How to Make Your Child Feel Special Before Baby No. 2 Arrives
Before your second child is born, do these 12 things with your first-born to ensure the whole family is prepared.
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Come up with a secret language.
Even if she’s 5 or 6 years old, she’s not yet able to clearly express herself when she feels jealous, worried, or confused. Come up with a simple signal—a word or a hand gesture—your child can use when she needs your reassurance.
Take a sibling-moon.
An inexpensive yet intimate mini vacation is bound to make your child feel special. Plan a trip to see relatives who can shower your soon-to-be big sib with 1-on-1 attention. Or hole up in a nearby hotel and order room service for three. Or take a day trip to one of the many nearby destinations for families.
Answer his questions.
As much as you may try to hide any nervousness, you’re likely acting differently. The best thing you can do is explain as much as you can about everything that is going on. Answer his questions as completely and honestly as possible.
Read her stories.
Nightly story time may be difficult to maintain for a couple weeks after birth, so use the opportunity now to prepare her for what’s ahead. Let your child choose a few books about becoming a big sibling and turn the pages slowly so she has time to ask questions.
Let your child pick out a welcome gift for the new baby, and then select a present for him. (T-shirts are popular, as are keepsakes or a toy your child has had his eye on.) Whether you frame it as a gift from the baby or from you as parents, it’s a way of celebrating your child’s transition to becoming a big sister or brother.
Pack her a bag.
Even if your child will stay at home with friends or family, prep a bag for her that makes her feel like an official member of Team Baby. Pack pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, hairbrush, and a change of clothes. Then tuck in a note about how much you love her—and how much you know the baby will too.
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