Preparing our son for the arrival of his new sibling

We have completed our preparations for the arrival or our new baby as much as we could.  I went out for one last time to buy things which were on my missing stuff list. After my son, we did not have that many missing items anyway. I only bought containers for milk, garbage bags for diapers and boppy pillow.  The old ones were really old. I found an unused baby bottle from my son’s old stuff, so I did not have to buy a baby bottle.

Besides this, we went to CPR courses and refreshed our memory.  We went and toured the new Prentice Hospital. I ordered some parts for the old pumps that were still working.  We reorganized everything in the kitchen, we arranged a shelf for the bottles and for food containers. Baby clothes are all washed and ironed. Her crib is ready.

In addition to all the logistics, we had to get my  son ready for the baby. While I was at the store, my son got interested in milk bottles and playmats. His behaviors raised a question mark in our heads  whether he will go back to baby mode once my daughter is born.  He is 2,5 but refers to himself as “baby” instead of “I” or his name. He says “baby did this”, “baby wants that”.

In this situation, it is very hard to explain that “a new baby” is coming to our home.  He is aware that my belly is bigger and that there is a baby in there.  I don’t know whether it is because it is fun to him or he realizes there is really a baby in there but he likes my belly. Everyday he opens up my belly, caresses it, kisses it, treats it as a pillow.  My daughter is sending him back messages in Morse code.

We have to get him emotionally ready as well. We try to explain him as much as possible. Especially the books I listed in this post are very helpful. I got all of the them from the library.

Because of different ages and personalities, you need to customize how you explain a sibling coming to the house. In my opinion, there is not just one correct method. It is different for babies of 1,5 years old, for 2,5 like ours who don’t pay so much attention to babies, and different for those who are 4-5 years old who drive his/her parents crazy by asking “why?” questions every 5 seconds. My son is still too young, he can’t think of asking us how the baby got in my belly. Is there a baby in my belly? Yes. Does she sometimes poke out? Yes. Is your belly soft, can I lay on it? Yes. He really doesn’t care about the rest.

Since my belly has gotten bigger, we have been explaining my son that there is a baby in my belly and that he will have sister and that he will be a big brother. To avoid any disappointments, we restrained from saying “your sister is on her way and you both will play together soon“. In most of the books, stories go like, “Mother’s belly is getting bigger. She will go to the hospital. She will come back with a little baby. The little baby will cry, nurse. Your mommy and daddy will pay attention to both of you and all of you will go the park to play together.

We can’t predict what’s going to happen once the baby is born for sure. Neither we can tell that my son will handle having to share the attention he is getting, nor we will be able to balance the attention well.

We have 3 possible scenarios:

  1. Like most of the times that he surprised us, he will be very happy and accept the situation with a certain maturity, love and kiss her sister as he loves and kisses the washing machine or dump trucks, and relieve us.
  2. For a while, he will act like a baby, asking for the baby bottle, whine and fuss more and then we will go to scenario #1.
  3. He will be very jealous of the attention my daughter will steal from him and become really demanding.

To be honest, I try to concentrate on scenario #1. There has been other transitioning times when our son has surprised us by acting with maturity by showing a different reaction than classic, expected reactions, a 2 year old would show.  I don’t know why we still get shocked when he shows a different reaction sometimes. Even though lately, he hasn’t shown any signs of joy or happiness when we tell him that a baby sister is coming to the house, I don’t think my son will give us a hard time with our family getting bigger.

It’s a fact that he knows that I am pregnant intuitively, because he became extremely attached to me. Sometimes even if there are 5 other people in the house, he wants me to do certain things. Sometimes he wants me to carry him which is not strictly prohibited with the decree that my mother has ruled last week. She does not allow him to do that anymore.

One thing I wish I had accomplished before the baby comes, is the potty training. He sometimes let me know that he needs to pee or he tells us once he is finished with his #1 or #2, only in his diaper. Sometimes I can understand from his signals that it is time to put him on the toilet or potty. But even he tells himself before we sit him on the toilet, he holds it and after he gets down, he does his business to his diaper.

Oh, by the way, his sister is going to bring my son big new truck with brand new tires as a gift. Let’s keep it a surprise.

A great article to read on “Preparing your Toddler for the Arrival of a New Baby

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