Some of my first thoughts when finding out that I am pregnant with my second child were of course joy and gratitude; but also about how loooong pregnancy is, and that my preparations this time would be so different. With my first, I was running out and buying baby things almost immediately because I just couldn't contain myself. This time I have been a bit more thoughtful and strategic about the things I am doing to prepare for this babe, especially with my first child in tow.
If I were to sum things up in just one sentence, it would be; "Buying less, eating less junk, and thinking more." If you are a first time parent, I do not judge you one bit if you are buying things like crazy! For one, you need a lot of things when you start from scratch. For two, you are relishing in the fact that you get to start buying things for your own tiny human. You're going to be a parent! So you do you!
The second time around you don't need to buy as much if you have things still around from the first baby. But more importantly, I went into this pregnancy with a knowledge of things to come and what I want to focus on before baby this time! First and foremost, we are doing as much as we can to try to prepare our daughter for the big change ahead of her.
Preparing the Toddler
Obviously every parent worries about how the first child will adjust to a second child around. As soon as I knew I was pregnant, I started searching for other blog posts and articles that would lead me in the right direction. Here are a few of the suggestions I have found and am using.
We purchased a few books that discuss being a big sister, bringing a new baby home, big transitions, and what you can do with a new baby. She loves them and has really taken to the idea that she can help our new baby feel happy and loved when they come home.
Whenever we have check-ups for the baby, we talk about them a lot with our toddler. She loves getting to listen to "my baby's heart beep!" Our doctor has been absolutely amazing at including her. The first time we went in, he sat on his stool right in front of her and asked her all about her shoes and bows, and then started talking about how she was going to be a big sister! We just got lucky in the doctor department, but she has really grown to love our doctors visits and squeals with excitement whenever we pull into the parking lot.
Talking About Her Baby Days
One of the articles that I read encouraged the idea of talking to your older child (or children) about when they were a baby. Showing them pictures of you holding them when they were tiny, talking to them about being born in the hospital, telling them that they used the little baby things you pull out, and so-on. Whenever we talk about her being small we remind her that when the new baby comes, we will have to take care of the new baby just like we did when she was a teeny tiny baby.
When it comes to items and clothing that she used to wear, I have been trying to make sharing them with the new baby her idea. We talk about how she is growing up so big, so she has clothes (toys, a bed, etc.) that fit her better now. Then I ask her if she would like to share her old baby things with the new baby. After doing it for a few months, she is so excited about sharing with her sibling.