Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Preparing your toddler for a sibling

From the day we found out we were having another baby, we told Squidge. It was early, I'd have only been 4 weeks pregnant at the time. The way I saw it, he's our world, he's our family, he deserves to be included.

I actually had the first positive pregnancy test just before going to bed, it wasn't a super strong line, but I was testing on the day my period was due. So the next morning, using a First Response Early Result test, and with my first wee of the day, I did another test and had a very strong result. When I showed the hubby, Squidge asked 'What's that mummy?', so we explained it to him. We said that it's early, but that mummy was having another baby. We told him he was going to be a big brother, and that in quite a few months time, there will hopefully be a little baby joining us. We explained that the baby will grow in my tummy before it comes out (we didn't go into any detail here, he was only just over 2).

In fact, it was Squidge that told our in-laws that we were having another baby. He pointed at my tummy and said 'mummy baby, baby in tummy', so I broke the news :)

We've also made an effort to include him in things with the baby. So when we had the 12 week scan and all was ok (i.e. there is a heartbeat, and there's arms, legs, head etc), we bought the baby their first present, which Squidge picked out.

Then when I was 17 weeks pregnant we went for a private gender scan. We brought Squidge with us to see it and be with us when we found out. While we were there we bought a heartbeat bear and part of the process of that is the record the sound of the baby's heartbeat. Squidge saw it being recorded, and then put in the bear. And now, if we squeeze the bear he'll say 'baby heartbeat'.

We've also always shown him the ultrasound pictures. We know he won't understand them, but it's all about including him in the whole process.  I've also sat down with him a few times to try and explain how things will change once Dot arrives, just to prepare him as much as I can.

I think it's really important to try and involve them where you can, and within reason. He's seen my bump grow, and knows there's a little baby in there.  In fact, on Monday night I was up with him really late (he had growing pains in his legs). I was cradling him like a baby while sat on a chair, and he was laying across the bump. His eyes were closed and sleepy. Then Dot kicked him in his side - Squidge opened his eyes and looked at me, I whispered to him 'Did you feel that?'... 'Yes' he said. I replied 'That was the baby kicking' :)

I'm also going to pick out a little teddy bear to give Squidge when Dot is born as a present from the baby.

I think it's really important to involve them in the process as their lives will be changing just as dramatically as ours. 
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