I recently picked up my copy of the American Academy of Pediatrics book, "Caring for the Young Child," in hopes of refreshing my memory of what to expect when we bring home our baby girl. She's due just two weeks from today!
I ran across a section about preparing older siblings for the new baby's arrival, which is obviously an important topic at our house. I found something that I ended up reading aloud to my husband. I already knew that we could expect Lauren (who is two-and-a-half) to regress somewhat. We've seen her pull out the baby talk, request we spoonfeed her meals and her favorite request, "Hold me like a baby." That's been going on for a long time, so I don't really chalk that one up to her understanding that there soon will be an actual baby in the house. I did have to laugh out loud when she told the dentist, of all people, that sometimes she uses a pacifier. That is, if by sometimes, she means not since she turned two last April.
What I read in the book that stood out to me was that parents should "go with it" when the older child acts like a baby. We shouldn't scold her or tell her to act like the big girl that she is. The book recommended that we go with it, because pretty soon, the child will feel assured of their own important place in the family.
Lauren has some books about becoming a big sister, all of which glamorize why it's awesome to be a bigger kid compared to being a baby (such as all the things you can do, eat, play, etc.). We also talk to her a lot about she can help explain how things work to the baby, like this is where the train goes down the tracks, this is where the dog sleeps, this is where we keep the milk, and so on. While I know she can never be fully prepared for the changes coming when her little sister arrives, at least she's on her way.
And now for a confession: there are a few of Lauren's more babyish requests that I have not minded so much recently, like rocking in the rocking chair. When she falls asleep, I still see the cherubic face of my little girl who will always be my baby.
Any stories to share on how things went for your older child after bringing a new baby home, or any advice? I always appreciate your feedback!