(caveat: I wrote this post a couple of weeks before baby girl was born. I'm not sure why I never got around to publish it, so my apologies. I'll write a follow-up at some point letting you know how all of this worked out.)
I know it’s not uncommon for parents to feel guilt about rocking their child’s world by bringing home a baby. But wow, I feel sad for Lucan. He’s not going to know why his parents are diverting their attention and love to someone else. I know the transition is going to be tough. It’s going to be tough on all of us!
Here are a couple of things I’ve picked up here and there about easing this time period for everyone.
- Sibling gift for Lucan. I bought him some Dupo Legos from his favorite Jake and the Neverland Pirates show. Hopefully it’s a win and I don’t end up stepping on legos in the middle of the night.
- We all went to a Big Brother Preparedness class. Let’s not talk about the fact that Lu missed part of it due to a tantrum timeout.
- I’m planning on having a little “birthday party” for the baby when we come home from the hospital. Cupcakes and balloons. And then making a big deal over the fact over how special it is that Lucan can eat cupcakes but baby sister isn’t big enough.
- We talk about fairly regularly the possibility that mom might not pick Lu up from school one day because she’ll be at the hospital and maybe grandpa or grandma or one of our friends might pick him up instead.
- In the same breath we also talk about the fact that some morning Lu might wake up and find that mommy and daddy went to the hospital to have the baby and one of our friends might take him to school instead.
- When Lu comes to meet his sister for the first time at the hospital, our plan is to not be holding baby girl at that time. We’ll give him a big hug and kiss to show Lu how much we love him and then introduce him.
- I’ve assembled a few little dollar bin items/gifts for Lucan. That way if someone drops off something for the baby, Lu can pick out a little present of his own and not feel sad about his lack of love (trust me – I realize we’re going to have a lot of crap around our house come Christmas)
- When I’ve been assembling things to reuse for the baby, I point them out to Lucan and thank him for sharing them with his sister. It’s kind of adorable to see him set aside his old racecar socks that are too small for sister.
- Last night I told him the story of when he was born. I think it’s important to share these details so he knows how he came into the world.
- We talk about what types of things to expect when the baby comes home. I took this prompt from his big brother’s class. Things like baby might cry a lot, she’s going to sleep and we’re going to have to be careful when we hold her.
- We've tried to limit any other major transitions to BB (before baby). For example, we moved Lucan out of his crib and into his big boy bed this summer. Lance wanted to wait until the end to do it. I put my foot down. Lucan doesn't sleep in his pack and play when we're traveling now. He sleeps on the futon at my parents and in the guest room at Lance's parents. The pack and play is clear for baby sister.
- Personify the baby. This post from a Cup of Jo is genius.
So, any other tips for this worried mama?