From 3 to 4- Preparing your toddler for the arrival of a sibling

From 3 to 4- Preparing your toddler for the arrival of a sibling

Preparing a toddler for the arrival of their baby brother or sister is a challenging task. I know from experience that Emily wasn’t really too sure what was happening. She was 2 and 2 months when Edward was due and whilst she knew I had a baby in my tummy, I don’t think she realised that the baby was ever going to come out! I spent time talking to her about the baby, but I think in hindsight there was more I could have done to help prepare Emily. I thought I’d blog about preparing your little ones, with some tips based on our experience and some tips from others, that I wish I had known about…

Before baby arrives-

1. Talk to your toddler about their baby brother/sister. Talk about what you both think they will look like. Getting your toddlers baby photos out could be a nice activity here–talk about what they were like as a baby. Explain that babies need lots of cuddles, that they feed a lot and often cry to let you know what they want.
If you have close friends who have babies, your toddler experiencing that environment or seeing you holding another baby may help them understand how things will be with a baby in the house. This was a big one for us, Emily really didn’t like seeing either of us holding another baby. I knew it would be difficult for her sharing mummy and daddy (Daddy especially it turned out) and I could prepare for that.

2. Let your toddler help you prepare. If you are preparing the nursery before your little one arrives, your toddler could help choose decor. Maybe let them decide on baby’s first outfit or teddy.

3. Why not help your toddler choose a welcome to the world gift for the baby? My daughter loved doing this. We also got a gift for her from the baby which we gave her when she first met Edward in the hospital. They both still have their teddies and they provide lovely memories for us as parents too.

4. Books–there are so many lovely baby books out there all about being a big brother or sister. ‘you’re the biggest’ is one of my absolute favourites. I bought this for Emily when Edward was a few weeks old and I cried the first time I read it because it is just beautiful. I recommend it for any siblings to be. I think anything that gets you talking together about welcoming a new baby will help, plus most toddlers love books!

Once baby arrives-

5. Let your toddler help out. It could be as simple as passing you the nappies and wipes. My little girl used to love helping with changing Edward. She also loved changing her dolls nappy when we were changing Edwards. It meant we had to donate a few nappies to the dolly toy box (the dolls needed their nappies changing far more regularly than our newborn baby!) but she loved feeling part of it. I love looking back at the photos because it was so cute!

6. Try to stick to your toddlers routine.
This is really hard initially and things may not run as smoothly as they did beforehand but sticking as much as possible to your toddlers routine could really help. Toddlers can often struggle with lots of big changes at once so keeping things as close as possible to usual routine will help minimise this. If it’s possible to continue with your toddlers classes then do. Sticking to the same nursery days, bedtimes, meal times etc will all help keep things as ‘normal’ as possible for them.

7. Invitations to play whilst feeding can be really helpful! I lost track of the times I had to feed Edward and hadn’t really given Emily anything to do and then trying to multitask keeping Emily entertained and feeding Edward was really quite difficult. Invitations to play for your toddler will give you time for you feed/change/settle your baby. Set up a couple of toys which you know they enjoy playing with. This will give you a little bit of time at least to sort out your little one.

8. And the hardest of all, be patient. I know as a sleep deprived, new mummy of two, patience wasn’t something that I had in abundance, but I quickly learned that, for Emily, things had changed so dramatically that it was going to take a little while to adjust. I think it’s important to prepare for behaviours that may arise. Your toddler is likely to be a little jealous, after all, they’ve not had to share mummy and daddy before. For us the main obsticle was that Emily really didn’t like Daddy holding Edward and a lot of temper tantrums arose when he did. We were patient and for a little while it felt like we had one child each but it gets easier with time and as Emily adjusted to life in a family of 4, she relaxed and so did we.

It’s also fairly common for potty trained children to start having accidents again. We didn’t have this problem as Emily was not yet potty trained but it seems that remaining calm in these situations is the best solution. Again, as your toddler gets used to the adjustment things will most likely settle down.

9. Ask for help. I remember times where I felt completely overwhelmed with 2 children, one which fed all the time and one who had just entered 2 year old craziness. But my mum was around a lot for support which helped massively. It’s likely that things around the house will get forgotten about and there will be a huge pile of laundry but that’s OK, enjoy the time because before you know it they are 3 and 5 (where have my babies gone!)!

And then be ready to capture the most incredible moments that make your heart want to burst! I remember having the most horrendous day when Edward was about 6 months old. The kids were playing up, everything seemed to be going wrong and I was quite simply exhausted. Then I looked up to where Emily and Edward were sat on the floor and Emily leaned over to give him a huge kiss and she said ‘I love you Edward’! It was so perfect that everything else was forgotten. Having any number of children is hard but moments like those make up for in tenfold. Enjoy it! I’d go back in a heartbeat to do it all again Xxx

 

I’m Vicki, of Victoria J Photography, a newborn photographer based in Shrewsbury. Capturing sibling images with a newborn is an incredible part of my job! If you would be interested in capturing this amazing time then I’d love to hear from you. You can contact me here or find out more about my newborn sessions here. x

 

Where to find Maternity Wear- Shrewsbury

Where to find Maternity Wear- Shrewsbury

It seems the days of being able to pop into town for maternity wear are vanishing! I know when I was pregnant with Emily, I really struggled to find much. Even department stores which I thought would be guaranteed to have maternity wear had either nothing at all or an incredibly limited selection which was very difficult to find! Because I found it so difficult I wanted to put together a blog of recommended outlets in Shrewsbury, surrounding areas and online stores. I posed the question to shrewsbury mummies. I honestly thought I would get loads of answers with stores I had never heard of that offer beautiful maternity clothes- however, the same couple kept coming up. I did however, find out about some absolutely gorgeous online stores!

 

I much prefer going to the shops and trying clothes on before I buy them. I’m pretty fussy with what I like and I know if I order online and don’t like it, I most likely won’t get round to sending it back! So if your like me, here are some shops in Shrewsbury where you should be able to find a decent selection on maternity wear- with website links so you can have a look beforehand!

 

H&M (Darwin Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury)- This is where most of my maternity wardrobe came from. I found their maternity wear to fit really well, I love their dresses- these were perfect for work when I was still teaching and they had loads of comfy leggings and tops that were great for those lazy days. Their jeans are also great!

https://www2.hm.com/en_gb/ladies/shop-by-product/maternity-wear.html

 

Jojo Maman Bebe (The Square, Shrewsbury)- The selection here is just beautiful! They have maternity wear for everything but what I particularly like about Jojo Maman Bebe is that they have a large selection of maternity wear that can be used for nursing once your little one arrives. A lot of their summer dresses are also nursing friendly and fit so nicely that they no longer look like maternity wear once your baby is here. I had a beautiful wrap around dress that was adjustable and could be worn both whilst very very pregnant and once Emily had arrived and still look lovely. Slightly more pricey but gorgeous quality and they will stand the test of time!

https://www.jojomamanbebe.co.uk/maternity-clothes.html

 

Next (meole retail park, Shrewsbury)- I never had much luck with Next when I was pregnant but I think they have quite recently added a small selection of maternity wear at the back of the store by the children’s section.

https://www.next.co.uk/shop/gender-women/sizetype-maternity#1_400

 

Online Retailers

ASOS- I used these quite a lot for occasion dresses, t shirts and jumpers. I loved everything that I received and would definitely recommend having a look at their collection. Again- they have a very large range with clothing for pretty much every occasion. They have also made it very easy to return items if you are not happy with lots of different options available.

https://www.asos.com/women/maternity/cat/?cid=5813

 

Asda- Asda also offer maternity wear in their online store. I can’t talk too much from experience on this one (apart from a maternity swimming costume and some leggings!) but would certainly be worth a look.  They also offer free click and collect in store and free returns to store so if you are near an ASDA store its well worth ordering online.

https://direct.asda.com/george/women/maternity/D1M1G20C19,default,sc.html?cmpid=ppc-_-george-_-ggle-br-_-OD34WOMENS_CLOTHING-_-asda%20maternity-_-dskwid-s43700013664289494_dc&ds_rl=1238816&ds_rl=1254418&ds_rl=1255529&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmsrxBRDaARIsANyiD1rMHRE9vdzCHQJx_vEsEIR1Fk_7Lccsn-n4FJvS6PNkKm_0pXBNFHQaAiYSEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

Frugi- I hadn’t actually heard of this company until I put the question out there the facebook mummies but what a gem! Their selection of maternity wear is quite small but beautiful! Lots of quirky patterns and colours if you’re after something a little different. They also have items that can be worn through pregnancy and afterwards for nursing.  Definitely worth checking out their range (they also have the most gorgeous clothes for babies and children!!! I want to buy them all!). Not only that, their message is wonderful- all about being eco friendly and sustainable.

https://www.welovefrugi.com/grown-ups/maternity-2

 

Facebook- I’ve tried buying/selling on facebook with various levels of success. A lot of the selling groups are open to anything so its quite hard to find what you actually want. But a friend pointed out a group on facebook specifically for maternity wear. I’ve been in the group for a few weeks and have seen some lovely items that have been preloved but are in excellent condition. If you don’t mind buying preloved maternity clothes then definitely check out this group! So easy to find what you need and it’s very active so lots of new items popping up every day!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/905288869500582/

 

Debenhams- I struggled to find much in store but their online selection is great! I loved the Dorethy Perkins maternity line when I was pregnant and red herring had some gorgeous outfits too! I’ve spotted some lovely dresses, skirts and coats! They also offer free click and collect and free returns using Hermes delivery.

https://www.debenhams.com/women/maternity?CMP=KNC_1008547134_185521928_13738353728_debenhams%20maternity_e&gclid=Cj0KCQiAmsrxBRDaARIsANyiD1pH8Inaf8CduP3R1gVgZk9IG_bGKHZGdL-54voYtEJi0NMpeXg27A4aAv9qEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

Expecting your little one soon? Pregnancy is such an amazing time, and one that I love the capture. If you are interested in finding out more about a maternity photoshoot click here or contact me, I’d love to discuss a session with you.

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