I was so focused for so long on having another baby that I honestly didn’t spend much time thinking about how a new baby sibling would impact James. I was more worried about what not being able to provide a sibling would do to him. I wanted so badly for James to grow up with lots of siblings that the thought of not being able to give him one gutted me. Now that we’re finally in the final countdown to welcoming another baby, I’m starting to worry about how a new baby sibling will affect our toddler.
Tbh, I haven’t been researching it like crazy or asking everyone I know for tips. I’m not sure why. Maybe because my mind is preoccupied with a million other things, but also, because I’m honestly hoping for the best and maybe don’t even want to consider the worst case scenario. There’s also the wisdom motherhood has taught me: that as much as you prepare for something, you can’t really know what to expect, and I really have no idea how James is going to react. I think he’s going to be excited, confused, and at times, he’ll be jealous and act out for attention, especially when the baby is basically a blob but requires so much care. As the baby grows and they can play more, I think it’ll get a lot better and I can’t wait to see them grow up together, but I know it’s going to be a hard adjustment. He’s been the sole light of our lives (besides Dakota of course) for nearly three years, and gotten all the attention and love.
Part of me feels guilty for upsetting that balance, but I know having a sibling for life will be the best gift we can possibly give him. They’ll be able to love and support each other even when we’re no longer around, and the bond of siblings can be so special. I hope we can do everything possible to foster that.
Plus, as much as I try to explain to him that there’s a baby in mama’s belly or that he’s getting a sibling, it’s too hard for him to really comprehend what’s about to happen. I mean I can barely comprehend it.
Two things we have done to prepare him: We started reading him a couple books about being a big brother and welcoming a little sibling, which he seems very interested in. We bought this book because he loves Daniel Tiger and my friend sent us this book, which he loves. And I bought him a gift that I think he’ll love (we got him this because he’s obsessed with the movie rn) that will be from the new baby that we’ll give him at the hospital.
But really, I’m more focused on what we’ll do when the new baby arrives. James will be starting school at the same time, his first time doing drop-off and in a new place. It’s going to be a hard adjustment, so I’m going to try to be there to drop him off the first week even though it’ll require commuting him from the city and I may have just given birth. But hell, if I have to walk him into school in a diaper, I will. I’m also planning some fun things for James that we can do, especially since his birthday will be a few weeks after the baby arrives. I hope that I can also make a few mommy/James dates work even if they’re just for 30 minutes.
I know it’s going to be a hard adjustment for all of us, and I’m hoping that even with the sleep deprivation that I can be patient with James and any regressions or acting out that may result. It’s hard to remember why your toddler is acting out when you’re tired and frustrated, but I really hope I can just keep reminding myself what a big and confusing and scary adjustment this can be and making sure to let him know he’s still loved just as much and still just as important.
But if anyone has any good tips, please share them. I am sure we’re going to need all the help we can get.