Pregnancy has always been exciting, at least for the parents. Unfortunately, sometimes not all kids see it that way. Toddlers may be a little indifferent because they dont't understand that much yet except they see your tummy getting bigger. With older kids, it can go both ways. Some may be excited while some are a little threatened that the dynamics at home may change with the arrival of the new baby. The best way to prepare the kids is to get them involved from pregnancy onwards. Here are some great ideas:
1. Tell the news about the pregnancy early on. The sooner you tell them the better. Your toddlers may be a little confused at first but your older kids may have questions in their minds that you can immediately address. This will also be a good time for you to share with your older kids how you felt when you first found out that you were pregnant with them
2. Read appropriate children's books about babies. You can look for books that will help you explain how the baby would grow in your tummy and how long it would take before they get to meet him or her.
3. Take them with you on your next doctor's appointment. This could be a good experience for them especially if they get to hear their baby brother or sister's heartbeat. It would even be more exciting if it's time for your ultrasound. Make it more fun by having them guess whether you will be having a boy or a girl, unless you want it to be a surprise.
4. Tell stories about what newborn babies are like. You can show them pictures of when they were young. Explain why babies cry a lot or why they need to be held often. Take them to a place where they can be around babies so they can observe and learn.
5. Let them feel the baby move. This makes a great bonding moment with your kids. Experience will tell you what part of the day the baby moves the most. What you can do is sit together comfortably on the couch or in bed with their hands on your tummy and then watch them be amazed by the life inside your belly. One way to make this extra fun is if you make them guess which body part of the baby they are feeling.
6. Talk to the Baby. By 23 weeks, babies inside the womb can hear so you can encourage your older kids to talk to the baby. You can read stories and even sing to him or her. Studies show that babies react to voices that they can recognize after birth.
7. Shopping. This will definitely work well especially if you have older daughters. Take her with you when you shop for items for the baby. Give them cash and give them the freedom to choose whatever outfit they want for the baby. It does not matter if it looks silly or funny. It’ll make them proud that they were the ones who “bought” that outfit.
How about you Mummies? How did you prepare your kids for the arrival of another bundle of joy to your family? SHARE your insights with us!