Tips for Bringing Home Baby #2
We asked and you answered, MotherNation.
Below is a compilation of your 13 suggestions for introducing this wild child to her baby brother. And hopefully prevent her from actually crushing him ;) Lots of sage advice from simple word choice to book recommendations and, of course, gifts!
Talk about “the baby brother” as much as possible so the older sibling can get used to the concept.
Buy a small, soft baby doll specifically for the older sibling to take care of like you are going to take care of the new baby- they can “practice” with you. My son, Emmet, still sleeps with his “bee bee” and it’s his most treasured toy!
Focus on discussing in detail the older sibling’s role as a “big girl” and “big sister” to avoid them wanting to “be the baby” all over again.
Have the older sibling get the baby a present, which you can put in the bassinet when the baby is born and the older sibling comes to visit. It can help the older sibling feel special and let him or know how much the baby loves it.
Have a picture of the older sibling in the bassinet when the older sibling visits, so he or she can see that the baby is already getting to know them.
Get the older sibling as involved as possible in the pregnancy. It’s your FAMILY’s new baby, not just the parents. I had sprout baby in my phone and we would look all the time at how big “baby brother” was now. He loved being able to interact, spin him around, hear his heartbeat, and see what size fruit he currently was.
Make any big changes well before baby comes. I stopped nursing when I found out I was pregnant. Any toys that we’re going to become baby toys got put away, so they wouldn’t have the ownership and feel like baby was taking his things.
Give the older sibling a gift from the baby when baby comes home. Not from the parents. From the baby because he was so excited to have him for a big brother.
Ask people coming over to make a big deal about seeing older sibling FIRST.
When he had to wait because I was nursing, I never associated it with the baby by saying I was nursing the baby. Just that my hands are full but I’ll be there as soon as my hands are free.
Read Peaceful Parent, Happy Siblings, which I HIGHLY recommend! So many great things to do before baby even arrives.
One last thing we did which I know is going a bit far: both my husband and I were 50/50 on the names. We both liked both equally. So we let the older sibling choose. It gave him so much ownership to be the one who named his new baby.
When putting the baby down in the bassinet or car seat, say to the baby “I’m going to play with [older sibling] now.” within ear shot of the big brother or big sister. This will help them feel special and realize that everyone needs to share your attention.