Every child reacts differently to getting a younger sibling. My oldest, who was 2 1/2 at the time, completely ignored his new baby sister, seemingly indifferent to her presence in our home. Eventually, once she started doing more than just eating and sleeping, he warmed up to her and loved making her laugh and coo once she was a few months old. We were so thankful not to have to go through a huge adjustment when he became a big brother.
When baby #3 came (a boy), big sister relished her role, taking it a bit too seriously :) Day and night (yes, sometimes in the middle of the night) she was ready to tend to the new baby's needs or touch him, kiss him, rub his head and the like! She really loved (and still loves) her baby brother but the experience with her as the older sibling was definitely much more exhausting.
|Waving "hi" to their new brother in the hospital|
With our older kids, we spent a lot of time talking to them and trying to prepare them for the newest member of the family. Now the youngest gets to take part, even if he doesn't completely understand.
- We read books like I'm a Big Sister (and I'm a Big Brother) by Joanna Cole, Berenstain Bears The New Baby (although the way Mama Bear has Sister Bear is a little suspect) and God Gave Us Two by Lisa Tawn Bergren.
- We read Psalm 139 and explained to them how the baby growing was being formed in a special way, just like they were!
- This time we've talked about how big the baby is at different times (there is a cute chart I found on Pinterest that compares the size of the baby to different fruits and veggies)!
- We pray for the baby and talk about what will happen when she comes. It's getting more and more exciting! Our kids have been encouraged to think of names, although I don't think Princess or Leah Jr. are in the running ;)
- We assure our children that we will always love them just as much as we love the baby and continue to tell them this after baby arrives.
Those are just a few suggestions, and I'm sure all of you have more! I'd love some other ideas on how you've gotten your kids ready for a new sibling!