May 31, 2011
It's been nearly two weeks since our little Elsie's grand entrance into the world (missed Elsie's Birth Story? Click here.) Who knew that a little 7 lb baby could bring such change to our home?!
- Take out all of the baby stuff well in advance. Nora is a curious little girl....and busy. So at the beginning of May I decided to bring out the bassinet, the car seat and the bouncy seat. By doing so it gave Nora lots of opportunities to investigate (aka: jump on, climb in, etc) all of these "new" things. After a week or so she lost interest in them and has since stayed away from them (for the most part :)).
- Read the book I'm a Big Sister by Joanna Cole. We bought this for Nora in April and she LOVED it. It was a "must-read" before every nap time and bedtime (not because we wanted to read it to her but because she wanted to read it). I do think it helped prepare her little mind and heart for Elsie's arrival.
- Purchase a little something for the big sister/brother to receive as a gift from the new baby upon their arrival. I read a number of things about this “exchange” pre-Elsie but most noteworthy to me was that the gift didn't need to be expensive but something VERY exciting for your firstborn. In our case I actually buckled down and bought a 12″ Stuffed Barney. You see Nora LOVES the big purple guy. I had him wrapped up at the hospital for Nora and Elsie's first meeting. Let's just say Nora is just a tad obsessed with Barney...the thing goes everywhere with her...in her crib...to the store...to the park...in the bath (only joking - although she has attempted this).
- Pray for the baby with the big sister/brother. We are very intentional to pray as a family together before bedtime. For months before Elsie's arrival we prayed (with Nora) for her arrival - for her safety and for our family as we transition to being a family of 4.
- Plan on giving lots of extra grace to yourself, your hubby and your firstborn. Let's face it...bringing a baby home is a lot of work. And it's a HUGE change. I'll be honest...Nora hasn't been the most well-behaved child over the past two weeks. But that's to be expected, right?! First of all...she's two. 'Nough said. And second of all...she is no longer the center of everyone's attention (no one likes that). It's a major kick-in-the-pants-reality-check. But through it all it's been such a great blessing to be able to step aside and trust God's provision for our family in ALL things.
- Put together a Nursing Basket. ***Disclaimer: I have yet to actually take advantage of this because I'm waiting until my help with Nora has left.*** Christy suggested that I put together a nursing basket. For this basket you buy a number of new toys for the firstborn to play with while you're nursing the baby. I actually still had a number of Christmas toys left and so I'll be putting those in the basket along with a couple other things to keep Nora occupied while I'm nursing Elsie.
- Stay connected with your firstborn, even during the first couple weeks. This is easier said than done. One of the things I've been thankful for the most these first couple weeks is the help with Nora I've gotten from my husband and parents. I really wanted to be sure to have this time to connect with Elsie BUT I've also tried to be sure to maintain my mommy-daughter connection with Nora by changing her diaper, helping with her bath, being with her during bedtime and prayer time, etc.