We got asked A LOT while I was pregnant with Jesse, if Oliver was prepared. I couldn’t really answer the question until Jesse was born and now that he is here the answer is YES! It didn’t just happen though. We prepped Ollie everyday. And because of that, our little boys are adjusting quite nicely. I have these 4 simple tips to thank!
1. Talk about the baby. This one might seem obvious but it’s so important. Make the baby a part of the family and daily conversation before they arrive. With Oliver, this was easy to do once my belly started to really pop. We would show him where the baby was and then ask him to point to the baby multiple times a day. My husband and I would include Ollie in our conversations about the baby’s name. We asked what he thought the baby’s name would be and asked him when he thought the baby would come.
2. Show them what a baby looks like. Lucky for us, both my sisters had babies right before us! We went and visited them a few weeks after they were born and it was a great way to introduce Oliver to what a baby looks like and what they do. He was so cute when we showed him the babies, the rest of the day he would point to them and say, “baby!” We knew he was starting to understand. We also ready books and watched TV shows that had babies in them and be sure to always point out the baby. Soon enough he started pointing out the babies all on his own.
3. Let them know the game plan. When it was getting closer to the baby’s due date, we started talking to Ollie about where mom and dad would go when the baby was born and where he would go. We made sure he had a go bag ready of all the things that he would need but also things he was familiar with like his favorite books.
4. A gift from the baby. I wasn’t sure about this one when I first heard it but I thought we would try it! At 37 weeks I went to Target a picked up a little hot wheels car for Ollie from the baby. We didn’t wrap it or anything special, we just gave it to Ollie when we got home from the hospital with the baby. He really liked the car! I think this idea works a little bit better with older children. Since Oliver is only 19 months, he didn’t quite understand what a gift was.
I couldn’t have imagined a better transition, and I have these tips and months of preparation to thank! Oliver has accepted this new baby, is “soft” with him, and wants to interact with him. Every time Jesse makes a noise, Oliver will say, “BABY!” We let Oliver interact with the baby by giving him high fives and pointing to where his nose is! With supervision of course! We don’t let the boys be alone together but we also don’t try and keep them apart. We want them to be familiar with each other and to be close!
I think it’s also important to add that when you go from one kid to two, the spread of your attention is CRUCIAL! Your sweet little toddler has been the center of your universe their entire life and now, all of a sudden, they are not the only one needing your attention. Newborns take a lot of attention but I really believe involving your toddler can make the attention spread more evenly. Sometimes I’ll have Ollie hand me the wipes when I’m changing Jesse’s diaper or he will sit next to me when Jesse is eating.
Is there a tip that I missed? Leave a comment and let me know! How did you prepare your kids for another one?