As well as preparing ourselves for the arrival of a second baby, we also have to prepare our toddler for her role as big sister. The world as she knows it is going to be completely different. Going from an only child to big sister is going to be a massive change.
We made sure Aria was involved from the start, she was the first person we told and she came to every scan, including our early scan at seven weeks. She loves getting to see ‘baba’ on the screen and loves proudly showing off the scan photos to absolutely everyone. At our most recent scan the staff very kindly printed off an extra photo especially for Aria, she is particularly proud of that one, even if she did say ‘baba’ looked like a monster!
Not a day goes by when we don’t chat to Aria about her little sister. We put the emphasis on the fact that she is going to be a big sister and chat about how she can help mammy look after ‘baba’ when she arrives. I encourage her to kiss and sing to the bump; she sometimes even tells the bump that she loves her!
We’re trying to involve Aria in everything that we can. She helped pick the pushchair, granted, she may have been steered in a certain direction but she truly believes she helped. When are out shopping for clothes for Aria I ask her to pick an outfit for the baby too.
Aria was a big part of our gender reveal, we had actually planned for her to pop the balloon but she couldn’t mange it. For a few weeks beforehand we regularly reminded her that pink meant girl and blue meant boy so that she was aware of what was happening.
We’ve asked for her input on the babies name, and spent a lot time explaining why the baby can’t be named Baba, Aria or Dobby! Now that we have a name picked out we all use babies name when chatting about her.
As we are planning a home birth we are aware that there is a potential of Aria being present at the birth. We have put childcare arrangements in place but no one knows when baby is actually going to arrive so they may not work out. As a result I allowed her to watch One Born Every Minute with me so that she has a vague idea of what is going to happen. She now expertly demonstrates how I’m going to get baby out, complete with sounds and often encourages me to just push the baby out now!
We will also be buying Aria a gift for the baby to give her when she arrives.
Now I just need to figure out how to prepare myself! I have no idea how I will cope with two children. How I will keep a baby and a toddler entertained. How my heart will stretch to love them both the same. Although I’m pretty sure I just will and it just will.