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Avoid the Big-Sib Blues

Second baby on the way? If your to-do list doesn't include preparing your older child -- who could be feeling anxious or resentful -- you may feel like you have two infants on your hands after the delivery. To help keep your firstborn from getting lost in the shuffle:

Break the news as soon as you show. Most preschoolers can understand the basic concepts of pregnancy and birth, so explain that a baby is "growing inside of Mommy right now." (This may be a good time to have a general birds-and-bees talk.) Sonograms make a great visual aid. If there are any major routine changes looming ahead -- say, he'll be going to day-care once the baby arrives, or switching rooms -- try to make them well before you deliver, so he has enough time to adjust.

Tout your child's big-sibling status. Ask him to think of things he'd like to teach his little brother or sister, and let him pick out a special gift for the baby.

Squeeze in some one-on-one time even after the baby arrives. Of course, that's easier said than done; extra attention from a relative or family friend can also go a long way. Briunna Ayton of Stockbridge, GA, then 5, and her father celebrated "Daddy Day" when her little sister was born -- and still do, four years later.

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