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I am no expert. But by baby number 5, I’ve learned a lot and seen the things that I could do differently when it comes to how I prepare my kids for their next sibling coming. I’ve seen each of them react differently and I’ve learned something new each time.
With my oldest, Mason, it was tough. He turned 5 years old when his baby sister was about 4 months old, so the gap is there with them. He didn’t say much when she was first born. He was definitely stand-offish. I found him to himself and quiet a lot in the first couple of weeks. Broke my heart and even though we’d ask, I knew he didn’t exactly know how to describe the new feelings and change he was going through.
As months went by, that turned from that to him being an extremely over protective brother. Not in a mean way towards others, but he would always hover her, he’d be sad and broken hearted whenever she would be in pain (like from her shots). One time she was crying for I don’t even remember what reason but he held his heart, had his hand literally on his chest across his heart and started to cry too. It’s a moment I’ll never forget, it was really very precious!
It was very different with him and my daughter because my oldest will always be the only one who ever had me and my husband completely to himself, for five whole years, at that! I think I’ve learned that the age gap was probably the biggest factor in the way my son reacted at first. Though he knew a baby, his sister was coming, the amount of time he had us to himself, then having his sister, was a bit of a culture shock for him!
After having our 3rd child, 4 years after my daughter, my oldest was stoked to have a brother so there wasn’t really any issue there. My daughter was super stoked to have a brand new baby in the house so the transition for them was pretty smooth.
When my 4th came, my 3rd was only 18 months old! Super small gap compared to my first two children. It was very different and hard for me at first. My 18 month old was so confused and kept asking everyday, no miss, for a few weeks, “who’s that?” Made me laugh and made me sad. I was sad at how confused he still was as some time went by. He was so confused and curious. And yes, he continued to ask even after we’d say “your baby brother” over and over lol!
I knew with this baby coming and my youngest (4th) now being a little over 2 years old, what I should be doing to prep, considering all that I had experienced with my previous kids.
- Talk about baby….A LOT
- Repeat baby’s name…A LOT (if you have baby’s name already)
- Show them your belly AND talk about baby….A LOT
- Read books about baby’s in mommy’s belly and siblings to come
- Share with them your baby’s growth (a visual, like maybe your baby app)
- Show them all the baby things and how baby will be here soon
- Make it a point to spend a little extra time with each child before baby comes
For my older kids, my oldest, 13, son Mason and only daughter second oldest, Meyah, 8, it’s a little different for prepping them. Of course, it’s easier with them since it’s not their first rodeo, they know how this goes and pretty much what to expect already. But the way I find myself prepping them is just talking to them and trying to spend some one on one time with them.
Even if it’s me and my oldest talking stories after the rest of the kids have gone to bed, since his bedtime is later than theirs. Even if it’s just a simple conversation about his interests or watching a video with him. A little one on one goes a long way.
For my daughter, it’s easy to do the simplest things with her because we’re girls, duh! Lol! She loves when we play with each other’s hair, when we talk about her day, when we have one on one time before bed and we pray together. We love to do our nails (our own at home). All these little things I’ve been trying to make it a point to make sure I make time for especially with baby coming so soon!
What are ways you have found yourself prepping your child or like me, children, for a new sibling coming soon? Is there something that I should be trying out that helps a lot? I’d love to hear from you via email or in the comments below! Let’s chat!
Til next time 🙂