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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Second Time Around.

I am adding to my brood in October with a little baby boy. In trying to prepare myself and my family I have found numerous checklists and lists (which I adore!)... Especially lots of different things to do to prepare a young sibling for the arrival of the new baby, to help combat jealousy, to keep oneself organized in the chaos, and ways to include your older child in the process.

This is what I've got:

Preparing Your Child for Hospital Stay
  • Take them on a tour of the hospital
  • Explain Alternative plan for when you go into hospital
  • Ask your child to take care of something for you while you are gone (a scarf, or pottery)
  • Put a picture of yourself in your child's room
  • Hide some small gifts around the house, and when in hospital tell them where to look for them.
  • Make a welcome gift for the sibling (a bib,etc)
  • Give your child the hospital number to call you if he or she is old enough 
 Shortly Before Baby is Due
  • Let your child help you pack for the hospital and remind you of items to put in
  • Pack a suitcase for your child to open when you are gone (snacks, gifts and a note)
  • Take a photo of your child to put in the hospital room- and tell them you are doing so.
  • Have your child draw pictures to put in the room
  • Write a letter to your older child describing how you felt the day she was born.
  • Make a birthday cake and freeze it to have a little "birthday party" for the new baby when you are home.
  • Make a "I'm the big sister/brother" t-shirt for your child to wear to the hospital.
  • Have your child help prepare the baby's room.

When you are in the Hospital

  • Make frequent calls to your child. Don't mention too much about the baby but say "I love you and I'll be home soon!"
  • Ask your child to water the plants at home. Giving her responsibility makes her feel needed.
  • Remember on visiting that your child is anxious to see you, more than the new baby.
  • Don't allow other guests in when your child visits for the first time.
  • Have a gift "from the baby" to give your child.
  • Tape a photo of your older child to the baby's crib in the hospital.
And finally coming home

  • Let your child come with Daddy to pick you up from the hospital
  • Put a 24 hr hold on visitors and let this first day home be special for the family
  • Plan to spend the first day in bed as a family
  • Plan to indulge with a cleaning service, friends or family to help with household chores
  • Have a special time each day for just you and your older child, or explain that babies come "with nothing" and need to get lots of things.
  • Keep a supply of little gifts for your child when visitors shower gifts on the baby
  • Have your child unwrap gifts for the baby
  • Give your child "important" tasks like distributing snacks to guests, fetching diapers, helping bring the baby out to show visitors, etc.
Even with all of this info I still feel quite anxious. I often find my anxiety is completely unfounded and things tend to run much more smoothly than I plan. But I like to be over-prepared rather than under. It helps me eel a sense of control.

Most of this info is taken from the book: Welcoming your Second Baby by Vicki Lanski

Love and preparation,
Kerry, the Momster


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