Preparing for a new baby … sibling

We are about to finish 2020, Christmas has passed and it was calm and fun as I had wished. I feel very lucky and a little overwhelmed now that this magical phase has come and gone…

Why ? Well, because now we are heading towards the next chapter of our life : a family of four.

As I have observed some of my contemporaries and/or friends go through this phase, I am not sure what to think. Some seem happy and their life has changed but habits and routines have stayed quite the same with an extra member, others seem to have been overwhelmed and chaos can ensue. How do we know what will come ? How do we know the best way to prepare ourselves ?

Our end of year family photo.

I think we don’t know and being oblivious that a big change is coming would be going towards chaos but stressing about it is not helpful either. I am lucky that my husband takes over extra to make this transition easier on me, our toddler but also our business, we can’t forget about that either because we help people raise human beings and everything is not going to stop because of baby to be born so the support system has to step up where I can’t and will not be able to do it all myself. My pride might take a hit but the well being of the children I love around me is more important. We all need the extra care.

I am asking some people around me for extra help and that’s ok, creating our support system when family is far away is even more important. I wanna thank this support system (friends mainly).

One month away, I also need to prepare my daughter to what is to come, there will be a huge change, we want to keep some routines normal so she can feel safe however, the change is undeniably coming, a baby will enter the home, a sibling will be in her life and… what is to expect is unknown… more or less.

So here is what we have been doing:

We have talked about the baby growing into mom’s belly – she is allowed kisses and cuddles to baby sibling as much as she wants. She loves it and talks to baby everyday, she says hello, asks baby to move around when mom says it hurts, she says good night, sings… she is building their relationship already, the one I can guide but will not interfere because it’s between her and her sibling.

We asked her to be involved in our family of four’s life and what best way to do it than using Practical Life ? She is part of the nesting process of going through baby clothes, help wash, sort, fold so we are ready for baby. She is gladly sharing her baby clothes and toys as we make baskets and carts ready for baby.

She has asked to learn how to put a diaper on. We cloth diaper mainly so we have used our newborn diapers on her baby doll (quite realistic even in size) and she loves it. We do know that a real baby might be moving and not always agree but we are here for them to develop this bond eventually as well. We just want her involved not in charge of baby.

Cuddling her baby doll after caring for it with diaper and clothing.

We remind her that change is coming but that she is first and foremost loved. We have taken the time for extra cuddles and time together as I need to lie down more and more.

We have prepared a gift basket for big sister so she knows on D day or Birth day that this a step up for her as well: she will get a few books on being a big sister but also on family love and how much she is loved, she will get a carrier for her baby doll – made by my mom out of my carrier (when I was a baby) and a present just for her.

Having a baby in the middle of a pandemic also means that she will not be allowed in the hospital to come see us, this is the part that I find hard… but we accept once again that change is happening.

Pregnancy is a roller coaster in many ways even more at the end when we are all preparing our best for what is to come, the miracle of life and a new life for our family.

How do/did you prepare for a sibling to come ? Tell us in comments.

Happy new year, take care.

With Montessori Love,

Adeline

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