Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Preparing Siblings For New Baby


Bringing a new baby into the family is such an exciting time for everyone. But for older siblings they can often find it hard to cope with such big changes to the family dynamic.

Yes as time goes on they will learn to deal with the demands of a newborn and how it will need more of your attention, but its best to prepare for these changes well in advance of baby arriving to help prepare them as much as possible and hopefully make the transition a lot easier.

Here are some of my top tips and ones I will be using with my own boys in the months leading up to our new arrival:

1. Get your children involved as much as possible
Its so important to get your kids involved in the excitement of having a new brother or sister, I think the more warning the better. Its best not to spring such a big change on them last minute, as like us when we found out we where expecting, it can take a bit of time to adjust to bringing new life into the world and how it will affect our family. Children are no different. Some ways in which you could get the kids involved in your pregnancy are:

  • Showing them your ultrasound pictures - James really loved looking at our scan photos after our 12 week scan. Its a bit harder to show them their little features from the 12 week photos, heck I can sometimes barely make them out! but it gave us a starting point to try and explain that mummy has a baby in her tummy and that the Dr took some pictures of it for him to see. It also got him more excited to see our 20 week scan photos where he could make out in a lot more detail the baby's head, body and legs etc. and also see that the baby is growing in size when comparing with the 12 week scan.
  • Bring them shopping - when going shopping for things for the baby, let your other children get involved as much as possible. Let them help pick out nappies and explain what they will be used for and tell them how they can help, eg. 'will you help mummy change the baby's nappies when it arrives', it will help them to see how they can be involved and be a good helper for mummy.
  • talk about baby - talk about how the baby might look, will it like football like them or enjoy the same shows as them. Any thing to try and get some conversation starters and make talking about the baby as fun and enjoyable as possible.

2. Books!
Reading books is a great way to explain to your kids about having a new little brother or sister, as it gives them a visual to look at and make it easier to grasp, especially if they are toddlers. I found this to be great when explain to my son with ASD, when we were waiting on the arrival of his little brother.

Some of my top picks are:

Image result for waiting for baby book



















Image result for i'm a new big brother

Image result for there s a house inside my mummy


3. Make sleeping arrangements well in advance
If you have a toddler still in a cot and need it for the new arrival, make these changes well in advance as to not cause jealousy of the baby taking the older siblings bed. Take your toddler to pick their new 'big bed' and get them excited about it. Let them pick out their own duvets or a theme for their room.

4. Have some one on one time
The excitement and fuss of a new baby on the way can make other siblings feel a bit left out or like they aren't getting any of your attention, so make sure to spend some alone, quality time with your children. For me I have found spending some time each day to play and engage in a proper game with James, with no phones or distractions, is a great way for us to connect and use or imaginations. For Harry, it's alone time each evening before he goes to bed to read a bedtime story and talk about our day. Do what suits you, your children and your lifestyle. Continue this alone time as much as possible when the baby arrives even if it is just for 10 minutes. It will give you both something to look forward to.

5. A gift from the baby
I think this is a great ice breaker and a sure fire way to make your other children feel special when your new bundle of joy arrives. Giving your children a small gift 'from the baby' will help them feel like the baby isn't so much of a threat to them and will also give them something different to play with or look at while your juggling nappy changes or feeds. It's also a good way or getting shyer kids over to see their new brother or sister as you could say 'do you want to come over and say thank you to your little brother' etc. I plan to make the boys a 'new big brother' basket to give to them from the baby when they come to visit at the hospital and I will write a post on it to give you some inspiration!

So those are some of my top tips on how to prepare your children for a new baby.

Do you have any other ideas? How did you help prepare your child or children?

Love,

Laura xx


Sunday, 26 November 2017

Pregnancy Update - First Trimester



As promised I am sharing with you my first proper pregnancy update. I'm well into my second trimester now and thinking back to the first trimester feels like forever ago! But I will try and fill you in as best as I can.

So...

When and how did you find out you where pregnant?
I found out I was pregnant just after my best friends wedding. I had been feeling really bloated and my breasts where a bit tender and swollen, not unusual tho coming up to 'that time of the month' (sorry if TMI). So I had taken two tests one a few days before and one on the day of the wedding to see if I was pregnant or not, as I knew I would be having a few drinks, and both tests came back negative. So I thought that was that, I'm not pregnant and enjoyed a few too many glasses of prosecco. Cue my panic when a week had past and mother nature never showed her face! I took another test and up popped those two red lines on the pregnancy test!! A visit to the Dr the next day confirmed I was indeed 5 weeks pregnant.

How have you been feeling?
The next week after I found out I was pregnant the morning sickness started. Or should I say all day sickness. Thankfully I wasn't 'physically' sick, but I had the most awful nausea. Something which I didn't experience with my previous two pregnancies. It would start as soon as I woke, went away for a while after lunch time and came back again in the evening and made getting over to sleep a nightmare. This lasted until about 13 weeks and thankfully hasn't made a reappearance. Other than the sickness I just had the usual pregnancy tiredness and also those lovely hormonal spots around my chin area!

Have you had any food cravings?
During the first trimester I really craved fruit. Especially kiwis, strawberries and raspberries. I could have ate bowls of it. I also really craved hot water and lemon and pure orange juice. Makes a nice healthy change to skips, dairy milk chocolate and diet coke which I craved with both of the boys!

When did you tell everyone?
We had an early scan 10 weeks to check baby and make sure it was viable. Thankfully it was and we seen a Dr who done a proper scan to take measurements and check our dates. We couldn't see a lot on the scan, apart from heartbeat and a blob really, which was a bit disappointing/worrying as it wasn't something which I had experienced with my previous two, and after suffering an early miscarriage before, the anxiety I was already having escalated. We where told to come back in four weeks to check measurements again and be given a more accurate due date. The longest four weeks of my life. We decided not to tell family until we got reconfirmation that everything was ok but I ended up telling my mum around 12 weeks. Thankfully when we returned for our re scan we still had a baby, an active one at that, and we got our due date in April, which hadn't changed from my first appointment with my Dr. After that we told the rest of our close family and friends and a week or so later on my social media. I was so overwhelmed with all the love and support we received from our loved ones, friends, even from people we didn't know and we just cant wait until this little bambino arrives.

How did the boys react to adding another sibling to the family?
The boys are absolutely delighted to becoming big brothers again. With Harry having ASD we always worry about how something so big and life changing will affect him and his life. It wont always be plain sailing but we know over time he will adjust well to an extra family member and love him or her just as much as he loves James now. Its also hard for Harry to grasp that there is a baby in mummy's tummy so I have been reminding him and showing him books to try help him understand that bit more. James is already saying that he is going to look after the baby and that it can sleep with him in his bed. I may have to remind him of telling me this once its here and he cant stand the crying anymore! He is going to ace being a big brother as he is already so kind and caring to Harry. Sometimes you forget he is the little brother as he acts like the big brother already.

I'm so looking forward to sharing this journey with you all and hopefully it will help some other mamas out there who have been having similar experiences or want to know how others have been feeling at the various stages of pregnancy.

I have decided to do monthly pregnancy updates instead of weekly, from here on in, as I just don't feel like there is a big enough change from week to week at the moment.

Hope you enjoy following along and if there is anything I have missed or you would like to know more on or want a fellow mamas advice or listening ear, pop me a comment or email me at lifeatbeechhill@gmail.com. I would love to hear from you.


Love,

Laura xx

Monday, 6 November 2017

We're Pregnant!!



Our family of four is going to become a family of five!

I cannot believe that I am writing about expanding our family with another little human being. We are absolutely over the moon and cannot wait for him/her to be her.

I'm not going to lie at the start I had a bit of a wobble and a bit of a panic about how we were going to manage 3 kids and trying to get our self build finished, would we be able to afford another baby or will our eldest son, who has ASD, be able to cope with such big changes to his life within the space of a month or two? But even though this bambino came a few months before we had hopped, I am absolutely certain we are going to smash being a family of 5. Yes we are going to have our ups and downs, some days we will cope, some days we will not but that's life isn't it. Everyone has their own ideas of 'normal' and up to now ours has been anything but, but that's just the way I like it and this little cherub is going to slot perfectly into our crazy little family.



On this blog I'm going to be sharing some pregnancy updates as a way to document the next few months and the birth and life of our newest addition as this will probably be our last pregnancy and I want to document every moment, sorry in advance!

So keep an eye out  for my first trimester pregnancy update over the coming days.

Thank you so much again to everyone who has send messages and texts of well wishes, I have been overwhelmed with your kindness and joy for us. You are all so amazing.




Love,

Laura xx