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Preparing for a new baby: Involving Your Child

When preparing for a new baby, one of the most important preparations, if applicable, is that of your other children. Life can become very confusing when a new baby is added to the mix. Children can feel out of place, less loved and sometimes even ignored. It is important for parents to take some preemptive steps in order to help their children feel a part of the whole process.

Pregnant mothers can involve their children in the pregnancy and pre-birth activities in order for the child to feel connected to the changes that are taking place in their house. The child can take an active role in helping the Mom have a healthy pregnancy by simple things such as eating healthy foods with them, going for walks with them and taking daily vitamins along side their Mom.

Here are some more suggestions for how to involve your child in the events leading up to as well as after the birth of your baby:

  • take your child to the hospital prior to the birth of the baby to meet the nurses and get acquainted with where you will be when you are having the baby so that it is not an unknown place
  • have your child buy the baby a gift that is just from them, let them wrap it, potentially decorate the gift bag and make them a card
  • include your child in decisions like what sheets to put on the crib and what outfits to pack for the hospital
  • make a list of how they can help out once the baby is born (e.g. pass tissues, wipes, diapers, get a receiving blanket or wash cloth, help burp the baby etc.)
  • make a ?Helping Record? for your child (with your assistance) to record all of the things they do each day to help with the baby
  • make a chart of all of the things a baby does so that you can check off how many times they occur in a day
  • go online and print off activities for your child to do while you are busy tending to the baby in the first days (coloring sheets, dot to dots, paper dolls, puppets etc.)
  • make up zip lock baggies with new activities for child to do when they are feeling a bit out of sorts and are in need of a good distraction
  • have your child choose some special toys and books that they want to share with the baby when the baby comes home
  • have your child decorate a onesie for the baby
  • help your child make a book for the baby all about your family, your home, etc., try including photos!

By involving your child in as many choices, decisions and activities as possible leading up to the birth of your baby, you will hopefully make them feel more a part of the entire process. There will always be some bumps along the road, but that is to be expected, after all, a whole new person is joining your family!


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