Restless nights, aching back, frequent trips to the bathroom. All these points to the fact that our new baby girl will be arriving soon!
Just a couple of weeks left until her due date!
Although our family has already been eagerly anticipating her arrival, I want to use the time we have left to intentionally prepare the hearts of my children for their baby sister.
Adding a new baby to a family is a huge adjustment for all, especially for young children who spend the majority of their day with Mommy. Much of the time that I have been spending with them will now be spent towards tending to the many needs of our new little blessing.
Here are a few ways I want to prepare the hearts of my children for the arrival of their new baby sister.
- Pray for her together.
This is definitely the best way to knit our hearts together in love for her. Even though young minds may not yet fully understand the power of prayer, I believe it still forms deep impressions in their hearts and desires.
- Read books about new babies.
From our multiple trips to the Library over the last few months, I’ve been able to find some great children’s books that discuss and describe life with a new baby.
When You Were Inside Mommy
The Berenstein Bears New Baby
I’m A Big Brother
I’m A Big Sister
On The Night You Were Born
- Encourage them to talk to her.
It’s never too early to begin the sibling bonding process. Both my kids have come to love these moments of talking to their sister while she is still in Mommy’s tummy – especially since she has arrived at the stage of being able to hear their voices. When we read books together, I remind them that she is able to hear the stories too. This has made them feel like she is already involved in many of our routines. My daughter has even come to love singing lullabies to her at bedtime.
- Work together to prepare for her arrival.
Folding blankets, wiping out the stroller and car seat, and folding and putting away new clothes are some of the ways my kids have enjoyed helping me prepare for her arrival. Having them begin to assist in these small ways will hopefully begin to develop an understanding that caring for a new baby requires help from every family member. I want them to feel like they have an important role to play.
- Start practicing more self-entertainment.
Because I’m anticipating the needs of a new baby to consume much of my time, I’ve started to create more unscheduled space in our day – time which they must find ways to entertain themselves. I recently read the book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, in which Kristen Welch states..“Our children need to be bored. They need to kick their feet and wait outside of bathroom doors, unanswered. They need to be sent outside or to their rooms to play. They need to turn over the bag of tricks and find it empty. Because that’s when they will discover they don’t need stuff to fill their time. They don’t need a plan for entertainment. They can create their own.” Thankfully, I’ve come to realize that it is not my job to provide their every entertainment and activity. Building villages for ladybugs, constructing blanket forts, and creating rock collections are a few of the ways I’ve enjoyed watching their creativity unfold.