This is a big one.
If you are expecting a baby and already have a child, it's really important that the older children feel included when you have the baby shower. It is a big deal for them too, they are going to be a big brother or sister - time to celebrate!
Including older siblings in the journey of the pregnancy as well as the celebration of the baby shower can have huge benefits. It helps them to feel part of the family, part of the journey and that their thoughts and feelings are valid and important.
Here are our top tips:
1) Send the baby shower invitations from them.
"Dear Aunty Jen. I would love for you to come to the baby shower to celebrate that I am going to be a big brother / sister. There will be cake and fun, and cake! I'm very excited about it. Love Lilly."
2) Make sure that the older sibling also gets presents.
So many presents for the babies but none for the older sibling? Doesn't quite seem fair does it. We didn't think so either which is why at Love & Lee we have created the packaging of our products to turn into toys. The packaging turns into elephants and giraffes and lions. Perfect for the older sibling.
So whether you need a baby bamboo blanket, organic cotton swaddle or bamboo washcloths - all these products come beautifully packaged and the packaging can be turned into toys especially for the older sibling.
3) If you are having a sit down for tea or cake etc, make sure that there is a special chair reserved for the Big Brother / Sister right next to you. That way, they are included in the conversation and can also be the center of attention.
4) Let your older child answer questions people may have for you about the baby, your older child can learn things such as the sex of the baby, some name ideas you have, the due date and things you might still need to get ready for the baby.
This way, your child can answer these simple questions for you at the baby shower and feel important and part of the journey.
All of this can help with the big adjustment that little people can feel when there is a new baby in the house. Special gifts are great to celebrate that they too deserve some new things but the most important thing is to make sure you set aside small pockets of time with the older sibling after the baby is born. Time with just you both. It's continuing on with your special traditions that will help your child to feel reassured with the transition to becoming an older sibling.
They just need to know they are very much part of it, very much celebrated and loved and there is plenty of love for everyone to go round.