planning babies - a huggies post

I've been asked by BlogHer and Huggies to take some walks down memory lane and explore some (what I think will be) FUN subjects about babies and having them and getting ready for them and all the fun stuff that goes with THEM! I volunteered for this series for selfish reasons. I think it will be a great way to document some thoughts and feelings that maybe I haven't before but should have. I hope you will enjoy them, too!

When we got pregnant with Aaron it was on purpose. Moses was at a good age, independent enough to do a lot on his own, but still young enough that we felt he would be most adaptable to having a brother around. Part of our reasoning in the age spacing of our kids was that we wanted the boys to grow up as friends, not too far apart in age that they couldn't relate but close enough that there would be a great span of time where they could share, play and get along.

For the most part, it's all going to plan. The boys are usually great friends and have hours where they get lost in each others imaginary worlds. We feel like this connection is a partial result of how we prepared Moses for Aaron's arrival.

Our first preparation, as I've mentioned, was timing. We felt like Moses, almost two when I got pregnant, would be ready for a little brother nine months later. We felt like he was mature enough to talk about what would be happening, what to expect, etc. We also wanted him young enough to feel like his brother has always been part of his life.

Next, we talked about Aaron all through my pregnancy. We called him by name and as I began to show talked to Moses about the baby that was growing inside my tummy. By the end of my pregnancy with Aaron, Moses talked about him on a regular basis.

We took Moses shopping to buy things for the baby, we read books by his favorite characters (ie. the Berenstain bears) about a baby coming into the family, we talked and talked about as much as we thought his little self could handle.

We also made sure that before, during and after Moses got plenty of attention from both Doug and I. We took him on dates with just mom or just dad, we did not run immediately to a crying baby but did our best to let Moses feel like he was still important to us, which he of course was and is.

I think the biggest difference maker was communication. We informed him as much as we could, included him where appropriate and still to this day we don't make them compete for our attention and love. We try to meet both boys where there are and for who they are. It seems to have gone a long way for them forming a life long friendship.

How about you? How did you prepare older siblings for a new baby?
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