I’ve started thinking about my hospital bag. This is an “improvement” over my last pregnancy, when I started stressing over my hospital bag in my 30th week of pregnancy. I’m almost 32 weeks and I’m only just thinking about it – progress! Although, I just looked at my post about packing my hospital bag during Annabel’s pregnancy and now the wheels in my mind are turning…I need to pause writing this for a moment and gather a few things…
Okay I’m back. I think I’ve been in denial about how soon this could all be happening. But Annabel was born in my 36th week of pregnancy, so I could have the Acrobat in a month. Holy crap. I should start preparing. Like, I should pull the Boppy out of storage and oh, I don’t know…get a crib.
Every night for the last few weeks we’ve been talking to Annabel about what to expect on the day her brother is born. I’m hoping to make it to my scheduled c-section day for a lot of obvious reasons, but one of the big ones is Annie. Besides all the little adventures I want to have with her before then, I really want this to be as non-traumatic as possible. Is it too optimistic to hope it will even be a great day for her? Knowing Annie, she could go from clapping with glee to having a total breakdown two seconds later…but I’ll be doing that too, so maybe she’ll just be empathizing with me.
Mike and I have laid out what we think the day’s events will hold because we’ve found she does very well when she knows what to expect. She is excited about riding to the hospital with Gramma and Bampa, and she knows that she gets the honor of announcing that her brother is here and what he weighs (Mike plans on whispering it into her ear after he leaves the operating room). We’ve told her that after Mommy and the baby are cleaned up and checked out by the doctor, she’ll be able to come into the room and see me and meet her brother. And she knows that she’ll have a few days of super! fun! sleepovers! with Gramma and Tia Leah while Mommy and Daddy are in the hospital.
Annie can basically recite the day’s plan back to us, which will be great if things actually go according to plan…but when do things ever go according to plan? But let’s just say they do. What else can we do to help Annie prepare? We read lots of books on being a big sister, she’s helped paint his room (and she reminds me every day that we need to finish his room, at least one of us is on the ball), and I let her look at the few items of clothing we have ready for him whenever she asks. Annie is spirited, but she’s also sensitive and I want to make sure I’ve done everything I can to prepare her for this humongous change in her life. I’m expecting some bumps in the road, but what else can I do to make the bumps a little less jarring?
Oh! I know you guys will all be great!!!
I wanted to get Annie a book but have thus far failed in doing so: Mem Fox’s Koala Lou….the story of a special little koala who finds that perhaps mommy is a bit more distracted by babies than Koala Lou thought…but all ends well. And I love the refrain: Koala Lou I do love you; I always have and I always will!
Since I’ve failed, perhaps your local library would have the book?
I love that you have a game plan for Annie. Will now have fingers & toes crossed that baby brother (and your body too) stick to the agenda!!!
Four weeks!!! Holy moly!!!
We have that book my Nana brought it back from Australia for my daughter! It’s great!
Isn’t it a great book?!? I love Mem Fox!
Oh we don’t have that one! I’ll get it for sure.
I still can recite that book from memory…it was my daughter’s favorite book when she was a toddler. She is 12 now….and when she gets grumpy I tell her “Koala Lou, I DO love you!”
Looks to me like, you’re already well ahead of the game.
I’ve been trying to prepare my 2 year old for having my parents come stay with us and possibly mommy being in the hospital overnight with months to go, and it’s not going well. When she even grasps the basic idea, she becomes terrified of the idea of ‘mommy not home’ and refuses to go to sleep at night. My mom has even flown in so having her grandma taking care of her for a day or so wouldn’t seem foreign, but now she’s even terrified of grandma.
I say if Annie is looking forward to sleepovers with her Tia Leah and Gramma, she’s pretty much prepared for it…
I’m sure you have done this, but I would make sure to let Annie know that the Acrobat may not stick to the plan, and that’s ok too, because she will still be able to have sleepovers with Grandma, etc. That way she hopefully won’t worry or freak out if the plan changes.
One thing we did with my girls was to take them to the store to pick out a special present for their baby sister. In our case, the big sisters ended up choosing thei baby sister’s special blanket. My girls loved it, Annie probably would too if you haven’t already done that as well!
Good luck. You all will de a great job
Oh, I so so second this! Picking out a special gift for her new baby brother would I think be perfect for sweet, sensitive Annie.
And you guys are doing great with preparing her for The Acrobat’s arrival, so don’t worry so much! You are and will do just fine. Love you guys so much!
I don’t think there is any set recipe for kids who have a sibling arriving. My eldest daughter was just under 6 when her sister was born. I didn’t go overboard with preparing her. Just a general effort to inform her of what was happening, and trying to include her in the situation, and spending plenty of time with her before her sister was born, and then making sure that I continued this after the younger one arrived. All children are different and their reactions are different. I think all one can do is just show your child how much you love them, and the rest will fall into place. My elder daughter was wonderful when her sister arrived. Very loving and protective. It was a delight to watch. However, jealousy seemed to set in when they were about 12 and 6 respectively, and to be honest I think it still exists to a point, today. But they are fairly close, and do love each other, regardless of the fact that they are total opposites. So my advice is that you are doing everything you can, and will just have to let things evolve the way they will! It will all be ok!
Becca Masters says:
A few of the ladies on my parenting board who have toddlers and new babies, got the toddlers a gift from the new baby.
She seems like she’s pretty much there though.
Excited to meet the acrobat!!
I couldn’t agree more. A gift for Annie from the baby when she first comes to visit is a must! My two older sons were three and six when their brother was born and they still talk about the Thundercat figures their brother got them (and they are 30 and 33 now :). They even tried to talk us into naming him Prince Adam.
I agree. My son was two when I had my daughter and the gift we picked out to him from her was a kids camera. Then he could be a part of all the picture taking too. May I also suggest packing a bag of things to keep Annie entertained if she is going to be hanging out at the hospital for any length of time. Although, spinning on the doctor’s stool worked just fine for my son too!
My daughter gave my son, who was 21 months old, a present when we all came back from the hospital with her (he’d been staying with my sister and we picked him up on the way home). Up until then, he’d been…unenthusiastic about the baby. But he unwrapped the present, and threw his arms around the baby (and me, she was in my arms), and kissed her as best he could. It was the start of what continues to be an extremely cute relationship (they’re 6 and 5 now).
One of my friends suggested this and I think it’s a great idea. Annie would LOVE a present from him, especially if it’s princess related! Ha.
Best gift ever was a mylar “big brother” balloon when baby sister came home. My son loved it (he was 2 at the time) and mylar balloons last FOREVER.
It sounds like you all have done so much to prepare Annie! Something I did with my two boys was take them to build a bear and let them pick out and make a bear for their new brother. They also recorded their voices and put that inside the bear too. On the big day, they brought the bear as a birth day gift for the new baby. I also had picked up a couple little gifts for the new baby to give them when they came to meet him. “I’m the big brother” tee shirts were a huge success too! Good luck and I hope everything goes according to plan!
Oh, the bears with the recorded voices is such an adorable idea! I love this!
We did the gifts to each other too. My 13 year old still sleeps with the little panda his big brother gave him when he was born (don’t tell him I told!).
A gift for the big sister is a must. Love the build a bear idea with her voice. You can ask her to help pick out his homecoming outfit, too! She sounds pretty well prepared!
Kids are flexible and usually roll with the punches. Not much more you can do except included her in your conversations about the baby’s arrival. Ask her opinion and give her (carefully prechosen) options. Make her feel as if she is 25% of the whole (now four people). She IS special because she will be a BIG sister.
There Is a book by Dr. Becky Bailey called “I Love You Rituals” that takes the old fashioned nursery rhymes and changes the words a little bit and turns them into games to play with your child to connect with them. They are fast and fun! After you teach one to your little girl, she can practice it on her own baby doll and then eventually with her little brother so they are connecting with each other. You can look up “babydoll circle time” on youtube for a better explanation. It’s a very sweet time to connect and love on each other that she can then use independently and build that bond between siblings. Well wishes to you in these last few weeks!
Have you taken her on a tour of the maternity ward at the hospital? We are scheduled to deliver on Monday, and our hospital offers a sibling class where they talk about what it means to be a sibling, and what to expect and take a tour of the maternity ward and get to see the nursery and a room like the one mommy might stay in. even if your hospital doesn’t offer this class, they might still let you do a tour. Also we have a gift for the baby from her big brother and sister, but it might also be nice to have a gift for Annie from her baby brother. Good Luck! crossing my fingers for you that you make it to your scheduled section date and all goes as planned. We’ve been talking alot in our house about what to expect too
NO! I never thought of that. I spend so much time at that hospital that I wasn’t even planning on taking a tour or anything, but this is a really good idea. Thanks!
One thing that worked great for us was having a gift at the hospital. When our 2 year old arrived the first thing we told him was that his baby brother had brought a gift for him… He got excited about that and helped getting the baby on his list of good people
It sounds like you are super prepared already! A few other things we did to try to prepare our twins for their baby brother were the following:
1. Wrote notes to them for each day i would be in the hospital (which included pictures I had printed out of me and them.)
2. I recorded myself reading a few of their favorite bed time books to play back to them for the nights I was in the hospital.
3. Bought a special present from Sawyer (their baby brother) for them.
Unfortunately for us both their are bumps in the road that no matter how much you prepare they will still knock the wind right out of you. i am constantly amazed by how well kids bounce back from the bumps (while us adults are still trying to figure out what happened). Sending you hope and hugs. xo
These are great ideas – I especially love the notes and pictures. I will be sure to do this!
Sounds like a great plan, and you’ve already gotten awesome suggestions. I only thought of one thing: Has Annie ever stayed with your parents or Tia Leah overnight? I’m pretty sure I remember reading that she’s stayed with your parents, but if she hasn’t stayed with Leah before, maybe a trial run would be good. Plus, she’ll probably have a blast AND you and Mike will get a morning to sleep in a little!
They are going to stay at our house – I figured that would make things a lot easier for everyone!
Ohh! Great idea!!
What about having Annie pack her own special overnight bag now (unless her grandparents are coming to your house to stay with her while you’re in the hospital)? This might help with any last minute changes of plan and get her excited. And what about picking out something special for her brother to give to her on the day he’s born? We did the latter and it was just a stuffed monkey and probably means more to me than to my son but it’s a nice idea. I think it’s also cute to record a video message from the older sibling to the younger or have the eldest give the baby a tour of the house on video or something similar. You’ll all do great!
I love this idea. It sounds like Gramma and Tia Leah are coming to stay with Annie at her home so how about Annie can pack an activity bag or make an itinerary of some favorite things that she would like to do with them during the sleep over? I think this would empower her a bit; give her a little control and she can anticipate some fun that’s all hers.
They will all be staying at our house, but maybe I’ll have her help me pack MY bag. And maybe we’ll have her pack an activity bag for the hospital, like Patt suggested. And I LOVE the video message idea and the house tour!
What great preparations you’ve done with her so far! With E, we talked a lot about what D would and wouldn’t be able to do in the beginning. I didn’t want her to expect TOO much fun with him immediately since a newborn is basically a lump.
Sounds to me like things will turn out just fine, even if there may be a bump or two in the plans. I remember when my sister-in-law had her second daughter – they purchased a Build-a-Bear for the eldest and the baby so that they’d both have something special at the hospital that was just theirs. Maybe also take coloring books and crayons so that if Annabel feels a little antsy in the hospital room with you, shen can still enjoy the time spent there with drawing and coloring for you and your hospital guests, including the nurses.
I can’t recall, but I don’t think she’s in preschool is she? We also took cupcakes to my son’s class, like it was his birthday, and he wore his big brother shirt. The teacher made a big deal of him and they sang to him and everything. We also had a special present waiting for him at the hospital from the baby, and had taken him earlier to build a bear and he had made a bunny that played a lullaby to take to her and give.
Oh, that’s so sweet! She won’t be starting preschool until September but I LOVE how special his class made it!
I think that her helping prepare for her brother is great. Painting his room especially. With baby #2 coming in August for us, one of the things we plan to do is have our son pick out a present for his new brother and we’ll also have a present for him from his new brother. I anticipate a lot of adjustments and it all being a huge roller coaster ride, but I know that it will all level set eventually.
Oh, having HER pick out a present for him is a great idea!
We had my older daughter pick out a special present for her new baby sister all by herself. Also we had baby sister “bring” a present for big sis. That went over VERY well
We did the gift for our Oldest (who was not yet 3) when the youngest was born- AND we told her that she got to be the very FIRST person to hold the baby. So, she walked in and we had our Catie all wrapped up and she sat down on the couch in the room and held her. I have the most AMAZING pictures of her just full of JOY holding her sister for the first time. She excitingly told everyone that she was the FIRST to hold the baby! Now hey are joined at the hip! Best friends… they even share a bedroom because they WANTED to when we moved into this new house!
If you are feeling crafty you got let her design a onesie for her lil bro!!!
GENIUS idea! Annie would LOVE to do this, and I can get cheap plain onesies everywhere! Thanks!
Sarah Keefe says:
No problem…and I just re-read my post…that got should be a can…wow!!! Have fun!!!
emily e says:
I just had my 3rd two weeks ago and my 2 year old handled it pretty well. The initial visit wasn’t that great but we think he was just overwhelmed with all the people in the room (2 sets of grandparents, big sister, mom, dad and nurses coming in and out) plus it was naptime and he needed a dry diaper but neither grandparent had brought one. Later that day he came back with just one set of grandparents and it went really well. Good luck!
When my son (just shy of three years old) came to meet his sister in hospital, he brought her a stuffed puppy dog and a card he made her. She had a card waiting for him too and a children’s digital camera. That way, as lots of people were snapping pics of the new bundle of joy, he got to be in on the action. He LOVED it. He really felt a part of the day with his camera strapped around his neck and carrying his camera bag around. It worked out great. Two years later he still talks about how Cambria brought him a camera and he still loves to show off all the pictures he took the day she was born. Best of luck! Your family is delightful!
Annie already has a kid’s camera, but I think making sure it’s there for her and ready is a FABULOUS idea. She’ll love feeling like “one of the grown ups.”
Does Annie have a big sister shirt? She could paint her own, or she could do some of those little suncatchers to hang in the window for her brother to look at. Those are cheap and fun. I also love the digital camera idea, that would also keep her busy when you are in the hospital taking various photos around the house/backyard.. poor Rigby though. Good luck, I hope all goes according to plan!
Rigby’s been through this rodeo twice! She’ll probably be the most well-adjusted in the entire house, LOL.
We made sure that our son was in his bassinet when our 2.25 yr daughter arrived into the room for the first time. That way she could come and hug me…and not feel jealous as I was not holding the baby instead of her. She looked at him with us and then Daddy and Grandma got her settled onto the couch and let her hold him.
We let Maya pick out a special gift that she could give Anna when she was born. She loved that. We also got her a big sister shirt to wear to the hospital and got her a little gift from the baby that we surprised her with at the hospital after she had met Anna.
My daughter was almost 5 and her baby brother got her a new kitten a couple of weeks before she was born. She got him a stuffed toy. I love the kid camera idea, would let Annie snap pix to her hearts delight!!!
I agree on the big sister gift. My twin girls weren’t that interested in baby dolls but they love animals so they received those Fur Real animals (cat and dog) to be their ‘babies’ while I took care of their brother.
I also agree on not planning the actual delivery day out too much because it may not go as planned and I wouldn’t want her to get upset. My C-Section did not go as planned timing wise and it stressed me out that my girls would be thrown off.
Another idea that worked for us – my daughters loved hearing stories and seeing pictures and videos of them as babies. It helped for them to understand that they used to be so teeny tiny and needed me to do everything for them.
I’m sure Annie will do well – she has a lot of love and attention from your extended family which will help a lot!
Oh yes – we do lots of looking at pictures and videos of Annie when she was a baby, and it’s one of her favorite things!
I love the idea of a little momento from the new baby to the sibling.
Also in the trasition I assigned one small task to my helpers that was there special task for the day to help Mama with the new baby. Like for instance, grabbing a few clean burp cloths or helping burp the baby or grabbing the new diaper for the diaper change, so that they feel involved but it’s not something too big. It validates their craving to help without it being too much for mom or them. Just a thought.
My daughter was a few months past her second birthday when her brother was born in October. I was so worried that she wouldn’t adjust, and that we were completely betraying her. When the baby was born, she was interested in him, but not as much as we anticipated. When we brought him home she just kind of did her thing, essentially ignoring him for the first few days. And then. And then and then and then, she fell in LOVE with him. It’s been six months now and she is SUCH a proud sister. She loves playing with him, showing him off, helping him reach toys, “helping” him roll over, telling everyone she comes in contact with how cute and fun he is…the list goes on and on. We didn’t try to push anything, we just let her get used to him being here on her own terms. It didn’t take long at all. She loves sitting by him and holding hands with him, and the other day she told me that he is her “very best friend.”
I am so super excited for you. Boys steal your heart in a completely different way than girls! So fun.
My now 6 yr old daughter turned 3 in February and her brother was born that June, so the the spacing is very similar to Annie and the Acrobat.
The best piece of advice I received (and used) was to point out when the baby had to wait his turn too. For example, Annie will hear things like this often; “Annie, I need to feed the baby right now but I will get you a drink when I am finished.” Make sure you counter that and say things like this often as well. “Acrobat, I will change your diaper just as soon as I finish reading this book to Annie.”
Obviously the baby’s needs will come first in many situations, but pointing out when they do not will help Annie see that she has not lost her place with you.
Oh…this is GENIUS advice and something I never would have thought of. Thank you!!
This is a great idea! Also, people I know who’ve welcomed a second baby often spend the first year or so just letting the older child have their way when it comes to both of them being interested in the same toys/objects, because frankly the baby doesn’t know the difference. It’s hard for the the older child to adjust, and I think recognizing that their needs are more emotional whereas the baby’s needs are more practical is helpful to enable the siblings to bond at first without resentment. Then when the baby gets older it’ll be obvious when there needs to be *actual* conversations about sharing items.
We did this with too and it was WILDLY effective!
Many years ago when I had my second child, I thought I had prepared my oldest well. When the baby was born and we brought her in to meet her sister, I said, “Here she is, what do you think?” She looked up at me and said “I’d rather have a puppy!”
HAHAHAHA! Oh, kids.
Ha! I keep telling my husband that knowing my daughter, the best we can expect when we bring new baby home is that she’ll be enthused with him for a day or two, and then will start asking when the baby is going back to the hospital.
To be fair, I pretty much said the same thing about our cats the first time around. I joke that one of them still lives in hope that we’ll return our daughter to the hospital someday.
Others said it but I wanted to reiterate getting a “big sister” gift from the Acrobat to Annie. We have three that are each 2 years apart and both times, the older siblings were THRILLED that the baby got them a gift. We also had the older sibling(s) pick out gift(s) for the baby, which was also special!
Seems like you’re doing just fine………I would be careful not too over explain things as it may be too much for her three year old self too handle.
I think you sound very prepared. Honestly, don’t stress out over it. You are great parents and Annie will be fine. One thing I will share that happened to me when I had my second daughter was that I was so conscience of not wanting my older one to feel slighted that I was kind of just going through the motions with the baby (had a touch of the baby blues also) and I realized when I was giving her a bath at about 2 weeks that I hadn’t even really sat and just enjoyed the new baby! Not gonna lie, it was a big adjustment to go from 1 to 2 but we got the kinks worked out very quickly and now at 18 and almost 15, they are the best of friends..not so much with their 12 year old brother but that’s another story..lol.
Oh, I brought a picture of my older one to put in the bassinet at the hospital so you might want to do that also.
Serena from Italy says:
If you didn’t yet, try to explain Annabel that her brother won’t be able to play with her from his very first day… sometimes older sisters/brothers like the idea to play with the little one and they are very disappointed when they see that there’s nobody to play with, and that mommy is very occupied with the brother, doing none of the funny things they expected. One thing I did, with my oldest, is also to let her hold her little sister on the very first day (on a bed, with me close to them to make sure nothing happened) and also to let her help me with the baby when she wanted to. She soon got tired to take care of the baby, but she knew that she could if she wanted, and I think she really liked it. I had no problems of jealousy at all, and now that she’s 5 and the second is 2 yo, they start to play a lot together, and it’s a joy for my heart and my eyes. Good luck for this new adventure! Everything we’ll turn out fine, you’re two great parents, and Annabel and the Acrobat are lucky!
You know, I’ve explained this to her but I think she’s not going to really grasp it until she SEES it. Because every time I say, “oh, he won’t be able to walk and talk,” she replies, “I will teach him!” Ha
I have a boy and a girl 3 yrs apart. I bought him a gift when she was first born. Whenever I held her, he sat on my other leg. When I changed her diaper, he got the wipes and diaper for me, and I pretended he was actually changing her diaper. Just as much involvement with the new sibling and thankfully he was always the protective big brother and still is to this day. They have a great bond and friendship.
I think Annie will be just fine. You have gone away on trips and she’s stayed home with Mike. At least in the hospital she will come visit you and Mr. Acrobat. She will be a great big sister.
Antonia from the UK says:
I agree with Serena. I thought I had done a good job of preparing my eldest daughter for the arrival of my second. We’d read loads of books and she had friends who had baby brothers and sisters. And yet, she was still disappointed that her sister came out as a baby and wasn’t a complete of replica of her ready to play. I hadn’t even realised this was what she was thinking; she only told me years later.
She does, however, remember thinking that her new baby sister was very clever for knowing exactly what gift she’d like (it was a Sylvanian Families Treehouse).
My girls are now 21 and 18 and get on so well they are planning to backpack round Europe together this summer, so the initial disappointment obviously dissipated.
You, Mike, Annie and the Acrobat are all going to do just brilliantly together! I can’t wait to read all about it.
We had a gifts for our older children as well when new babies arrived. When my youngest daughter was born, we only bought a gift for my then 3 year old as she was the only one who hadn’t been through it before and the other girls were much older. My husband and I got her a big sister tshirt with her name on the back and the baby received a little sister tshirt with her name on the back from our 3 year old. The three year old also received a small toy and I think a candy bar from the baby when she came to visit us at the hospital, too. She really enjoyed the whole experience, and I let her come into the hospital bed with me to cuddle with us while I nursed. I think that really helped, too. She was FULL of questions, but I answered everything as best I could at the time, and she remembers certain things to this day (she’s now 13 years old). Good luck, and I hope Annie loves welcoming her brother into the world!
I have a scheduled C-section for my third (first boy!) on May 7th at 39.5 weeks. We have been trying to prepare our girls, but recently realized we need to prepare them for the possibility that things may not go exactly as planned – i.e., he may arrive early! We were also assuming that I’d be scheduled for surgery in the morning and I found out a few weeks ago that I’m scheduled for 1pm, which means (based on past experience) that I may not be up to a visit from my girls before their bedtime and/or visiting hours are over. I’m trying to come up with a back-up plan for that…without scaring my over-sensitive six year old who is already worried that something could happen to me. Oy – so much more difficult when there are other little people to take into consideration!
We’ve been doing lots of talking – like you – and reading books. I’ve got big sister t-shirts, necklaces, and photo albums ready to go to the hospital and I’m working on a non-big sister labled gift for each of them, too…though that is proving more difficult, as they don’t need any more baby doll “stuff” (the obvious new sibling gift).
Curious to see how Annie adjusts; she’s a similar age to my youngest (barely 3.5). I’ll be sweating along with you, Heather!
The day we brought our second child home from the hospital, we had a “big brother party” for our first, who was 2 at the time. My mom bought cupcakes and Elmo paper plates and got a bunch of balloons. And we sang, “Happy Big Brother Day to you!” to the tune of happy birthday. He was SO HAPPY about it and it really helped him feel excited to welcome the new baby home. It’s one of my favorite memories.
Oh, this is cute! Annie has asked if there will be cupcakes and candles at her brother’s birthday, so I think we need to do something similar!
Linda Stewart says:
Take Annie shopping for a special gift for Acrobat. Let her pick out something that she knows baby brother must have. Allow her to choose a special gift bag and a special card to include. Help her to package the gift to have ready to bring to baby brother when he is born. In turn, hide away a special gift for baby brother to present to Annie when she comes to visit.
Also consider making or ordering special cookies, decorated and individually wrapped to give out to all who come visit when he is born. Annie’s “job” is to make sure everyone gets a special cookie!
Great idea, she would LOVE handing out the cookies!
Sounds like you have done a great job prepping her. I wouldn’t stress too much over how the day will turn out. It is what it is. And you know what, fortunately or unfortunately (however the events unfold) she most likely won’ remember much of the day. My son was 2 1/2 when my daughter was born and all he remembers was a set of CARS books that he got as a present that day.
To get her thru the first day and first few weeks of adjusting, its great to get her to “help” with things but don’t make anything her job to do. Include her often in snuggle time with brother and without. I am sure she will love her baby brother, and then she’ll hate him, and then she’ll love him again and repeat for the next 18 years.
Have you asked her what y’all should name the baby? My 3-year-old Goddaughter named my kitten (after just a couple of … less-than-awesome … suggestions). Not the same as naming a HUMAN, but hey, worth a shot, yes?
Yes, and she thinks he should be named “Prince Charming Flynn Rider Flounder Monsters Inc.”
Oh, well then! There ya go! Except…”Prince?!” Change that to a symbol, and then all the rest just flows.
I recommend a sibling class at the hospital. Mine loved it.
No time to read all the comments, but I assume she has a “Big Sister” shirt?
a gift from him to her at their first meeting. let them have a gift exchange.
make sure someone pays Annabel as much attention as the new baby is getting at the hospital. that’s when a lot of jealousy happens. Annabel at the hospital and feeling pushed aside. keep her involved and doted on. not saying you won’t but it does happen.
let Annabel pick out babies outfit for home from hospital.
let Annabel have a camera and let her take pics of baby. use those for the first blog post announcing his arrival. keep her as involved as possible
while she can’t play with him she can help hand you wipes/diapers while changing him. she can help get him a blanket .if you nurse she can give him a pumped bottle in a few weeks. she can carefully under supervision help wipe his hands or face.
Annabel can “watch” him sleep in a safe bed for mommy so mommy can “rest” for a minute.
bring a secret book or snack for you and Annabel to share while dad watches baby. Make sure she feels she is not being replaced and still gets that mommy time.
my suggestions are based on having 4 kids and our youngest two (who we did this with) are 14 and 16 are mistaken for best friends not siblings they way they act with each other.
no matter what anyone says or suggests you are an awesome parent and it will all work out. only you know what works for you family .us blog readers can only say what worked for out families
When it was time to pack my bag I made a big deal about packing a picture of my daughter so she knew that I would be missing her just as much as she would be missing us. Because of some issues with the baby we ended up at the hospital for a week. My Mom came out and stayed with my older daughter for the week. Its been 3 years and she still refers to it as “the best week of my life”.
Amazing news, remember to get Annie a present from the baby!
When Annie meets her baby, you or Mike should not be holding Acro. Let him be in the bassinet, so it is a neutral space for him to meet her. Rather than baby being in ANNIE’s parents arms/her territory.
Also, Acro could have a gift for Annie. And vice versa. My oldest made a build a bear for her little sis and brought it to the hospital. Baby sis had a gift of a baby doll complete with stroller and pak n play for big sis. The build a bear made a special outing for Me and oldest while we waited and a special gift too. And the baby doll gave my oldest a baby to play with while I was nursing.
Last thing: I just really made a big deal that this baby is OURS, HERS too. This is a gift for all of us and makes ANNIE a big sister.
32 weeks! I could cry! Go HEATHER and ACRO!
We didn’t start talking about it too much until the last few weeks. We told her that I had to go to the doctor so he could help her brother be born, and I was going to stay there for a few days. When she showed up, we had a small present from her brother to give her (a stuffed rabbit – she instantly fell in love and has been hauling it around since.)
We also talked about breastfeeding and how babies don’t eat regular food like big girls – that whole transition has gone better than I thought (I figured she’d be demanding to nurse.)
And we discussed that mama had a boo boo on her belly from having her brother (csection) and so she had to be gentle with mama.
The whole transition has been MUCH easier than I thought. She loves being a big sister, there’s no problem there. It’s just the regular two year old behavior that’s been driving me bananas.
I am so happy that you are getting so close to meeting your little guy. You have fought so hard every day of this pregnancy…I am impressed with you!
My advice, no matter how silly it may sound, is to not make too much of an issue about acrobat’s arrival with Annie. I know that you have a brother, so you will agree when I say that you are giving Annie one of the greatest gifts she will ever receive. I worried SO much about Payton when Matix arrived, and I think that I overplayed it. Payton, like Annie, was (and is!) a smart little whipper snapper, and she MILKED it. She knew I felt guilty and she played on this, almost because she could sense that she was expected to. Later with the boys, I prepared the older siblings, just as you have with books, plans, etc, but then I just let it roll out and focused on the joy of it all. We turned the tables with the viewpoint of “look at this awesome gift that mommy and daddy brought to our family.” It seemed to work much better this way. I think that Annie is going to be a thrilled with your new addition. Of course there will be some growing pains, but I found that when I took the pressure off of myself and the kids during these transition times, and approached it with a “this is a perfectly normal thing to happen to families,” it was much smoother. (I know, crazy-weird perspective, but I just thought I would throw it out there!!!) xoxoxo
Wow these are all great comments. When my second was born, 35 yrs ago, I never thought to do any of these things and I’m mad I didn’t. What a great way for them to share in the day. Even if you do half of these things mentioned Annie will feel so special. I love the handing out cookies idea.
In January we too welcomed a little boy and we have a 3 year old little girl too. I would point out her friends who had smaller siblings and telling her she will be just like her friends.
Also I made sure when she was showing the baby attention to let her hug him etc without constantly telling her “be gentle, careful etc” as when we said that she would back away but instead saying to her “maybe your brother likes you to softly play with his hand, babies like you to gently stroke their head”
ALso positive comments to her like “you are such a good sister, your brother loves you so much”
We also did a present from the baby to her.
Also when my Mum would bring my daughter to the hospital to see me she would always cut a flower from the garden or do a drawing to bring me ( which made her feel special)
Having some toys there at the hospital helps aswell.
My daughter could only handle a certain amount of time at the hospital before she would start playing up so my parents would take her home and her little cousins would go there to play with her.
I am sure everything will be fine, I was worried before the baby arrived about how our daughter will adjust but it was easier than expected.
Wishing you all the very best
She will be fine — mostly excited and won’t remember this period of time anyway. Just let her hold the baby as much as she wants (as best as she can) – and let her sit next to him when you feed him — very important bonding times for them — and warn her that the baby will cry a lot — my daughter seemed somewhat shocked about the crying that her brother did — I don’t think I had ever warned her or talked about how much babies cry sometimes and she had never considered that herself.
I haven’t had time to read all the comments, so apologies if this has been suggested already-
When we had our second, our first was only 2, and was jealous from the start. One thing that really helped at the hospital was we gave him a wrapped present per day from the baby, AND my sister had the heinous idea of making him the “photographer”. She gave him an old digital camera and let him go to town while we were there and the first weeks we were home. We even had the pictures made into a book and titled it “Bringing home my baby brother”. The pictures are hilarious and most of them are a little out of focus (or has someone’s head cut off), but he was/is SO proud of his book, and we let him show it to anyone who came over to visit the new baby. Two years later, he still shows off his pictures of those early days with “his” baby. And though he still gets jealous from time to time, overall he adores his baby brother. Your Annie will too!! xoxo
Omg- genius idea, not heinous!!! Lol thanks, iPhone.
I bought little gifts for first born (4.5 at the time) when his twin sisters arrived. A Woody doll (this was 15 years ago!) for the first day and little activity toys for each day we were in the hospital.
He was the first one we called after the birth and he announced the sex of his sisters to all assembled He came to meet them and helped feed them (I rotated bottle and boob with each for each feeding, I am not superwoman!) I think the thing he liked best in those early hospital days was picking out a bouquet of balloons for us and then me letting him take them home with him.
It will all work out. Love the baby book idea above.. What a keepsake that must be!
One last thing, did you know they have big sister scrubs for the hospital?? Since Annie likes to pretend and dress up (like her mama!) she might like to look like a doctor on the special day at the hospital?? The scrubs were a huge hit with our little guy, and that was before the Doc McStuffins craze!
I haven’t read all of the comments, so I am sure much of this has been said. Annie will probably surprise you. I was petrified that my older son who was three at the time, would freak out when the baby was born last April. However, he did an amazing job.
Be prepared for Annie to be overwhelmed at the hospital. Jack was unsure of the hospital and the unfamiliar surroundings. We bought him a present that was from his baby brother. He loved getting something from the baby and thought it was so cool. We also got him something that he could play with at the hospital–helped occupy his time.
While Jack did really well in the days and weeks right after baby arrived, we had some adjustment about a month after. I think he had the realization that the baby was staying. I took him for a special day with mommy (a couple hours) and he loved the one on one time.
You are overthinking it. You and Mike are great parents, and things will go well. They just will. You’ve got tons of great ideas here, but in the end, you’ll have to just go with the flow. My oldest son (now 16) fell in love at first sight with his sister (now 14) and it has never changed. I think you are going to have the very same experience. Relax and enjoy it. Annie’s going to LOVE him. Your hearts will swell even more than you imagined when you see the two of them together. xoxoxo
I agree, don’t over do too much. Over planning just leaves more things to go “not as planned”. She will love him right away! My kids are 3 yrs & 2 months apart (girl, then boy) and they are best friends, even in their teen years. What you’ve done so far is great & letting her know acrobat may have his own plan is a good idea. =)