As I move through my second pregnancy, I have been turning my attention to the full range of emotions that come from being about to bring a second baby into our family: excitement and trepidation seem to be the two main conflicting emotions that a lot of parents go through and both are absolutely natural at this time. If you, too, are about to bring a baby brother or sister into your little one’s world and are worrying about the impact and shift that this will have upon your family, then here are a couple of pointers and things to consider, as you go through the amazing journey of bringing a fourth member into your family.
Preparing your toddler for the new arrival
Perhaps the most daunting, but one of the most important, things to consider when bringing baby number two into the world, is the impact that its arrival will have on your first born. Rest assured that this is the start of an incredible bond and that, as a parent, there are things that you can do to ensure that getting to know a little brother or sister goes smoothly:
- Start talking to your child about the upcoming arrival – answer any questions that they may have, be reassuring and honest.
- Invite your child to do some bump bonding – singing to the bump, patting or stroking it gently and reading stories to it are all helpful ways of interacting together.
- Read stories explaining about the new baby’s arrival.
- Show your child old photos – this will help them understand that they were a baby once, too.
- Buy a baby doll for your child to play with.
- Go shopping together for new baby things.
- Spend time with friends with babies – seeing Mummy holding someone else’s baby is good practice for when your baby finally comes along.
Preparing yourself for the newest addition to your family
You might be using all of your energy to grow your new baby and the rest of it to look after your toddler, but this is a really important time to nourish yourself and your relationship with your partner. consider the following:
- Enjoy your time as a threesome and treasure those last moments together
- Spend some quality time with your partner in the run up to the birth
- Make sure baby equipment is up to scratch and ready
- Acknowledge any worries about bonding with your new baby
Introducing your toddler to your baby
Your first child’s bond with your new baby will start right from the moment they first set eyes on each other. Introducing them in the right way will help your first child feel secure and confident in a situation which is very new and actually quite daunting to them. You could try any of the following, to help make this an incredible moment for your toddler:
- Welcome your child without your new baby in your arms – show them how thrilled you are to see them, whether you are in hospital or at home.
- Presents from the new arrival – a present from the baby to the older sibling can be a lovely way to help bonding.
- Make a fuss – ask visitors to be mindful of the fact that your toddler is going through a big change and, therefore, perhaps to address your toddler when walking into your house, rather than go straight to the baby.
- Include your first in baby coming home – maybe they could pack your hospital bag with you or help show little one around their home.
If you haven’t seen yet, I’ve just launched my own Baby Sleep Tip cards, which have 28 different tips to help babies become settled sleepers. They could help to refresh you, as you are about to embark on baby’s sleep and feeding routines again.
If you would like to learn more about the ways in which you can prepare for this amazing transition then I am running a new workshop in south west London on Prepping for your Second Baby. You can find out more here.
In the meantime, I wish you every success in your pregnancy and enjoy those precious moments with your family, when baby arrives.