Preparing your first child for baby number 2

One of the questions I am constantly asked since giving birth is “what’s it like transitioning from one to two children”.

I always wanted to have my children close in age as I loved the idea of my first born having a ready made best friend to experience life with and share memories. So when I fell pregnant with my second it was no surprise. I had it all planned out in my head and imagined exactly how it would be. However when I fell pregnant reality hit me like a ton of bricks and I began to consider things that didn’t even cross my mind before conceiving. My first emotion was “Mum Guilt” how could I do this to my first born, he will feel like I’m replacing him! That alone made me teary and over emotional in the first trimester of pregnancy. The second emotion was how could I possibly bond and love this child as much as I do my first born. What was supposed to be a happy and exciting time turned into a period of worry and apprehension.

The general consensus between both hubby and I was, “have we made the right decision”. However as time passed and I progressed through my pregnancy I began to overcome the reality that I would be a mother of two and responsible for two little humans (FOREVER).

One thing I remember vividly is kissing my first born son good bye knowing that the next time I saw him he would no longer be an only child and our world would change forever.

Because I was so conscious about the If, buts and maybes of having baby number two, I honestly did everything in my power to ensure that my first son was involved in the process to eliminate any sense of jealousy or isolation. I would love to share a list of tips that I used with my first born to help him with the transition into a big brother. And I can honestly say that these tips worked, my first born is an absolutely AMAZING big brother.

Ultrasounds

I took my son to every single ultrasound, the reason for this was that I spoke to him so much about the baby that was in my tummy, I wanted him to be able to see his unborn brother which prepared him that this was real. He loved the ultrasounds, he would help the sonogramer pick the out the different body parts. I think at this point he was aware that something was happening but he wasn’t exactly sure when it would happen. That being said he loved coming with me to the ultra sounds and kept all the pictures in his room.

Speak to your child’s school or nursery

I have a brilliant relationship with my sons nursery nurse. So when I found out I was pregnant I sat down with her and expressed my anxieties of having a newborn and how it may make him feel. She then put a plan together and did sessions with him to help him to prepare to be a big brother, this included drawing pictures, speaking about his role as a big brother, and giving him different activities and scenarios to help him prepare. I can not thank the nursery enough, as they were able to pick up where I left off, ensuring that there was consistency.

Story book

After a few months of talking to him about being a big brother, I ordered him a personalised book. The book was great as we were able to personalise names and ages. The personalised book was a child friendly guide to becoming a big brother. I really feel that it empowered him and gave him a sense of belonging. He loved the fact that it had his name in there. His reply to the book was “when my baby brother is born I’m going to teach him everything”.

Gift from his baby brother

As Christmas was approaching, I thought it would be a great idea to incorporate a gift from his baby brother. So on Christmas Eve I wrapped up the toy that was number one on his wish list with a label on it that read. “To the best big brother in the world, love from you baby bro”. Every single time he plays with the toy he remembers that he is the best big brother and that his baby brother brought it for him.

“Best Big bro” T-shirt

I bought my son a best big brother t-shirt, there are are so many cute ones to choose from, you can even have them personalised. I did this to make him feel special and to remind him that he had a big role to play as a big brother. He was so happy with his t-shirt and couldn’t wait to show all his friends at nursery.

Drawing pictures.

My sons father and I would draw pictures with him but also include his brother in the pictures. The pictures we tended to focus on were ones where we were in the house together to prepare him that the baby would be living with us. Eventually my son started to draw pictures of them both lying on the bed together and playing together. It actually got to the point where he was drawing around 5 pictures a day. When we got to around the 50th picture I started throwing them away hoping that he didn’t ask for them all back one day LOL.

Talking and Role-play

Incorporating his brother into our family life. “When your big brother comes you can teach him this.” Using his baby brother as a character during imaginative play really helped him to visualise how the family dynamics would change when the new baby came.

I hope you’ve found this guide as helpful as we have.

18 Comments

  1. June 1, 2018 / 11:06 am

    My boys are 5 and 3, 15 months apart to the day! Sometimes it is trying, because they love to aggravate eachother. Still, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having them so close to age. They enjoy the same things and playing together never gets old. They are still young, but I imagine their bond is going to be an unbreakable one!

    • June 1, 2018 / 11:09 am

      Haha yes I’ve got all that to come. At the moment my youngest is only 2 months old but I’m preparing for all the fights and arguments. It’s amazing that your boys are all so close in age. They will grow up to take good care of each other. I can’t wait to watch mine grow together. Thanks for reading.

  2. Shannon Tereze
    June 1, 2018 / 11:45 am

    Absolultky love this 👌🏾👌🏾 One of the best ideas I have seen trying to explain to your first child about another child being on the way! Will deffo be doing this when I’m blessed with a second child xx

    • June 1, 2018 / 12:34 pm

      So glad you found it helpful, and hope they work for you as well. Thanks for reading.

  3. June 1, 2018 / 1:08 pm

    I had my daughters just about 4 years apart and felt the exact same way. One was just starting preschool though which gave me one on one time with the new baby a few days a week and not surprisingly my eldest daughter wanted to be involved with everything from feeding, changing and bath time which was amazing to have them grow a bond since they first met. Now they are 9 & 13 and you can’t sepera them they do absolutely everything together and of course they have good days and bad that’s Sisters for you but they unconditionally love each other so much and it’s amaz to watch them grow up with a best friend. Xo

    https://www.motherofgirls.com

    • June 1, 2018 / 1:15 pm

      Thanks for sharing. This gives me hope.
      That they will grow up to be inseparable. Although my youngest is only two months old my oldest is so over protecting and good with him. Thank you for reading x

      • June 1, 2018 / 1:31 pm

        Aww if they’re already like that it’s a sure thing mama and it’s such an amazing thing to watch blossoming xo

  4. Karen Rachelle
    June 2, 2018 / 4:38 pm

    I was just thinking about this yesterday because I saw my son playing and felt bad that he didn’t have anyone to play with, like a sibling. I’m sure I will have some of these same emotions when I get pregnant again but I know my son will be excited. I’ll be doing some of the things you did to prepare him as well.

    • June 2, 2018 / 8:29 pm

      Aww when they’re an only child they don’t know any different. But now he has a younger brother he always talks about how much he loves him and being a big brother. We worry so much but you’re right I bet your son will be over the moon. Thank you so much for reading and I hope the tips work as well for you as they did me and my son.

  5. June 11, 2018 / 10:07 pm

    The big bro tee shirt did it for mine. He felt like his role was very important (which it is) and he loved that he could show that off. I was nervous in the beginning too. He would often say things like “you’re going to forget about me” and once the baby was born, all that went out the window. He wants to take him every sec he can.

    • June 11, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Omg “you’re going to forget about me” m heart just melted 😭😭 I think I read that you have a 3 month old aswell don’t you? My little man is 3 months old next week

      • June 11, 2018 / 10:17 pm

        My lil one is turning 4 months on the 15th 😩 yes girl he would say that to us all the time.

        • June 11, 2018 / 10:20 pm

          Doesn’t time just fly.. that’s adorable 😭😭😍😍

  6. June 12, 2018 / 6:43 pm

    This is really cool. I am not a mom, But my sisters are. And even though I dont think I would be able to do justice to having kids, I love them a lot. I am always interested in their emotions and life . I would definitely refer your article to my sisters who have 2 kids. 🙂

    • June 12, 2018 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you so much for reading hun. I bet you would be an amazing mother. And thanks for the referral.

  7. June 18, 2018 / 3:34 pm

    I involved my first with my pregnancy to get her ready for her little sibling. But I think getting the first two ready for the third was even easier!

  8. June 18, 2018 / 3:44 pm

    I think mom guilt is to be expected to a certain degree and is perfectly normal. I also am certain that once baby number two enters the picture the bond you three will forever share is irreplaceable and the epitome of true love.

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