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Preparing Your Older Child for a New Baby

My one big worry these days is…

…how the new baby will affect Toby.

When we told Toby early on that a new baby would be joining our family, he requested a glurl named Thomas. These days, though, when the baby is casually mentioned, he holds up his hand, looks me in the eye and tells me very sternly, No baby, Mama. No baby.

And I get his point. Right now, I have so much time to devote to Toby, and our relationship is sweet and close. I really worry about losing that closeness once a newborn arrives and I dont have as much one-on-one time with him. In those early days with a newborn, I cant imagine well still be going out to breakfast, on afternoon bike rides…but I dont want him to suddenly feel as if hes our second priority. How can I keep him feeling loved?

In her memoir Waiting for Birdy, Catherine Newman quotes Penelope Leach:
Imagine your husband coming home to tell you that he was proposing to take on a second wife as well as you, and imagine him using the various phrases that are frequently used to break the news of a coming baby to a child:
* I like you so much I just cant wait to have another gorgeous wife.
* Itll be
our wife. Itll belong to both of us and well both look after her together.
* I shall really need my reliable old wife to help me look after this new young one.

How can you help prepare your beloved older child for a new baby? Childrens books about siblings? Regular dates with your child? If you have multiple kids, did your older child flip out when the new baby arrived? If youre an older sibling yourself, do you remember it being traumatic? I would so appreciate any insight…Thank you!!!

P.S. I liked this idea.

Update: Thank you SO much for this incredible advice! Cant tell you how grateful I am for your suggestions.