Honestly, if I were to take myself back to 10 years ago, when I was in my mid-20s, I wouldn’t have imagined myself having kids. Really.
I guess I was not that motherly then haha!
Very soon in September, we will welcome our 2nd child into the family, and I suppose our lives will change – that’s what a lot of my mummy friends tell me!
Ever since we knew that I am pregnant with this baby, both the husband and I discussed and find ways to help prepare our firstborn to welcome her sibling.
Which I am glad that they seem to work!
Always my baby, forever my firstborn 🙂
1. Informing Your Child About the Baby
The first thing that we’ve done was to “introduce” the baby in my tummy to her, after I’ve crossed my 2nd trimester.
I didn’t break the news to her too early as I was still quite traumatized by my previous miscarriage, and had wanted to wait till the pregnancy was more stable.
We bought some picture books from Books Depository, and while letting her look through the pages, and playing with the press button on 1 of the board books, I gently place her hand on my tummy and told her that there’s a baby inside.
You wouldn’t quite expect a 2-3 years old toddler to immediately understand what is going on, but it is really quite a nice and gentle way to break the news to your firstborn.
2. Connect Your Child to the Baby
After a while of letting her get used to reading the books above, I started to talk to her more regularly about the baby.
I also tried to gauge her reaction towards the baby, and if I sense that she was getting a little aggressive, I would immediately stop mentioning about the baby to her.
What I would usually say include, “Mummy has a baby inside” / “Do you want to sayang baby? (mei mei)” / “Do you want to kiss baby (mei mei)?”
Most of the times, she reacted positively to my words, and would gently stroke my tummy or kiss my tummy. So after she had done that, I would also praise and thank her, and said, “Ok, Qiqi kissed baby, so now it’s mummy’s turn to kiss Qiqi. Thank you so much for loving baby (mei mei)!”
And she would be really happy to hear that! 🙂
You can also bring your child during your check-ups, so that he/she can see the ultrasound and understand better. We brought my daughter there once, and she was so fascinated by the black screen lol!
3. Let Your Spouse Take Over
We were more careful this time round during my 1st trimester, so I decided to slowly “offload” my mummy duties over to the husband.
So he slowly took over putting her to bed and waking up at night when she needed milk.
Sometime in the middle of my 2nd trimester, I slept in the kids’ room while they were in the master bedroom, as this would be the arrangement after the baby arrives.
The husband also offers to send her to and fro school, while I could be at home doing my work (which I am so thankful for!).
If you need to make some changes or adjustments to your child’s routine, try to do it before your 3rd trimester. I have read somewhere that we should not make changes to routine 3 months before and after the birth of the new sibling 🙂
4. Let Your Child Help in Preparations
One good way of letting your child be more involved in welcoming the new baby, would be to involve your child in preparations of baby stuff.
We have brought her to buy some baby clothes and letting her choose the colors; she also has offered to help put the new clothes into the washing machine for wash. We have also sorted out the baby’s stuff together, and we could see that she enjoyed that!
This is what happens when you asked your husband to snap a photo lol!
5. Let Your Child Express Any Negative Emotions
I had been reading about the older child having some “baby regressions” where they would regress into the “baby”stage, or having some tantrums.
Personally, all was well with our preparations. However I also noticed that my toddler was more prone to tantrums when I went into the 3rd trimester.
That was also the time when I reduced talking to her about the baby, and focused more on her instead. I also don’t blame nor reprimand her when she was in her tantrum mode; I just hugged her gently and try to get over the phase. That sort of worked for me.
The little one was so excited to see that, and for a few nights in a row,
she demanded to sleep in this lol!
“display” them on the sofa. She was crying because I re-arranged her work lol!
6. Spend More Quality Time With Your Child
I started to spend more 1-to-1 time with my daughter, which would also be the only time left for her to be our “only child”! Haha!
It would be nice to do activities that your child truly enjoys, or bring him/her out to places where they can really play.
We have brought her to places like the Marina Barrage for our first kite flying, as well as the East Coast Park for cycling!
Overall, I think it’s nice to just focus on her and having fun together with her only. I hope to keep up with this regularly even after the baby arrives 🙂