One plus one makes two
‘Muuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmyyyy’, the shrill cries echo around the house and my attention is drawn back to the half-naked toddler who is in front of me demanding he is hungry. Again. Then he needs a wee, no he cannot go on his own, yes, I go up my Everest style stairs for the twentieth time that day only to be greeted with, ‘I can’t try’. Off we go down again, now out of breath and getting kicked in the ribs, I resign myself on the sofa and sigh. How on earth will I cope with two?
It recently hit me when I was putting Elijah to bed (I now have this nailed to be about a 15-min affair with a 90% sleep success rate before I leave) how am I going to do this with a new born too? No matter if he has driven me up the wall and I am counting down to bedtime, the time where we snuggle in with a story makes my day. Greg will be here 5 out of 7 days so it won’t be too much of an issue but for those 2 days what do I do with two kids? It is almost like I feel like a brand-new mum again! In some ways, I am, of two small humans.
Right from the beginning of the pregnancy, and I mean as soon as we got a positive we wanted to include Elijah in the pregnancy. To get him used to the idea that soon there would be a baby in the house. He would have a brother or sister and that meant he would need to share us. I worried the effect this would have on him as due to the operation and hospital visits now and again, Elijah has become very dependent on us. He has only known our full attention for nearly three years would he be okay adjusting to another member of the family? Could we as parents adapt to this big change and bring up to kids? Who knows. Involving Elijah in the pregnancy was done on instinct but I soon began to hoover up any blog, article or meme about how to introduce a toddler to a new sibling.
I don’t know if what we have done/ been doing is textbook or if Elijah really is as excited as he seems but here are my top 10 tips on introducing a toddler to the wonderful world of pregnancy and a new baby on the way!
- Be honest, they know so much more that you give them credit for. We told Elijah there was a baby in my tummy as soon as we found out. This also got him used to the idea he couldn’t be rough with me. He also loved seeing my bump grow, he cuddles it, talks to it and checks if baby is okay and that he missed it.
- Talk, talk, talk we spoke about what would be happening constantly, we spoke about when we went to have scans, appointments and how I was feeling especially during morning sickness.
- Bring them to a scan, or get them their own scan picture for their room. Elijah loved being able to see the baby that was in my tummy and the picture is pride of place in his bedroom.
- Get them involved in announcing the pregnancy to family and friends, we brought Elijah a special big brother t shirt to help us show family and his nursery too. The most important thing to us was that he was the first to know.
- Bring out the baby things in advance, we have had the pram, Moses basket, crib etc set up for ages so Elijah gets used to it being there and what it will be used for. I didn’t want him to associate the whole house being turned upside down when the baby comes home.
- When you go shopping for clothes, baby bits etc. let them help you pick things out.
- Give them a treat before the baby comes, something that is only for them. We redecorated Elijah’s bedroom into a ‘big boy’s room’.
- Let them help you get the house ready, Elijah helped me pack my hospital bag and changing basket and he then learnt why each thing was needed.
- Talk a lot about your birth plan, just so they know what to expect. We aim to keep Elijah’s routine as undisturbed as we can but he also knows he will be going to Nan’s when I got to hospital.
- Encourage them to bring a gift or do a picture for when they meet their brother or sister.
I will let you know how Elijah (and us for that matter) is adapting in a few weeks when baby no 2 makes their appearance, or if Elijah packs his Peppa Pig suitcase and heads off to Nan’s!