Preparing Older Siblings
DSS just turned 5, and obviously knows about the baby, but I'm looking for ways to help prepare him and to help him adjust once this little ninja gets here (this ones a kicker!).
Here's what I have heard so far... love it, hate it, or add your own suggestions please!
- A Big Brother Party: once the baby gets home from the hospital, throw a small party (ie, Grandparents, Aunts, close friends) to come over. Ensure that everyone has gotten to spend time one-on-one with the baby beforehand, so the focus can be on the big brother. People are encouraged to bring gifts for big brother that somehow include little brother (ie, matching shirts, stuffies, etc.). This is basically a celebration of becoming a big brother, and lets him show off his new little guy to his family.
- I'm able to take 8 weeks off work before the baby is born and 35 weeks afterwards (yay, Canada!). I'm planning on spending that 8 weeks doing things to solidify my relationship with DSS before everything changes - making memories by going to the petting zoo, park, etc. (I just had a thought - do you think that not having the time to do these things once the baby is born might make that worse?! oh no!)
- Ensuring that we still have "dates" (both DF and DSS as well as just DSS and I) to make it all about him for at least an hour or two.
My biggest issue is that DSS is only with us 51% of the time... I think that he's going to want to bring the new LO to his Mom's house (sorry, not happening! hehe), or he'll want to stay because he feels he's missing out on family and that will make things harder for Mom (I know it'd break my heart if he hated coming over here). Any tips on dealing with this? (Communication with Mom is poor - she's already telling him that it's "Em's baby" rather than his brother, and that she hopes it will be bad so I'll have a hard time, and telling him he's not going to be Dad's favourite and whatnot...ugh! Looks like I'll have to do my best from here and hope that she doesn't sabotage their relationship)