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Prepping the big sister for the new baby's arrival

Amanda Jo Greep

We celebrated Christmas yesterday and although we didn’t make it home this year, like usual, it was a great time. Something about having a little one in the house renews the magic of the holidays and even though we didn’t do anything terribly fancy, or even leave the house, the day felt special nonetheless.

Poppy got a small pile of gifts from her grandparents, aunts, and uncles back home and being just two, we had to push to get her to open them all. She would open one, ooh and ahh over it, and insist we open it that very moment and assemble it before she was willing to move on to the next. It was quite a departure from the two years prior where she barely showed any interest in presents at all (especially her first Christmas when was just 8 weeks old!), but we can tell we still have a ways to go before she’s the stereotypical kid excitedly waking us up before dawn to get into the gifts. Maybe next year.

Among all the special gifts she got from family and friends, a couple of our favorites were the new books. She loves reading – as do we – so we’re always glad to get something new into our rotation. This year’s gifts definitely had a theme running through them:

It seems several people had the same idea :)

As the final weeks of my pregnancy approach, we’re starting to kick our “Boo is coming” campaign into overdrive. We’ve been talking about “the baby” for many months now and have had the book My New Baby in our naptime/bedtime rotation for some time, but we’re always glad for new material. Each book approaches the subject in a slightly different way – and keeps the idea fresh enough to keep revisiting with the different characters.

Outside of reading, we talk a lot about Boo with Poppy. We talk to her about whether she thinks the baby is a boy or girl and ask her opinion on the various names we throw around. We tell her that the baby swims and kicks in mom’s belly and how we’re so excited to meet our new baby. Poppy knows she’s going to be a big sister and when you ask her about it, she’ll tell you she’s going to be a “GOOD big seeser.” I hope she’s right!

Deep down, I’m pretty sure she really has no idea what’s approaching, though. I think a new baby sounds really neat in theory, but I can’t help but wonder how Boo’s actual arrival will impact our trio. I know we’ll get through it and we’ll muddle through the transition just as all the families before us have, but I’m still holding my breath and crossing my fingers and hoping for the best.

How did your older child(ren) handle the arrival of their new siblings? What did you do to help them continue to feel loved and special when the newborn was sucking your will to live? Please share your tips and tricks in the comments!


Follow Jo on Twitter at @outtajo or visit her personal blog, Outta Jo, Onto You.