When George was 20 months, Peter and I discovered we were pregnant with baby number two! My first thought was sheer terror, how would we cope with two young babies? Would George understand there was about to be another baby in the house? How will we prepare our toddler for life with a newborn? As George was still really young, preparing him for a newborn was quite difficult, at first he didn't really understand. Here's what we did to help him:
We bought George two stories to help him understand that he was going to be a big brother. We bought There's a House Inside my Mummy and I'm a New Big Brother. We read both these books to him quite often. There's a House Inside my Mummy is my favourite as it explained all the things that happens to a mummy when she's pregnant, such as feeling sick and being tired, but it also explains how the big brother will teach the baby how to do things. We also explained that these things were happening to mummy and made him feel included.
When we were pregnant with George, we didn't find out the gender as we wanted a surprise, but this time round I really wanted to find out. This really helped us to prepare George for a new baby as we could let him know he was having a baby brother.
We bought George a tshirt that said "I'm going to be a big brother" and made him feel really special about it. This is how we revealed our pregnancy to people as well and it went down a treat. George was really excited too which made it even more precious!
We tried to include George as much as possible when it came to feeling baby movements and showing him my tummy when it moved. He particularly liked it when he put his head on my stomach and Henry would kick. He said it tickled his ear. This was probably my favourite part of my pregnancy!
I was measuring big throughout my pregnancy and was sent for a few growth scans. We took George to all of our scans and appointments so he could see the baby on the screen and listen to his heartbeat. Luckily, my mum is a midwife so we listened to baby's heartbeat a lot, then she would put the doppler on George so we could listen to his heartbeat too.
We were quite worried about how George would behave when Henry arrived but he has taken to his new role as a big brother like a duck to water. He's extremely gentle and caring towards his little brother and it really melts my heart! Although his behaviour has become slightly worse towards Pete and I, I wouldn't change him for the world because he really is a natural. I have watched him give Henry toys, his dummy, feed him, kiss him and stroke his cheeks. It really is the most adorable thing.
What did you do to prepare your toddler for a newborn?