Preparing for the arrival of a new baby

When it comes to preparing for the arrival of a new baby, I feel like I've got that part of motherhood completely figured out.  Which is probably because I had all of my kids really close together; and that gave me the opportunity to revisit this beautiful life transition quite frequently.  And with each pregnancy, I felt like I got that much better at helping my other kids transition more easily to the new family line up and get really excited about me having another baby.  

Of course, this did require a lot of time and effort on my part, but it was always worth it because I knew I would hardly have to worry about my kids developing any sibling resentment toward the new baby.  If anything, I always found myself having to make sure my kids didn't love our newest baby to death.  Haha!  Because I spent a lot of time during and after each pregnancy to prepare my kids for their newest sibling, I ended up creating a tiny army of mini baby helpers that often told me how they thought I should be doing my job.  Haha! 

Preparing a sibling for a new baby

Now, instead of having one mom, Benson has four and I attribute that to me choosing to do the following with my kids.

Preparing for the Arrival of a New Baby

1) Answer any questions that come up about the baby.

During my pregnancy with Benson, Isaac and Emi asked a lot of questions about how Benson ended up in my tummy and how he would be born.  Of course, I gave answers that were appropriate for a 5 and 4 year old.  But I chose to not shy away from these questions because I felt like answering them in as much detail as I could would better help prepare these two for when Benson would finally be born, and it did.  Especially as we were closer to my due date!  Like adults, kids like to know the details about how things have and are going to happen because it gives them confidence and clarity in everything that is going on around them.  And even gets them excited about what's to come.  I can't even begin to tell you how many times Isaac and Emi would excitedly tell me, and any one who would listen, how Benson was going to be born.  Haha!

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby

2) Practice Makes Perfect.

One of the best ways to prepare your kids, especially if they are toddlers, for a new baby is by letting them practice all the different things they will do to help out once the baby is born.  A great way to do this is by giving each of your kids (boys and girls) a baby doll and having them practice how to feed, burp, hold, swaddle, change and do anything else that has to do with caring for baby.  Not only will this get your kids excited about what's to come, but it will also teach your children what to expect when it comes to caring for a new baby.

Preparing a sibling for a new baby
| Seeing that little shiner on Zachary breaks my heart!  That poor little guy fell and banged up his face just before we went on our picnic! That little guy was such a trooper though and insisted on still going even though he got hurt! |

Preparing a toddler for the arrival of a new baby

3) Make the baby accessible.

If you want your kids to enjoy and develop a desire to be around your new baby, you need to make your baby is accessible.  As soon as I came home from the hospital with Benson, I made sure he was around the rest of our family as much as possible.  And one of my favorite ways to do this was by placing him in my Plum and Sparrow Moses Basket and placing him in each room that the kids and I would be in.  Sure it may have required a little more work on my end, but it was so cute watching my kids come over to the basket and peer in on Benson or even sit next to him and reach in to touch his toes or talk to him.

Fresh food from Mountain Vista Catering

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby

Continuing family traditions with the arrival of a new baby

4)  Don't Stop doing the things you did before baby was born.

Kids can have a really hard time adjusting to new things in their life when their daily routine is broken up.  So once Benson was born, I did my best to keep on doing things like our nightly story time to let them know that they were still there and hadn't forgotten about them.

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby

Preparing for the arrival of a new baby

5) Do fun things as a family.

When a new baby is born, it can be so easy to get caught up in continual feedings, endless dirty diapers, spit-ups, and so much more!  Before you know it, you haven't been out the house in ages and your kids have reached a new level of whining that you didn't even think existed.  At least, that's how it's gone down for me in the past.  So when Benson was born, Dave and I decided we would do a fun family activity at least once a month (our current favorite activity is a picnic in the park) to keep us all from killing each other.  Haha!  But seriously, joking aside...this is one of the best decisions Dave and I made because it really helped our family become closer to each other.  Which is exactly what should happen when a new baby comes into the family.

When I decided to become a mom, having children that were each others' best friends, confidants, and so much more was something I always hoped for.  I definitely got that, and feel so so blessed!

P.S. Utah locals!  If you're looking for some good food for your next family picnic, party, wedding, etc. Mountain Vista Catering is the absolute best!

AND...Here's a fun segment that I did on this topic with KUTV 2 News This Morning!

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