Every time my husband and I have told our family that we are expecting again has been met with different (mostly positive) responses.
Little ones are always excited about a new baby (mostly because they don’t understand all that a new baby entails). While older ones can be more apprehensive.
This last time around, my teenager was especially hesitant to be excited just because she understands that a new baby means less mommy-time for a season. Eventually, mommy comes out of hiding, but for a little bit I’m MIA.
Getting your kiddos excited about having a baby may or may not be something you even need to do, but if you find yourself in the same predicament as me, here are some things I’ve been doing to really kick that excitement into high gear.
Let Them Help Prepare
Are you setting up a nursey or baby area? Let them decorate it!
If you aren’t, there are other ways to incorporate the preparation needed for baby with your children.
Give Them a Baby Budget
If you have the extra cash, you could give a small budget to your children to purchase fun baby items.
It could be a new onsie or a special baby blanket.
Work on a Baby-Project Together
When I was expecting with my fifth baby, my oldest child and I worked on a baby quilt for him.
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If you aren’t a quilter, here are some other baby-projects together:
- Paint a canvas with their name.
- Buy a blank book and write a baby story together.
Assign Them Pregnancy Jobs
Child love to feel like you need them.
Giving them each their own little (and fun) responsibility can help them feel like the baby isn’t just something YOU and DADDY are doing but something the entire family can enjoy.
This also gets them used to the idea that there WILL be things you need them to do when baby comes.
Here are some ideas:
- Let them put the prenatal vitamins in your mouth.
- Have them bring you saltines and cheese sticks when you’re having morning sickness.
- Get your teens to paint your toenails when you’re too pregnant to reach them!
Let Them Feel The Baby Kick
As you end your pregnancy, kicks, and hiccups can be seen and felt even by the smallest children. Get them excited about baby by letting them feel the baby move.
As they do, take the chance to tell them about all the fun (and not so fun) things they can expect when the baby arrives.
Let Them Hear the Heartbeat (Or See the Ultrasound)
If you especially brave, invite your child to your midwife or obstetric appointment so they can hear the heartbeat.
Or for not so much money, you can order a fetal doppler for your at home use!
Let Them Attend the Birth
Personally, my older kids have actually attended the births of my younger children.
Obviously, all doctors and situations don’t allow this type of integration, but it’s always been a sweet moment for my children to bond with the new baby.
Talk it Up
Talking anything up helps ANY situation tremendously.
Using your words to display all the benefits of a large family will help your children see the bigger picture. And hopefully, appreciate it.
For Those Especially Hard-to-Reach Family Members
Pregnancy is hard on your body. You might be more snippy at family or you might be asking more of them than usual.
I have found that trying to overcome those initial urges to stay in bed or ask for help can ease the burden a family member who is not as excited about your pregnancy as you’d like.
For my teenager, who feels like she’s losing her mom to yet another baby, I’ve been really focused on bonding in new ways, like going shopping more and applying makeup together.
I don’t want to sugarcoat and pretend that all family members are always excited about every single pregnancy, so I want to address this VERY REAL issue.
Sometimes there might be one of your people that just stay bummed. While we need to be sensitive to the needs and desires of those in our family, that’s only one of the factors in our decision to have another baby. Sometimes they just need time to adjust.