Suddenly, after all the months of waiting, your new baby new arrival, a little precious baby has arrived on the scene.
As a mother of three, some of the things that I learnt on the way, albeit the hard way at times, may be of help and guidance for you with the new arrival.
I am by no means an expert in childcare. Just a parent that found things that worked for ME with my new baby.
As soon as you feel the time is right, tell the other child or children that soon they will have a new baby brother or baby sister in the family. The earlier you get them involved with the whole process, the more excited they will become with it all.
Expect lots of questions along the way and believe me, some of them will be quite a challenge, providing the right answers to. Be warned however, that they do have long memories, so always try for the simplest and most honest answers to their questions.
If the other child or children are quite a bit older you may find that they don’t want to have this intrusion into their well organized lifestyle and that they feel that a new baby will not be at all cool to have around, getting into all their private things.
I found as many books that I could so we could read them together and then I would answer any questions afterwards. You don’t have to go to the expense of buying them if you are on a budget as I found that the local libraries carry lots of helpful books on the new babies for you to borrow. Of course the internet is another way of sourcing for information suitable for them. If you have a friend or neighbors that have a cat or dog ready to give birth, ask them if you can let the children be at some of the birth so they can see the wonder of a new life being born.
Another great idea is to have them help you decorate the nursery. Maybe you can make colorful mobiles to hang from the ceiling or cot. Let them help you choose the colour for the walls, if you are going to repaint and take them with you if you are planning any new furniture. Ask for their opinion and listen to them on any baby room idea they may have for the babies’ room. You will find that they get quite territorial over anything they have done to contribute to the nursery and will expect the baby to appreciate it….
Something that can be heaps of fun and will certainly get them interested in the new arrival, is helping to choose the baby name. Make sure that you listen to all the suggested names and ask them why they chose that baby name. Maybe it is someone they like at school or someone they remember from a favorite movie or singer. Whatever they like it for, never laugh at them as they may resent you not wanting the newborn babies name to be what they like. It can be fun to put all the baby names, including the ones that you like, into a bowl and each one draws a name out and says what they like about that baby name. You may find that with lots of interaction, the baby name that you like can often be the baby name they end up liking as well.
I found that if you keep things simple and don’t go on and on all the time about the new baby and how excited you are, and then the others will usually take it all in their stride and will love and welcome your baby just as much as you do.
When my daughter unexpectedly got pregnant for the third time and told her two daughters, aged 7 and 10, that she was having a new baby, their reactions were completely different to what she thought they would be. The oldest one who was into her privacy and girlfriends, loud music etc, was over the moon about it while the 7 yr old who is a bit of a tomboy and only interested in boy orientated sports, who dumfounded. Her reply to her mother was “Well I hope you don’t think that we are going to keep IT” IT being the new baby. By taking a step back and realizing that it was going to change a few things, my daughter proceeded to ignore her reply and over time she started asking more and more about the coming baby and by the time it was due to arrive she had decided that maybe it could stay for a while.
I am pleased to report that from the moment he was born both girls have been besotted by him and spoil him completely. After 3 years he still has both sisters running around after him from the time he opens his eyes until he goes to sleep at night. One morning my daughter woke up and he was lying next to her looking at her. He said “you are beautiful mummy”. She half turned over and closed her eyes again. He decided this wasn’t getting him anywhere so he went into his big sisters room and said “Neka, can you get my breakfast”? This was done while she was also still asleep. Guess which one got up and got his breakfast? Yes, his 13 year old sister, of course. His mum slept on.
Good luck with your planning and remember, always take time out for the other child or children once you have your precious new baby. Praise them up for any little thing they want to do to help you and always spend some time away from the new baby spending time with just them. Make them realize that they are just as important as the new baby, and tell them that there is so much that you can do that the new baby still can’t do and how lucky you are to have such wonderful children to help you.
Of course, not everything will work according to plan, but then did anything before the baby arrived? Enjoy your precious baby. Put your feet up occasionally and enjoy a cuppa, even if it is a Cold one……..