baby sister?
A baby sister!
Oh yeah, why do you want a baby sister so badly?
Because I get to play princess with her and dress her up!
Well what about if we have a baby brother?
No it’s a girl.
It’s quite amusing. Of course its a long process waiting for a new baby to arrive but including your child in as much of the process is a great idea. I plan on letting her attend one of my ultrasounds near the end so that she can see the baby before it is born. Showing them pictures from those visits and if you have a fetal doppler at home you can let them hear the baby’s heartbeat.
Take the soon to be big sibling shopping to help pick out things for the new baby. A soft blanket or a special toy just from them to bring to the hospital for that first meeting. I remember the first time I met my sister the day she was born. I cried as I held her for the first time. (Now I’m crying again, stinkin’ hormones) We’ve been setting toys aside that she no longer plays with to give to her new baby brother or sister.
Let them help decorate the nursery, choosing a theme, these things will carry over when the baby arrives because they will be so proud to tell everyone about the cute monkey’s she picked out for the new baby’s room. All great ways to keep your child involved while preparing them for their new sibling.
How did you tell your only child about having a new sibling?