Preparing my daughter to become a big sister? (many concerns)

  • I have a 2 1/2 year old and expecting my second child in April. Renae loves babies right now, she always points them out and even tries to comfort other people's babies when they are crying. Right now if I ask her where the baby is, she lifts my shirt and kisses my belly... too cute of course. She also tries to tickle the baby in my tummy. I am both nervous and excited. I am a stay at home mom by choice, and my fiance is usually a big helper with everything else that needs doing. I am doing my best to help prepare her for the upcoming arrival, and I hear a lot about books that you can read. Can anyone recommend any specific titles or point me in the right direction as to where to find some? Also, aside from involving her in the care of the new baby ( I don't know the gender yet, hopefully I will tomorrow) such as helping put on lotion, getting diapers, etc, can anyone else offer any other ideas so that she will know she's still my "little peanut." She is most definitely a mommy's girl still and so I know a lot of her anxieties (if any) will have to be alleviated by me. I was thinking of maybe having her help me pick out things like clothes and blankets for the new baby, and maybe nursery decorations. 

    Also, I know that some things shouldn't really be said, since they can actually cause anxieties that might not have even been present in her mind until then, such as "don't worry, we will love you as much as the new baby." Can anyone offer ideas as to what I can say to help tell her about the baby being a part of the family, and does anyone think it is ok to try and find books that explain more about how the baby is growing in mommy's tummy? Or should that be reserved for older children?

    Then of course there is the actual delivery. Of course I do not plan on having my daughter in there (the hospital only allows for 2 plus mom to be present in the delivery room) especially since Renae was born via c-section. My ob is going to let me try a VBAC if I can go into labor on my own by 40 weeks, but she will not induce because that can increase chance of uterine rupture. If something goes wrong during the VBAC, and I end up having to have an emergency c-section, that will put me in the hospital for a few days. How can it be explained to my daughter that I (and likely the baby) will have to stay at the hospital for a little while, but in a way that won't make her think it's the baby's fault? I don't want her to have any feelings of animosity towards the new baby. While I know the chances of something going wrong are actually very slim (according to my OB around 1%.. but then again, I was on active birth control when I got pregnant with Renae so even that little 1% is not very comforting to someone like me lol) I still would like to try and be prepared on all angles.

  • I understand all of your concerns, and although it may seem impossible, take a deep breath and relax. My daughter was 18 months when our second was born, so the dynamic is pretty different, but kids have an amazing ability to adjust. After all, this isn't a bad thing, it's a great thing! What comforted us was that any short-term bad moments your toddler will feel will be compensated millions of times over by her new sibling and life long best friend throughout a lifetime! Good luck!

  • I too am preparing my 2 1/2 year old daughter for a baby brother or sister.  I am due in 4 weeks, and all along I have been encouraging her to talk to the baby.  I bought her a big sister book and she loves to read it.  I always pointed out babies when we saw them out and now when she sees a little baby she says, "look mommy thats whats coming to live with us" 

    Its been a bit more difficult since we completed the new nursery.  She seems to want to climb in the crib and have me hold her in the rocking chair like a baby.  But I just keep telling her that stuff is for new babay (we don't know the sex) and she is my big girl. 

    I don't know if this stuff will help at all but I thought I would share with you!  Of course, they will adjust no matter what...they have no choice!   good luck to you!

  • Your daughter will adjust to her new sibling within a very short time due to her age.  The hardest part will be when you first bring her home. Try to let your husband or visitors hold the baby while you spend some one on one time with your daughter. Encourage her to help you while you give the baby a bath or change her diaper. She can easily put lotion on the baby's feet as her job. This will help her feel like she is still part of the family and partly responsible for taking care of the baby. As long as you do your best to give her love and attention during those first few weeks home, she should adjust just fine to life as a big sister!