It's been on my mind so much, and I've been doing a lot of reading up on the transition to becoming a big sister, and how to ease Mia into it gently, lovingly and happily.
She's such a sensitive, soft, emotional little person, and I want to respect these character traits of hers. I don't want her to ever feel, even for a moment, that I don't have time for her or that she's no longer my number one priority. I'm aware of how much time, effort and energy a baby takes - but I will make a conscious effort to involve Mia in what I'm doing, explain things to her, make special time for her, praise her and ensure we get in our daily dose of snuggle-time!
I found some nice links with info regarding welcoming a sibling into the family, like this blog post, this article, and this one too. Lots of good ideas, some of which I've already either incorporated or have planned:
- I've been sure to include Mia with whatever preparation we do in the baby room. I show her all the baby clothes, I let her help open baby gifts from friends, I show her the old baby toys that she used to play with, I explain what everything is for.
- When I buy any baby related items in town, I'm sure to buy a little something for Mia too, even if it's just a packet of stickers or some socks!
- I want to have a present for her here at home, to open when I'm at hospital, telling her how much I love her and how proud I am of her.
- I will have a present at hospital for her, from baby Ella - and will arrange with hubby that she also brings a lil present and card for Ella.
- I'm trying to prepare her about the rude-awakening aspects of a new baby, the fact that she will cry lots, wake us up at night, and spit-up her milk.
- I tell Mia about all the helper-girl things that she can do with me, like giving baby sister her dummy, reading to her and showing her toys.
- I've ordered a book called I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole, will include this in her gift bag when baby's born.
- In the next few weeks before baby arrives, I want to take Mia to the movies, take her for ice-cream, take her for a stroll at the dairy farm, etc. And then, in the weeks after baby arrives, I will do the same!
- I'm going to ask family to give us space for a few days once we come home with Ella, to just adjust to life as a family of four and enjoy some quality time with our two daughters.
Well, that's pretty much the plan. I know Mia is going to be a fabulous, loving, special big sister. ♥