Including the Big Sister with Baby #2

We have a small baby boom going on at Graco.  As you can see just from our blog contributors – 3 out of 9 of us are expecting (that we know of?!) and one has a 7 week old.  And they are all 2nd babies. We have had some great discussions on the differences between pregnancy #1 and pregnancy #2 and the superstitions that come with the later.

The challenge my husband & I are facing as we anxiously prepare for our 2nd baby is HOW do we most effectively manage this major life changing moment for the Big Sister, Bear?

It’s amazing the littlest things are becoming colossal decisions in our house. And I’m not sure if it’s the raging hormones that make my thinking irrational and overly complex, or if all mothers experience these same twisted emotions and concerns.

Here are some of the basic decisions that are seemingly impossible for me to make these days?

• Should Bear keep her current room and the new baby go into another room? I know it sounds basic, but I’m worried about Bear’s Bed (the crib) being the new baby’s bed. I can imagine the jealousy and misunderstanding she will have when the new baby is sleeping in her bed…so when is the right time to transition to the big girl bed?
• How do you do the introduction of the new baby? In the hospital or when you return home? You want it to be special and a moment to remember…or am I over-thinking this one.
• I’ve heard about parents getting a gift for the older sibling when the new baby comes home? Is this true?
• Are there any great Children’s Books to read to help prepare the Big Sister for this life changing moment?

How about a party when the baby arrives (not that I’ll be in the mood to have a house-full of guests)…but it would be fun for Bear to Host a “Come & Meet My Little Sister/Brother” party?

Again, I’m sure it’s the hormones blocking the ability to apply logic & reason to these basic decisions – but it would be great to hear what is working for others who have been here before.  Let me know!

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7 Responses to “Including the Big Sister with Baby #2”

  1. Amy May 20, 2008 at 9:59 pm #

    Hi Kim! As one of the recent 2nd time Moms I thought I’d share what we did with Boog — especially since it worked for him (he LOVES “the baby”). It was fairly simple, but the biggest thing was just talking a lot about the baby for the two months leading up to Hercules’ big arrival.

    This made the official introduction in the hospital more of a formality. And not a huge, earth-shattering, your-life-will-never-be-the-same type moment. Boog already knew so much about the new baby. He was just finally meeting her.

    In addition, we moved the furniture out of his room in plenty of time before the new baby came. He knew it was for the baby, but he also knew he had big boy bed that he could show off to others.

    We also made sure to have some extra gifts for Boog at home so that when people brought items for Hercules, he got something too.

    OK. One more thing. . . we made sure to compliment Boog whenever he did something sweet for Hercules and didn’t freak out when he did something that maybe we’d prefer he didn’t do. Oh. And I never told him I couldn’t do something because of the baby (mostly at first) so that he didn’t get jealous.

    Anyway, most of these were thoughts from other second time Moms that were really helpful to me. Hopefully they give you some thoughts too!

  2. Stephanie May 21, 2008 at 10:35 pm #

    So many questions. We’re not quite there yet (still enjoying #1, not pregnant with #2 yet), but your post definitely made me think about how our daughter will feel when that time comes. Fortunately, she’s already in a twin size bed and we’ve started the potty training process so hopefully there will be a clear delineation between her “big sister” role and the new baby’s role in the family…

  3. rachel May 22, 2008 at 8:40 am #

    I love the party idea.
    We let our Princess make shirts and even color welcoming cards for her little brother. The Dora becomes a big sister DVD was one of her favorites to watch because one of ‘her friends’ was experiencing something similar.
    My husband and I made very sure to express constantly not how lucky she was to be getting a new sibling, but how lucky the baby was to have her for a big sister. We took her to appointments with us and let her see and experience as much as she could, as a two year old. She got to purchase a welcome baby gift, and she got a special big sister gift.
    Good luck to all the new second time mommies, and congratulations!

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