Ever since I found out that we were expecting another baby it was at the forefront of my mind how I’d prepare Jasper for the new arrival. Of course I also considered Rhys in this, but as he was already used to having a younger sibling I knew that he’d be more ready. My main concern was the fact that during the week, when Pete went back to work and Rhys was at his mums, it would just be me Jasper and the baby and Jasper would have to get used to sharing my attention he was used to having to himself. Rhys comes to stay at the weekends so Pete is always home to give attention when I can’t and of course he has Jasper to play and share with and during the week he’s used to sharing with his older brother. Jasper’s always learnt to share at the weekends with Rhys and with friends at playdates but to suddenly have to share his muma all of the time, I knew would be a little tricky.
So here are some ways of preparing your toddler for a new baby:
Jasper loves books so I knew this would be a good channel to go through. I searched on Amazon for ‘new sibling books’ and ‘becoming a big brother books’ and found two wonderful ones – ‘What’s in Your Tummy Mummy?‘ and ‘There’s A House Inside My Mummy‘. Both books are centred around little boys who then have younger brothers but you can get so many varieties for baby sisters, about little girls and ones for older or younger children.
If your child isn’t into books, or you simply want to try something else then there are lots of stories about becoming an older sibling on Youtube. One that Jasper loves is ‘Za Za’s Baby Brother’, it is available as a paper book but I just saved it as a favourite so that Jasper could sit and watch it at my computer while I got ready or cleaned the house.
Buying your child a doll can really help them to prepare for life with a baby. I bought Jasper this My First Baby Annabell Brother Doll from Amazon; it doesn’t do anything, I don’t think the eyes even move but Jasper likes to dress and undress him, feed him his bottle and give him lots of kisses, cuddles and tickles. I thought it would be a good way to involve him once his baby brother arrived too as he could feed his baby while I fed his brother and het him dressed at the same time too.
A lot of people recommended that I bought a present for Jasper and Rhys from the baby and also from the boys to their baby brother that they could give to each other when they first met. I made sure the gifts were things that the boys would really like so that they’d be really excited straight away and also if they were having an ‘I don’t want a baby brother around anymore’ kind of day I could remind them of the exciting gift their brother got for them.
I also got Jasper to choose the gifts from him and Rhys to their baby brother. He went for a book and an outfit so they could give one present each and it just made them feel a lot more involved.
I then wrote little cards from the boys to the baby and vice versa which will go in their memory boxes.
Involve in setting up room and stuff
We tried to involve Jasper as much as possible in getting organised for the baby; from letting him choose which drawer the babies socks would go in to letting him help screw the bedside crib together. We asked him where pictures should be hung and which toys should go where (even though half of the time he wasn’t too interested) it kind of put my mid at ease that I was trying to involve him as much as I could. It also means if he’s feeling a little left out I can remind him that it was him that chose where to put that extra special toy and try to make him feel more involved.
Interact with bump
Something we did done from day one was getting both boys to interact with my bump. Of course I didn’t have one from early on but we always referred to my belly as ‘bebe’ and got the boys to give my bump a kiss goodnight and say good morning to it when they woke up. Jasper loved to blow raspberries and talk to his baby brother through my tummy too. We’d also talk about baby lots so that it wouldn’t be this big shock when he arrived that the boys had never even heard of. I’d ask Jasper to put things in bebe’s room and Jasper would always point out bebe’s cot and clothes on the line.
Those are the main ways that we prepared Jasper and Rhys for the arrival of their new baby brother. How did you go about preparing your toddler for a new baby? Did you try ay of these? Or do you have any other ideas – I’d love to know, even though the time has passed for me it’ll be great for other readers!
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Thanks for reading!