There’s a lot you can say to an toddler that they’ll understand. Stop, don’t, please, cookie, Paw Patrol… K knows exactly what I mean when I use those phrases. But try to tell her that ‘Mommy has a baby in her belly’, and you’re met with a blank stare, a jab in the belly, and a lot of confusion.
Over the last few months, we’ve been trying to introduce the idea of a baby (and more recently, a baby brother) to K. And while several times, she’s tried to jam her baby doll into my belly, or look into my belly button to see the baby, I think she might understand that somewhere there’s a baby named Max, and he’s coming to meet us sometime soon.
So how have we gone about preparing Little Oats for the impending arrival of a baby? Here are 5 things we’ve been working on (and will continue to work on) until Baby Oats arrives.
1. Books: There are a ton of great books on the subject of getting a little sibling; some specific to brothers and sisters, some a little more general. We’ve looked at a few from the library that are big-sister-specific, but there are a ton of other titles that might be worth checking out.
- I’m a Big Sister (Joanna Cole)
- Olivia: Guide to Being a Big Sister (Natalie Shaw)
- There’s a House Inside my Mummy (Giles Andreae)
2. Baby dolls: When my little sister was born, my parents bought me my own newborn doll to take care of so I didn’t feel left out. I was a little older than K will be (I was four), but I still have that doll. We went looking for a baby brother doll for K, and I was a little shocked by the price tag on some of them. But then, on a chance trip to Ikea, we found this doll – and K is already in love.
3. Baby clothes: Since we’re having a boy, we can’t really use many of K’s frilly pink clothes as hand-me-downs. So, in order to prep K for the baby, we’ve been letting her help choose new clothes for him. So far, she has chosen this fox hoodie from Carter’s, and these Robeez crib shoes. Kiddo has good taste – M will be a well-dressed little man.
4. Feeling baby kicks: K knows that Baby is in my belly, and she knows that he’s growing bigger. Now that he is finally kicking on a regular basis, I am so excited for her to start feeling baby kicks. It’s just getting to the point now where J can feel them from the outside, so in no time at all, K should be able to, too.
5. A big girl room: The final step to getting ready for baby is transitioning K into her ‘big girl’ room. While I would love to keep her in her current room, her nursery is much closer to our bedroom, and is already ideally set up for a newborn. By bringing her along and letting her choose cozy blankets, fluffy pillows and pictures for the walls, we hope she will feel that her new room is all about her (and NOT about the baby). We will be transitioning her into a single bed as well, and our hope is that this is done before M arrives in September. We want her new room to be a sign of ‘big girl’ status, and not evoke any feelings that she’s being replaced by the baby.
Even with all five of these things working together, she will still only be 25 months when M gets here. I know she won’t fully wrap her mind around it…but it sure is fun getting her ready for what’s to come. Poor kid’s world is going to be completely rocked. But at least she’ll have her new baby doll, Winston (her choice), for company.