When I was pregnant with my second child, my first was only a few months old. As I wondered how we were all going to adjust, I realised there was no way I was going to make such a small child understand that another one was on the way. I mean, he was barely saying goo-goo and ga-ga: I doubted he was going to understand pregnancy.

My second child, a little girl, arrived and they automatically adjusted to each other, but two years down the line, I found myself pregnant again. This time both of them were able to ask me enough embarrassing questions to keep my ears on fire, so here are five tips on how to prepare your toddler for their sibling’s arrival.

  1. Make them understand that there is a baby inside your tummy. Let them touch you and feel the baby kicking. Let them speak to the baby!
  2. Let them ask you every question under the sun regarding the pregnancy and answer all of them! Yep, this includes the dreaded, “Where do babies come from?” question. Answer their questions with excitement: “Mummy and Daddy love you so much, that God decided to give us one more!”
  3. Involve them in every step of the process. Let them help you get ready for the hospital by packing your hospital and baby bag.
  4. Prepare them for your stay in hospital. With my kids, I told them the truth: that they were going to cut me open and take the baby out, and because of that I would have stitches and would be sick for a few days.
  5. Mention “exciting” things that they will be doing with the baby once he or she is born.

If you’re scared about how your toddler will react to their sibling, try what I’ve mentioned above. You will see that acceptance will be easy because you are forging a relationship and creating a bond of love from before they even set eyes on the baby.

About the Author: Simone Gobin is a mother of 3. She blogs at http://themumblog.niyash.co.za

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