Thursday, November 7, 2013

And Then There Were 5...Adding In A New 1

Wow, it has definitely been awhile. Once Zye & I got home from the hospital, I have definitely had to hit the ground running at full speed. Between dance classes, gym classes for the kiddos, t-ball, many doctor appointments, & the regular day to day stuff that comes with 5 kiddos I have had to make conscious efforts to remember to eat, drink, & use the bathroom for myself-lol That being said, I would not have it any other way!

I thought life with 4 kids that were 4 & under was pretty busy, but life with 5 kiddos that are 5 & under is a whole new kind of busy! Sticking to our regular schedule has definitely been the best decision we could have made. Zye fits right in & its hard to remember when he wasn't here. The girls have adapted well & beyond love him. I won't pretend to have all the answers to "adding in a new kiddo", but over the past 5 years we have picked up a few things to ease the transition for all involved.

1) Once you find out that you are pregnant with another child, I think it is so important to get the other kid or kids excited about it as well! They need to know right from the get-go that this is not a competition thing & the baby is not there to replace them, but rather another awesome addition to the family-All are equally needed & important! Let them know how awesome it is going to be that they are going to be an older sibling now & how much you are going to need their help! Let them help pick out clothes, set up the room, & read books about new babies to ease them in to the idea & get them even more excited.

If your child is really young, it is a good time to start teaching them key words like "gentle" & "nice" & maybe using a doll to demonstrate what behaviors are & are not okay to do with the new baby. For example, we don't throw the baby or cover their face & things like that. New babies definitely spark curiosity in lil' ones, so walking your kiddos through all the new baby stuff & showing them how things work could also be a good idea.

2) Once "the day" gets closer, it is important to prepare your child for what is going to happen on the day or night of. Is someone coming to watch them? Maybe prepare them that mommy will be in the hospital for awhile but they can come to visit (if not flu season) or draw you & the baby some special pictures. Maybe get them a new shirt that says "big brother" or "big sister" & make a big deal about that. If they are going to be up at the hospital, you can also make them a special busy bag with lots of fun surprises to keep them entertained at the hospital. We have also done the thing where the baby "gives" them a new present when they are born. We usually did a doll that is all plastic & even put a hospital bracelet on it. That way when you bathe your real baby, they can bathe their pretend baby right along with you & so forth.

3) Once you bring the newborn home, I think it is SO important to keep your kids as involved with all things baby as much as possible. Anything that they could help with like holding a bottle, getting a diaper, "reading" a book to baby or picking out an outfit could all help in snuffing out any feelings of jealously & encourage feelings of independence & security instead.

4) When the new baby gets home, it is also SO important to stay as close to the regular schedule you have had in place for your other kids as possible. Giving them a lil' consistency they can count in the midst of all the newness (& sometimes chaos) will once again help to keep them feeling secure.

5) Lastly, I think it is so important as a mom (or dad even) to not get so caught up in the newborn & all the demands that come with them that we fail to realize when 1 of the other kiddos might need a lil' extra love or attention. Usually, the signs are there before they have that big meltdown & if we stay on our toes we can snuff out any feeling of insecurity or jealously before they become big issues. Something as simple as taking that kid to the side & reading them a story on your lap, coloring a picture with them, letting them stay up just a lil' bit later with you, or having them go out & run an errand with just you could mean the world to them & be all that they need to reassure them that they are so loved & still so important.

Well, I think that's it. Every day is definitely different & some times you have to just figure things out as you go, but it can be the most beautiful & rewarding balancing act when you start to get it down.

-M&M Momma

Good morning!

Enjoying ICEEs

Spending their birthday gift cards
at their fav spot

Enjoying the weather

One guess what is about
to happen...ouch

Best doctor ever!

What great sisters

My sleepy guy

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