Dear Aunty Tina, I am getting ready to have my second child and am a little concerned with how I will be able to cope with two. Do you have any suggestions that may help me and or my two year old?
I once read that having a second child is like your husband coming home with a new wife and saying, “You will grow to love her as much as I do”. It does not necessarily have to be like this, but it is not always a given your new baby will be embraced with open arms.
There are simple preparations you can do before the birth and after to prepare. Before the birth, talk openly with your child and explain that they will be getting a new brother or sister who will also be a great friend. Explain to your child all the new things you will be doing together and try and involve him/her as much as you can. I would even recommend bringing them to your prenatals. Reading books like ‘Mom, Dad and I are having a baby’ by Maryann P. Malecki is great or books like ‘I’m a Big Brother’ by Ronne Randall . A nice idea while reading is to change the names to the names of your child and baby to be. After the baby is born it is good to continue reading these books and have a stack of other favorite books ready to go to read while you are feeding so the first born can still be engaged. (I would also recommend having lots of snacks ready to go for them and yourself during feeding time).
Another idea that I practiced was to get a doll for my first child, which they looked after and carried around, like it was their own baby so we were doing it together. This is also a great time to arrange play dates so your little one has someone to play with and you get some great adult company too.