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Prep Time

 Today I had a moment.

 I was rifling through the high waisted maternity jeans at Old Navy and turned around to see rows upon rows of baby girl clothes. Shades of pink, spring florals and all things girly just spilled out in front of me and I couldn't resist them. While we have been prepping for baby girl's arrival, I haven't been shopping much/at all - I'm not even sure it had dawned on me that I was actually having a daughter - and then today the floodgates opened (and so did my wallet). 

Anyway, while I haven't been stocking up our babe on onesies, I have been working hard on preparing Gray for her arrival. At two and a half years old, I know I can't truly prepare him for whats to come but we've been taking every chance we can to talk to him about babies. Luckily, we have dear friends that just had a baby girl and they are kind enough to let Gray hang out with her for a little practice. So far, we're working on not crushing the baby when we hug her, not licking our fingers and then touching her face and how its ok to tickle her feet but not her eyes. You know, the basics. We also talk about what we can do when she cries, and right now Gray likes to say, "it's alright, Baby! Don't cry!" hopefully, that won't change to "get her out of here!" when our baby cries and doesn't go home to another house. 

We also stop by the nursery room on our way in and out of Gray's Mother Morning Out class each day. He likes to point to the babies and tell me what we're doing and then we talk about how our baby will go to school there, too. If he can't see the babies from the door, he asks me to hold him up until he spots one. We kind of look like we're visiting the zoo, so sorry to any of the baby mamas who spot us gawking at your teeny babes! 

My newest trick to talk about the baby is to swing through the baby clothes section when we're errand running at Target. This little tradition actually happened by accident but I am keeping it going, without a doubt. I was checking out the clearance rack of infant sleepers and Gray was chilling in the cart, playing with whatever bribery item I found for him in the Dollar Spot. All of the sudden he started saying "this one, mama! this one!". I came around the rack to see what he was hollering about and saw that he was pulling a blue and black striped sleeper from the rack. He kept saying "look!" and I turned it around to see that the sleeper had orange tigers on the front and the feet. It is the least feminine thing on Earth but he was desperate for her to have it - and his dad could not have been more proud that he chose a tiger for his sister! On our last visit, he chose an outfit that came complete with "undiepants" (bloomers) for his sister. It may be size 12 months but we brought it home and he proudly put it away with her things. I think I will honestly treasure those two little baby outfits for the rest of my life. I can't wait to squish her into them! 

Ok, seasoned mamas, tell me what I need to do to prep my toddler for the big transition - what books should we read? Any tips? Help a girl out!

Stephanie [Olive and Tate]
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  1. My daughter was 2 years and 4 months when my son was born. I gave her a special gift in the hospital when she came to visit. I remember at home at first she was a little naughty , but then good. She still needs her time and attention. My mother in law used to baby sit her twice a week, and still took her during my maternity leave so she could have special time all day. Now that the baby is 11 months old they are best buds!

  2. I'm not sure the books helped? Maybe. But Norah got sick of reading them. We hung out a lot in the nursery and filled it with toys she picked out for him. I also wish I would have had them meet at home, not the hospital. N was PO'ed that it was a)boring and small in the room, b)I couldn't run the halls with her and c)she had to leave and I didn't come with. I think meeting at home would have been a better start. She loves her brother though and we only had a few really rough days with learning to share mommy.

  3. I'm not a mom but I remember when my sister was born, I was 22 months old. Obviously I don't remember a ton from this time, but I do remember that the hospital gave me a labor cap/gown like my dad had to wear in the delivery room and it really made me feel special! My parents also gave me a baby doll that day, and while I was never really a fan of dolls, having my own baby to hold was pretty special.

  4. I'm pretty sure that we checked out every big brother/new baby book from the library while I was pregnant and I do think it helped! Henry's favorite was one a board book called "I'm a Big Brother" by Joanne Cole and we still read it all the time even though Charlie is here, ha! I think just constantly reiterating the idea about babies helped. And no matter what you do, it will be an adjustment at first but now Henry is obsessed with Charlie and there is nothing better than seeing your babies together!

  5. We just went through this as I have a 2.5 year old boy and a 2 month old boy. My older son is a very sweet and loving and easy going boy so I wasn't too worried. We got several books and we thought we talked about the baby and he saw the nursery and all the baby stuff. He's around babies at church and in his daycare so I thought the transition would be seamless. It wasn't too bad, but we are still struggling with attention seeking. He has been very gentle around the baby for the most part and sometimes he wants to help but sometimes he wants to reak havoc to get my attention and he asks for 1373838 things that he has to have right when I sit down to feed the baby. But we are surviving and adjusting and we've gotten our way more than I thought we would with it being winter and even more than I did when he was a baby. Luckily my new baby is a rockstar baby and he eats quickly, sleeps at the right times and goes with the flow. I am trying to spend one on one time with my older son but it's been a very exhausting transition. It seems to be getting easier as time passes though and I guess we are all learning how to make it work. It's hard watching my older son be jealous and sad at times, but I know he will be so happy in a few months when he has a new playmate! Good luck!! Just when you thought you had this mother thing in the bag.... let me know if you need any encouragement or words of wisdom and I would love to try to help. Brooke

  6. I think everything you are already doing sounds great. After having been through it myself, I don't really think there is a whole lot you can REALLY do to prepare them beforehand. It's such a huge change. It will be a transition- but it will be really wonderful!

  7. The book "I'm a big brother" by Joanna Cole really helped my little guy to see all the big kid things he got to do, while the baby just got to be a baby. We also had a gift from the baby that my son still plays with 9 months later. We also held off on the first meeting until I got home, we did a little meet and greet, then his normal bath/bedtime routine and he did great with it. I also let him hold the baby whenever he asked to, he would only last a few seconds at a time, and it made him feel special since we would always be taking pics of them together. Lol. Good luck!

  8. Our son was 2 and 6 weeks when our daughter was born. Agree with the 'I'm the big brother' book. We also only called the baby his baby sister, not our baby girl. We told him we were having another baby so he'd have a best friend forever. That way it felt like we were adding to his idea of family, not taking away our focus on him.

  9. We have a 2.5 year old too who we're prepping for a coming baby and half the time I think he totally gets it and then half the time I think he's going to go crazy once the baby's here... Good luck with your upcoming changes! <3


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