Preparing your First Baby for the Arrival of the Second
Hannah Crocker, Vice President of Marketing and Licensing, Milk Snob
My little family of three is about to grow to four in a couple of weeks, and we’re so excited to welcome this sweet boy! My husband and I currently have a three-year-old daughter. Life is about to change for us, but especially for her! I am the youngest of three siblings, so I cannot imagine the transition from being the only child to big sister. My husband and I have been really intentional about creating an easy transition (is anything parenting easy??), so I’d love to share some of our plans!
We are talking about baby brother nonstop! Again, she’s three, so I don’t know how much she fully understands what is coming, but we are talking about him all day every day. When he has the hiccups in my belly, she rushes over to feel. When we have new ultrasound pictures, she looks through every one. We talk about how she is a big sister now, baby brother is coming out of mommy’s belly in a couple of weeks, and she’s going to be the best helper! She’s very much in the mommy phase herself with her baby dolls, so she’s at least excited about holding him and “patting” him to sleep! Do any other mama’s girls do this with their baby dolls? Hopefully, the patting is less aggressive with our baby boy than it is with her babies!
When we had about a month and half left in my pregnancy, my husband and I started planning little outings for us to share with our daughter. Our time with her is going to change so much, especially in the first few weeks from the hospital, so we want to savor moments alone with her as much as possible! We’ve enjoyed the aquarium one Saturday morning and the zoo on another. We’ve also kept it simple, too, and brought her to a new bakery for her to choose any dessert on the menu! Every Friday night, we talk about the “Adventure” we’ll have the next morning! My husband is also enjoying daddy/daughter days this summer since he’s a teacher, and I already have a mommy and me mani/pedi scheduled for the week of delivery! Soaking in every minute!
Baby’s Room Preparation
With babies comes all kinds of new clothes and toys! I’ve been deep into nesting mode the last few weeks, so I’ve tried to involve my daughter in aspects of that preparation to help her feel a part of this new arrival. She’s helped me gather all the new clothes for the wash, fold his new blankets (as much as a three-year-old can fold!), and put all his new toys in crates for his room. Though she doesn’t love all the presents being for someone else, this inclusion helps to bring her along for the preparation!
To help build anticipation and also to speak a language she understands, we’re going to help her pick a present to give to baby brother as his new big sister. This can look like anything! It can be a new swaddle blanket, a cover for the carseat when bringing him home (of course, we’re partial to the Disney collection in my house!), or even just a new toy. We’re going to take her to Build-A-Bear to create her own stuffed animal for baby brother. We’ll wrap it--along with some Calm ‘N Cuddle pacifiers and clips--in white kraft paper for her to color with her crayons as a personal touch! We’ll keep this by the door so that she’s able to grab it for her first trip to meet him at the hospital! Similarly, my husband and I have bought a couple of new dresses (she’s all things princess these days!) that we’ll wrap as baby brother’s gift to his new sister for that hospital meeting!
We’re humbled by this little one already, but we’re also so excited to see our girl become a big sister and share all new memories as the four of us!