Five Ways We’re Preparing Owen for a Younger Sibling

March 4, 2019

A quick google search will make it apparent that there are certain ways professionals encourage parents to prepare their older children for new siblings.

Our stance might be different than yours or the professionals and that is perfectly okay, we are just doing our best and what feels right for our little guy. Zack and I agreed early on that it was important to us that this pregnancy was an experience felt by our whole family, not just me, not just Zack and I, but Zack, Owen and I. Owen is young and sure he doesn’t understand exactly how the baby made its way into my body, but he does understand the concept that a little brother or sister is growing inside my belly and for us, that’s enough of a foundation to build on. And hell you guys, it’s really fucking exciting!

We’re taking baby steps here (no pun intended), and it’s been really wild to see how he has absorbed the information we’ve given him. So here it goes, here are the five ways we’re preparing Owen for a younger sibling today. This list will obviously grow as my pregnancy progresses and I would love to know what ways you’ve helped your little ones prepare in the comments below!

1. Bring him to the ultrasound appointments! Okay, some of you are probably already searching for that little x in this webpage, but hear me out. This was actually something Zack suggested and had to convince me on. So far we’ve had doctors appointments at about 7 weeks and 11 weeks. We also had a more in depth ultrasound and blood work for genetic testing done at 12 weeks at a separate facility. With our miscarriage history we decided not to bring Owen along to the 7 week appointment, but he’s joined us for each appointment after. And you know what’s wild? He gets it! He’s totally into looking at the monitor and seeing the baby in there. It’s really special. Of course it requires that we plan well for these appointments (timing, snacks, toys, iPad, etc.), but I have a feeling we will hold these memories close to our hearts always.

2. Display the ultrasound images at home. This goes hand in hand with taking him to the appointments, but could also stand alone as a way to encourage the conversation around your growing family if you don’t feel comfortable bringing your kiddo with you to the doctor. We’ve got them all up on our refrigerator and take them down to get a closer look / talk about the baby. Owen isn’t asking too many questions about the baby yet, but he’s enjoying looking at the photos and knows that that’s his little brother or sister.

3. Pick up a couple kids’ books about new babies! Honestly, we need to find more of these. Or maybe someone needs to write more? We’ve had a hard time finding more than these two so if you guys have some other favorites I’d love to know. Owen especially loves, The New Baby, but There’s Going to Be a Baby is cute too. The concepts are basic, but he’s already memorized most of The New Baby and I really believe it’s giving him an idea of what he can start to expect!

4. Buy an affordable baby doll. Or get one from a friend or a second hand shop. Our’s was handed down from Amy’s step-daughter and it’s perfect. Owen’s not super into playing with dolls, but it’s been fun to show him how to hold the baby, letting him begin to nurture it and helping expand the baby conversation. Sometimes he’s extra sweet with it, other times he’s running around holding it by the foot. Again, baby steps.

5. Incorporate baby language into your everyday. Owen has been really into practicing his letters and words the last couple of weeks and today he actually wrote the word baby all by himself! We’ve been using his large chalkboard to write out traceable words like baby, brother, sister, family, etc. and in a small way I think this helps him understand that there’s a change coming without it all feeling too overwhelming.

 

Photography by Amy Frances.

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