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Thread: Advice on How to Get 3 Year Old Ready

  1. #1

    Default Advice on How to Get 3 Year Old Ready

    DS is 3 (will be 3.5 when LO is born). Does anyone have any advice on how to best prepare him to become a big brother???

    BTW - I think he "gets it" intellectually, but he has no idea what is in store for him once the attention is not completely on him all the time anymore...

    I've already called the hospital and since the flu season was particularly rough this year, they've cancelled all sibling classes until further notice. Since I'm due in June, the woman told me to call back in April or May to see if they are reinstated - but other than that I'm looking for other options.

    I'm more looking to hear about what you've said/done to empower your child to be an oldest child - particularly boys....

    Thanks in advance for your help!!!!!!!!!!!
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2008



    Sammi(me)~DH(Troy)~DS(Kyle)~DD(Rebecca)My Blog

  3. #3


    Nobody wants to weigh in???
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)

  4. #4


    Kirsten! Congrats!
    I took several books out of the library over the span of a few months along the lines of "welcome baby" "big sister" ect. I don't remember the titles but I searched their catalog for books that I found on amazon (I had amazon find the related titles lol) and requested them so they were there for pickup and I didn't have to search through the toddler baskets. I talked to her about being a big sister, and the difference about not being a baby anymore; sometimes we would springboard off seeing other moms with babies at church or during errands, or draw pictures of family structure. I may also talk to him about how much and what he can do to help, what a great brother he'll be, how the family is going to grow from a family of 3 to a family of 4 and how much help a baby needs. And for us the transition starts to take place before baby came home, from when I was *really* pregnant and couldn't pick her up, or we had to skip the park so I could go to doctor appointments. I also had her help pick out a toy, and got her a backpack with a few things in there to give her while we were at the hospital when brother was born. And I have toddler highlights magazines handy, and sometimes while nursing I'll chant the activity, or find the hidden object with her - so I wasn't turning my complete attention from her, just sharing it ;)
    They are great buddies - we are so blessed. I'm going to pm you a video I took of the two of them the other day. Hope all is going well with the pregnancy!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2009


    When our second child was born DS1 was just under 2. We made sure we didn't make the baby off limits to him. If he asked to hold the baby we would let him (with our help of course!) we talked a lot about him being a big brother before the baby was born and he liked to say it was his baby so we went with that. I think really making him feel like he is a part of it is important. And that has to carryover once LO arrives. I think keeping him away from LO will make him more jealous. We let him help out as much as possible. He was so young at the time it was hard to prep him beforehand, but once Ds2 arrived that's when we really were able to get through to him more. Being that your son is older he will understand more so you may have to do more to prep him before baby comes, but I really think a lot of it is how you handle things once baby arrives. Our boys get along great, Connor is a great big brother and everytime we meet someone new (or he sees a stranger in a store, lol) he always says "hi I'm Connor and this is my baby Leo" he is a very social little guy!
    Angela (28) DH, Pat (30) DS Connor (4), DS Leo (2), DS Nathan

  6. #6


    My son was 3.5 when the twins arrived. I didn't do a whole lot to prepare him other than talk to him about the babies and read him some books about becoming a big brother. We talked a lot about how he'd be able to teach the babies lots of things since he was such a big boy. Oh, I did tell him that the babies would have a present for him when they were born (he's playing with the helicopter toy "they" got him as I type!) and that helped get him excited, too.

    IMO, more important the the prep beforehand was our plans for once the babies were born. I made sure he understood that his grandparents would be staying with him, and I made sure they took him to his usual activities (story time, parents morning out, etc), and I had friends take him for playdates pretty much every day. I tried to make sure that he had lots of fun with friends so that while we were adjusting to the babies being home, he had some fun with friends so that he wouldn't notice quite so much that we weren't as available as we had been in the past.

  7. #7


    My oldest DS was 2 when his brother arrived, and he'll be 4 when the new baby comes. We did a lot of things that the other ladies mentioned. However, one of my top priorities in motherhood is to raise my children to always be close and there for each other. As soon as I started telling him that DS2 was on the way, I would always say, "God is giving us a new baby to be your best friend."
    For some reason, that really stuck with him. He called DS2 his best friend from the beginning, and he still does it 2 years later. My heart melts every time he says, "God gave me Cameron to be my best friend."

  8. #8


    These are such wonderful responses. Thank you girls so much for taking the time to write about your experiences!!!!!!!!!!

    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)

  9. #9


    Hey there friend! I have no experience with boys, but knowing you and DH (and your family support), you will naturally do just the right stuff for your son! Reading and talking now, and letting him help as much as he is interested when baby arrives.

    One thing I did with Cadence in addition to all the reading and talking prep, was I stalked up on inexpensive gifts (coloring books, books, puzzles, etc) to have at the ready when I knew she was in need of something special just for her. That happened right before, during of after people came to visit the baby (often bringing him gifts), and also just when there had been a particularly long period of time when I couldn't give her one on one time because of a long feeding, nap, or fussiness with the baby.

    I also started helping her with independent play in some really small ways while I was still pregnant (either because of her personality or because she was the first child or mostly likely some of both...independent play was not a strong point for her at this time) . She just so happened to be really into coloring at the time, so I took her on a special shopping trip (made a big deal about her having her own money, and carrying it, etc). We bought a bunch of stuff at the dollar store to fill a drawer at her reach for stuff she could do whenever she wanted (also made a point to make this part a big deal). She got markers, stickers, paper, coloring books, etc. As small as that was, she really bought into it, and enjoyed the independence I think. And, she really would go over to that drawer and do a project all by herself quite often (this was really rare for her at the time). I would also "Play and walk away" - where you start the child playing, and then leave them to it, and then come back in to play/check on them instead of 100% playing with them all the time (and gradually leave them for a bit longer). Don't get me wrong, I still played with her fully engaged MUCH of the time, but I knew her life of having my undivided attention was soon to be so different and I wanted to teach her how to be ok with that before she could "blame" the baby.

    I hope that makes sense...

  10. #10


    I wish I have more insightful experience to share but my 3.5 yr. old son are so anxious for the arrival of his sister. From the day that we told him that he's going to be a big brother he is a non stop asking question "is the baby coming out yet?", "can I share my toys with Abby?".... He helped my husband put his bed back together to its crib form and cleaned some of his old stuff for the baby. He always go with me on my prenatal visit and listen baby's heartbeat and saw the ultrasound.

  11. #11


    I guess I didn't really do much to prepare ODS, who was about 6 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday. He knew the baby was coming and seemed excited about that. He would always get excited when he saw other babies and point them out. He still gets plenty of attention, especially from Daddy since he's not really a baby person anyhow. He was very sweet and gentle with YDS when he arrived, even in the hospital. The first night baby was home, ODS came to kiss him good night and he patted him on the head and feet and whispered "I love you" to him, and frankly I got a little tear in my eye and knew everything would be alright. It's also worth noting that I have probably told that kid "I love you" everyday of his life and he has *never* said it back to me! He is still a great big brother, loves to dance and sing things for him to make him laugh, always wants to hold him, feed him, hug him, kiss him. Very sweet brotherly love. They will follow your lead I think. YDS gets so excited and smiles so big when he sees ODS when we pick him up from daycare.
    Last edited by hopeful1; 04-06-2013 at 12:43 PM.
    Vicki 39 DH45 SD12 SS9
    DS Hudson Sept 23, 2009!
    DS Trevor July 29, 2012!
    "Fat babies have no pride" - Lyle Lovett

  12. #12


    Thanks so much ladies!

    DS is very funny/sweet about this LO...and touches my belly or asks such clever questions. I think I'm worrying about it more than I need to be.

    LO is coming at the beginning of June, and I have swim lessons set up for him and we are even trying him out with a little soccer clinic across the street from us, so he can have "his own thing" going on to feel special.

    Thanks again for taking the time to give me some suggestions!!!!
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)

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