I distinctly remember being 4 and sitting in a car park somewhere with my mum and dad, we were discussing baby names for my soon-to-be-arriving sibling. I don't recall evert even considering boy names, but I remember being so excited to be able to contribute ideas for their name. When she arrived, she was named, Emily. One of my suggestions!
Becoming an older sibling is such a momentous event for a kid. As well as the excitement of someone to play with there is likely an underlying feeling of worry. Worrying about what the dynamic will be like when they arrive.
When I found out I was pregnant for the second time, I knew I wanted the journey to be special and memorable for Calla. Here are some things we did throughout pregnancy to involve Calla who was 2 throughout pregnancy and turned 3 just before Toula arrived.
We told our families on Christmas eve whilst they were all at our house for dinner. With Calla being so young and us wanting to surprise the family we decided not to tell Calla before this day. Instead we told her on the night, dressed her in a 'Soon to be big sister' T Shirt and had her go into the living room and let the t-shirt do the talking. She was so excited to be part of the announcement!
I made up photo books, one for every year of her life so far (and the year prior) One thing that stuck with me was that because we can't remember being a baby, would she think that she never had the experiences she was about to witness. So I spent a while on my google photos, choosing the best from each year and making them into a photobook. This process was relatively straight forward - I used snapfish which links to google photos so I didn't have to download / organise / upload! The books arrived a few months before Toula did so I was able to spend lots of time looking at them with Calla and talking to her about her time as a newborn. She loves and cherishes these books even still.
Toula was born at home whilst Calla stayed at her grans house. The following morning when her gran brought her back, we let Calla be the first person to meet Toula in our room. I set up my phone to video their first interaction and it was priceless! Calla then got to introduce her new baby sister to the grandparents when they visited that day.
I made up a 'big sister' gift bag which included a new baby doll with changing mat, dolls nappies, clothes and a baby carrier so Calla could do the things that I was doing with Toula. She named the carrier the baby pocket! I think that could catch on!
If you are pregnant again and preparing to tell your eldest then why not try out some of these things above! Let me know in the comments how you get on!
In a similar situation? What did you do?