Preparing your toddler for another baby
At now 31 weeks pregnant with my second baby I must admit this has been a lot harder than the first time round! The first time with Jack as a prospective new Mum I was working at an office job, sat down all day, drank tea and coffee (decaf), came home and lay on the sofa. The hardest part of the day was battling the tube – but with my ‘baby on board’ badge firmly in place, even this wasn’t too bad. Now, however, my life is completely different. Jack is a very boisterous 2 soon to be 3 year old. I am now a shattered Mum! The day starts anywhere between 6am and 7.30am (long gone are those weekend lie-ins) and when sleep is a luxury when pregnant anyway the early starts start to take their toll. We then have the daily morning battle of getting dressed – sometimes I think dressing an octopus whilst bouncing on a trampoline would be easier (no more trampoline bouncing for me though!). Just when you think he’s fully dressed he then decides he doesn’t want to wear his trousers and socks anymore and takes them off. Back to square 1. Breakfast depends on his mood but more often than not involves a large amount of shreddies on the floor which again involves me on all fours picking them up. Trying to leave the house takes another half hour involving shoe and coat throwing and point blank refusals to go to the potty. Inevitably it usually culminates in a threat to leave him at home whilst I walk outside. More often than not shoes are left until he is firmly strapped into the car seat, at which time I’m told he needs a ‘wee wee’. It’s not even 9am and I’m exhausted! I’m not sure ‘blooming’ is the word I’d use to describe myself this time round! However, I have been taking time to think about how best to introduce Jack to his new baby sister or brother. We have bought a few books about a new baby coming into the home, and Jack is now the proud owner of a little doll which he loves to feed and cuddle. I’m not sure, however, you can really prepare them for the ‘real’ new arrival. Friends have told me to make sure I get Jack a present from the new baby and being close to his 3rd birthday as well he has already been told that baby will get him a scooter for his birthday or even one of the ride on cars from Custard & Crumble! Another friend told me to hide the baby when Jack arrives home and leave him to find it – not sure about this one. I am the eldest of two and I’m not sure my parents ever put so much thought into this – I guess at the end of the day Jack is still so young that eventually he will have never known a time without his younger sibling. I think I’ll certainly stock up on little gifts, and puzzles so that I can still entertain him with one hand whilst breast feeding! I also need to think about the nursery furniture! I loved buying baby furniture the first time round, but Jack’s cot is a cotbed so no doubt that will be reverted back to its cot mode and it will be Jack who gets a new bed. Perhaps this will further excite and distract him when the baby arrives. I will be buying new baby bedding and nursery stickers for the newborn though – afterall this might be the last time – not sure how I’d cope being pregnant again with two to look after!