Preparing for Baby Number Two

Preparing Bubs for Bubs v2 

Bubs was actually the first person we told we were expecting, only a few minutes after Mr S found out; looking back that may not have been the best idea but he is far too much a part of our lives to not involve him from the outset.
This has meant we have had the last eight months to help prep him for the idea of having a sibling and the list below highlights some of the ways we have done this.

Obviously the age of the child will influence how you are able to communicate these with them. Those with children very close together may not be able to convey the concept until the baby is actually born and those with older children may have much more complicated questions to answer about babies, pregnancy and childbirth.

Bubs was just over two when we discovered we were pregnant and will be turning three shortly after she arrives, this seems to be a popular age gap with several of his similar aged friends also going through the same situation which in itself has helped. Not only to provide a great support network for me but also to give Bubs an idea of what is to come and it seems a hot topic of conversation in the nursery playground.
  • Initial News
One of the problems we had with telling Bubs straightaway was that he was so excited by the fact their was a baby in his mummies tummy he proceeded to also tell everyone else, meaning waiting until the twelve week scan ended up going out of the window. 
Nine months is also a long time for a toddler to wait to actually get to meet this baby, we have tried to address this by teaching him the months of the year and using key activities each month as a guidance. E.g in April it is easter, May is Dubai, June is the Baby Shower, July is playdates, August is Paw Patrol and then the Baby will arrive. 
Another reason parents may decide to wait also is the increased chase of miscarriage in the first three months and having to explain the idea of loss to a toddler, we told Bubs as an instant reaction but looking back it, we would still do the same as he is a huge member of our family to share both good and bad news with. 
  • Baby Tiger
Quite early on in the pregnancy Bubs named the little one Baby Tiger, something which he came up with on his own and has stuck through it all. I think this little gesture has helped him bond with her and given her a personality already. Often when he is giving her cuddles he will say Baby Tiger is laughing, or crying or most of the time - doing a poo poo.
  • Reading Books
Bubs loves reading and is at an age where he understands storylines so this was an obvious way to help him understand what would be happening during the pregnancy and also after the baby is born. 
Some of our favourite books have been: 

Great for during pregnancy and explaining the side effects mummy might be feeling.

More for Bubs to understand what will happen after the baby comes homes to be a part of our family

One of Bubs favourite and one of his favourite new lines to show how grown up he is. 

These books have been great talking points to give him an idea of what will happen when I come back from hospital, such as not being able to pick him up, feeding the baby and all of his new responsibilities such as not letting his little sister eat his toys. 
  • Friends and Family 
Lots of friends and family have either recently had a new baby or are currently pregnant with the second, I think it has really helped him understand the concept of having a younger brother or sister seeing his friends and cousins already experience this. He has always been great with younger children and loves visiting newborns so I hope this continues when he is living with one too. 

It has also helped having everyone talk about the new baby with him, for example when we go to hospital he already knows he is going to go for a sleepover at my parents house and trying to make those few days as exciting for him as possible too. 
  • Gender Reveal
We were always planning on finding out the gender of the baby as I like to be prepared as possible and have as much information as I can and we wanted to share this news with our friends and family too, similarly to how we did when expecting Bubs. However this time we did not make the mistake of telling Mr Big Mouth before everyone else, thankfully when he did he gender reveal photo over easter time he just thought it was part of playing with some new plastic eggs.

I also baked a small cake to cut through to reveal the news, by knowing he has a little sister coming instead of just referring to it as a baby it just helps make the bond stronger and give her more identifiable features for him to grasp.

I think the key to all of this is to keep them as involved as possible, give them as much information as you can and encourage them to bond. 
  • Heartbeat and Kicking
Bubs is at a very affectionate age and especially with me loves cuddles so has really enjoyed feeling Baby Tiger kicking and also listening to heartbeat through our home doppler kit. 
  • Baby Shower
For Bubs we had a huge baby shower, with lots of friends, family, food and presents the whole galore which was a wonderful way to celebrate his birth however the idea of having another one at that scale scared me slightly. Mainly as I would not know what to do with some many gifts this time around so instead I had a very small afternoon tea hosted by Bubs Masi (Auntie) which was a perfect way to celebrate our princess and indulge in an afternoon of floral pinks, cakes and prosseco.

Bubs loves afternoon tea, especially when his Masi makes scones so he could not wait to come along and although he got lots of presents himself at the event it was the first time he complained. My dad arrived at the end of the shower and he told him that only Baby Tiger had got new clothes and he did not get any. Which firstly was not quite true as he did get a new Paw Patrol t-shirt and secondly he does not really count new clothes as anything fun. It did show however the first signs of the green eyed monster appearing.

  •  Shopping
Bubs has really enjoyed buying new clothes and a few toys for his baby sister, however he has suddenly developed a massive coloured biased with girls only being allowed to wear pink and boys blue. Making it very difficult to buy her much that is not pink. Again just another way to keep him involved and the build the excitement of a new baby up. 
  • TV- Shows
Bubs has to take credit for finding this one all on his own, a favourite episode he has requested on repeat since finding out about his new baby. 

  • Photo Albums
I love printing out actual photos and have around 10 huge albums full of photos from 2014 when I was pregnant with Bubs up until today, going through these to let him see when he was in my tummy, to when he was born and who visited him as a newborn has really helped him understand what is going on this time around too, and like all toddlers he just loves hearing about how cute he is in the old photos. 
  • Breastfeeding 
This was a great tip I picked up from some of the mums at nursery, that I will do once I start maternity leave.

Nursing Box - a box full of activities, play ideas and snacks to keep Bubs entertained whilst feeding a newborn. 
- Puzzles
- Books
- Colouring 
- Sticker Books
- Playdoh (dangerous) 
- Raisins/Biscuits/Ricecakes
- Mainly things he is able to do independently 
- Keep this box accessible so he is able to get it himself but make it a special item that comes out when the baby is feeding, to help Bubs feel like he has a special role to during this time. 
  • Gifts
We are currently in the middle of having a loft extension done meaning all the random stuff I have been storing up there for the last 6 years has now made its way into the main house. This means a huge clear out and we started with Bubs toys, he has been very spoilt over the last few years and received lots of lovey presents but we had to streamline and give a lot away to charity. 

This has meant I am now slightly scared to buy him anymore new toys but I still want to get him something very special from his new sister for when he comes to visit her for the first time. Some of the ideas I am thinking about are:
- a Baby Born Boy doll and pushchair

- a Special Teddy - he loves cuddly toys but has so many now its hard finding an animal he does not own

- Lego - always a favourite and great way to spend hours playing after we get home

- Playmobile - he does not yet own any of these but it looks really fun :)

  • Fingers Crossed 
Previous experience teaches me however much you prepare there is no way to predict how either babies, toddlers or children will behave. Therefore as great as it has been using all of the above methods to help Bubs the only thing we can really do is cross our fingers and hope he does not hate her when she arrives :)