When you are bringing a new baby into the picture, it’s important to get your kids just as excited as you are about the latest addition to the family. Most children who are old enough to comprehend the idea of having a little brother or sister will generally accept this, especially if there is already another sibling in their home. For younger children, who have a tendency to want all of Mommy and Daddy’s attention, this might prove a bit more difficult. Here are 5 fun ways to get your kids excited about the new baby long before they are due:
1. Let Them Talk to Their New Sibling
As your belly grows, this may be easier for children to understand the concept that there is in fact a baby inside there. Allow your child bonding time and ask them questions about the baby to see how they feel about it. I ask my daughters what they think their new little brother will look like, and let them lay their heads on my stomach so that they can feel him kick. My four-year-old responds really well to this, and the almost three-year-old sort of gets it. Obviously the older your child is the better they will understand and readily accept the idea of a new sibling.
2. Time to Go To the Doctor
This one may depend on if you’ve got a wild child on your hands or if your children can mind their manners for just a few short minutes. For both of my children I routinely take them to my OB appointments so that they can watch the baby on the ultrasound monitor. The oldest one really seems to love the idea of receiving the ultrasound photo at the end of the session, too. When my children behave well, I will reward them with something very small from the gift shop downstairs for being “so good for mommy today” while at the doctor’s office. Bribery is not always best, but routine is and my kids will both usually behave better if they know there is some sort of reward at the end of the tunnel. It’s one of those “gotta be smarter than the toddler” things I always keep in the back of my mind. On a side note, your toddler might be totally fascinated with the idea of watching you pee into a cup—as mine always is, and insists that she needs to as well.
3. Want To Help Mommy Decorate?
Okay, so for this it’s a very good idea to allow your children some input, even if they don’t understand that your little boy probably shouldn’t have Disney princess décor in their nursery. When you go shopping or start organizing the baby’s nursery, have your children give you a helping hand so they can feel as if they have a role in the process. One thing that’s super easy is allowing the children to help you put the clothes away, such as hanging them up and folding them for the dresser. Organizing the toys and the diapers for the changing table are some other toddler/kid friendly safe tasks as well.
4. What Do You Think?
While kids can really say the darndest things, when deciding on a name for the new baby poll your children to see if they have any clever ideas. This may also give you quite a laugh when you hear some of the interesting ideas that they come up with off the cuff. You may not be able to use some of their suggestions besides a possible nickname, but this is fun for you and an experience for them to feel included in the arrival of their new sibling.
5. Question Time
Kids are inquisitive by nature, so when you have opportunities to pique their interest this involves them by gaining their insight and opinions, which they will appreciate although they can’t voice it the way an adult would. Let them ask you questions, and take your time in answering them. Above all, this is the perfect chance to let them know that more importantly than anything else, your love for them will remain exactly the same—and that’s something that will never, ever change.
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