I started this post about four months ago and just got the chance to complete my thoughts…
Kyami started asking for a new baby around the same time her dad and I started talking about it, so it was nice to know we were all on the same page. Although we all wanted a new addition to the family, we know Kyami’s been an only child for 3 years now and that would mean a whole lot of adjusting and rebelling coming our way.
We didn’t want to wait to tell her because we wanted to share the experience with her. So, we told her right after we told our families. We were sitting at the dinner table, I let her dad know I was going to and I turned to her and said, “Kyami, can you guess what’s in here?” (pointing to my belly) and she replied, “A baby!” with so many giggles to follow it let us know it was the right thing to do!
Not a day went by that Kyami didn’t hug and kiss my growing belly saying, “I love you” to the growing baby. In my opinion, that alone was worth telling her early on. She’s come a long way, she had and has her moments of rebellion, but that’s totally normal and we make it a point to give her the space to cope. Not only is the new baby on the way, we moved, we changed our schedules, and recently got married to add to the load! She’s been a complete trooper and we acknowledge it every chance we get.
To help her with the transition, I took her to my pre-natal appointments and shared everything I could about the experience. We answer every question she has and include her in all we do for the new baby.
If we went shopping for the baby I made it a point to get a Kyami a little prize for helping, something small like a book or lollipop. She helped us organize the baby’s things and now that the baby is here she helps with little tasks like getting me “booty juice” (what we call the diaper rash ointment) when changing diapers or a wash cloth for the bath. It’s important to point out how helpful she is and what a great big sister she is and how lucky Mara (the new baby) is to have her.
I did a lot of reading when I noticed Kyami’s behavior changing and one article I found a bit useful is the one attached here. I didn’t agree with keeping the pregnancy from Kyami, but I did agree with the little ideas it gives to help the big sister adjust to the new baby in the house.
Check it out and see what you think if you’re expecting a new baby and want to make sure your elder child does not feel neglected.