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As part of that preparation process, from time to time plan special activities with your kids that relate to babies. For example, they might draw pictures of babies or collect baby photos from magazines and create a collage. Sit down and go through photo albums of your kids' baby pictures and reminisce with them about their own arrivals into world. Re-tell any family anecdotes surrounding their births. Teach your children lullabies that they can sing to baby, plus finger games and "peek-a-boo" games to entertain their new brother or sister.
Arts and crafts projects can furnish a special parent-child discussion and sharing time and may sometimes revolve around preparations for new baby. Kids can make pictures to hang in baby's room, or create a baby-safe mobile to hang over baby's crib, or draw scenes in which they imagine their lives with new baby - rocking baby in their arms, and so forth.
Let kids be involved in every facet of preparations that you yourself are making for baby's arrival. Your kids can help you repaint nursery or paint a mural on nursery wall, and help you pick out baby furniture, bedding and nursery decorations. They can choose baby clothes that appeal to them. All of these things can later give children pride and a sense of importance and inclusion in baby's life. When grandma says "What a cute bib baby's wearing," your preschooler can say "I picked it !"
In addition, make your children key members of family committee that chooses a name for new baby. Keep kids involved and actively participating and then, as birth becomes imminent, dad and kids may even conspire to prepare some extra, special, secret surprises for mom and baby, like buying or creating a special keepsake item or putting together a "welcome home" party.
In short, it's always worth effort to do as much as you can to get your kids involved in and excited about arrival of a new baby. Include them in every step of process. The more they feel that it is THEIR baby, too, more positive their attitudes will be towards baby. In this way, you can try to minimize natural insecurities and feelings of jealousy that go with territory.
The suggestions mentioned in this article can help lay groundwork for good sibling relationships but, of course, you can't rest on your laurels once baby is born. After baby arrives, try to do everything you can to set aside some special time each day that's just for you and each of your other children. Offer them special little treats or outings or surprises, and encourage grandma and grandpa to do same. To reduce jealousy, give your kids pride in things that they CAN do that baby can't do, like dressing themselves or enjoying a movie or reciting their ABCs. Continue along path that you started on months earlier - reassure your kids that each of them is just as important as baby is, so that they won't feel that they must compete for your love and attention.
Good luck and oh, by way, congratulations !
Visit Barbara Freedman-DeVito's website at http://www.childrensclothingbabyclothes.com for baby clothes, children's clothing and gift items decorated with her colorful and amusing artwork for kids. Barbara is a professional storyteller, teacher and artist.