Wednesday, October 19, 2011

This Mama Loves... I'm A New Big Sister

As mentioned in my previous post, there were not many choices of books available in our local bookstore to help prepare our little toddler in becoming a big che-che. I am really thankful that the only two available were great finds.

'I'm A New Big Sister' by Nora Gaydos is recommended for toddlers two years onwards. Perfect for Baby O. Illustrations are simple and cute and gives the reader an idea of what to expect when the new baby arrives. Firstly, it tells the reader that things will be a little different now. Then it explains things like the new baby won't be able to play with the big sister yet, or she has to pick up her toys so no one gets hurt, helping around during nappy change and holding baby gently, and to expect crying when baby needs something and lots of cuddling the baby. At the end, the book emphasises that the reader will still be able to spend a lot of time with mommy and daddy when baby is asleep to remind the child that she is still special. There is also a note to parents with some ideas of how to help your toddler adjust to her new role as big sister and a note to the big sister too telling her to lookout for all the many exciting baby milestones together.

Baby O seems to love the idea of being a big che-che from this book as she thinks she gets to read books to her di-di, sing lullabies and feed him. She somehow loves the page where baby does a poo and laughs every time we get to that page. (???!)

The 'I'm A New Big Brother' version is also available.

Read the review of 'What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?' by Abby Cocovini here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

This Mama Loves... What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?

What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?Some time in my eventful first trimester, I managed to gather enough energy to look for relevant books that will help prepare Baby O to be a big che-che (elder sister). Not surprisingly, there weren't many. Thankfully, there were two (and only two) great books available! The first would be 'What's Inside Your Tummy, Mommy?' by Abby Cocovini. Unfortunately there was only one tatty and torn copy left and Borders reluctantly offered me a 20% discount off and I reluctantly bought it. (Thought they could do better than that. ;-P)

The book gives a simple explanation of how baby is growing month by month with some simple illustrations.

What I like about this large size paperback is that it is designed to be placed on Mommy's belly to give the toddler a visual of what is inside the growing tummy.

Baby O loves this book and reads it almost every night! She can even tell us the 'story' now - "Month number five, baby is like (a box of) milk. He can blow the trumpet with his thumb - pa, pa, pa, paaa." Well, this is the only page that she kinda made up the story and diverted a little.. haha....

Overall, no regrets getting the copy even in its shabby condition. Definitely a keeper!
Next: Review on the other book 'I'm A New Big Sister' by Nora Gaydos here.

Preparing for a new sibling

Got this from one of those baby sites that I subscribe to and thought I would share it with all those expecting another bundle of joy as it is pretty applicable to our family as D-Day draws nearer:

Be aware that your daughter will need plenty of attention to assure her that she is not being replaced by a newer model.
1. Plan on giving her plenty of one-on-one time with Daddy. Though it is not inevitable, close spacing (less than three years) can create friction between siblings because both will have high needs for parental attention.
2. Read books about babies. You will still have undivided attention to give to her, which will help her adjust to a new situation. Begin reading books to her about babies coming into the family and talk with her about the baby in utero. Though she will not completely understand, she will be primed for the baby's arrival.
3. Stagger the timing of changes. If a new bedroom or bed is required, make this change at least four to six weeks before she becomes a big sister. Your daughter will be less likely to associate her new room or bed with displacement. Any changes that you believe necessary should not coincide with the new baby's arrival.
4. Encourage her regular contact with babies. Teach her the concept "gentle" in touching babies, as well as other living things such as cats and dogs. This will help her get some practice in before she becomes a big sister.
5. Allow her to still be a baby. Despite the fact that she will become a big sister, do not rob her of her own baby-toddlerhood. Don't assume that she must sleep in a bed instead of a crib, especially if she still enjoys and feels comforted by the crib she is now using. Continue to diaper her and offer her the bottle or breast, if you're breastfeeding. She is still very much a baby herself! Expect her to want to be held and even play "baby" by being cuddled and cooed in your arms.
6. Expect moodiness. Don't be alarmed if she seems more clingy or crabby than usual. She will need to express herself and see that her place in the family is still secure. With time and your consideration, she will adapt and gain a sense of mastery (rather than jealousy) about her new role in the family.
7. Remind her that she was a baby too. Show her pictures of herself, the attention she got and the gifts that she received when she was a new baby.
8. Buy a few special toys. It may also help to buy a few gifts that are just for her, so that when you are receiving gifts for the baby and attention is being showered on the newborn there is something for her.
9. Encourage her to help once the baby is born. This will give her a sense of competence. She can bring a diaper to Mommy, take an adult by the hand to show the new baby or giving the baby a toy.
10. Show her the benefits of being a big girl. Involve her in activities she can do which separate her from the new baby and give her the message that she can do certain things because she is not a newborn. Sitting on your lap and pointing to pictures as you read, putting a simple puzzle together or other activities appropriate to her development will continue her excitement in her own growth and the things she can do now that she could not do as a baby.
Whether a new child is being born or a teenager is leaving for college, transitions in families require profound physical and psychological adjustments. Family researchers have identified changes in daily family household membership to be the most stressful. It's natural for your toddler to regress during this time.

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