AKA getting #1 ready for #2. Seren absolutely adores Imogen so I feel we did a pretty good job of getting her used to the idea of having a baby sister. Something we didn’t do so well is prepare her for not having complete parental focus. She’s struggled a little with that and plenty of temper tantrums but hey, she’s 2, she’s just dropped her nap, we’ve been potty training and its been pretty hot lately, so maybe the tantrums would’ve happened anyway. But she’s totally smitten with her little sister and, if the baby smiles are anything to go by, Imogen thinks her big sister is pretty cool too.
We told Seren about the baby early on, in the first trimester of pregnancy. She was excited straight away and would want to look down my top or hold up my skirt to try to see the baby. We decided not to take her to our baby scans, I thought she would be bored and / or concerned about me lying down in the scan room. And what if the scans gave us bad news? We saw a few big siblings-to-be leaving the scan room clutching a picture of their new baby brother or sister though so perhaps we were a bit over cautious there.
By the time I started the third trimester, we had a couple of “new baby” books to read, What’s In Your Tummy Mummy? by Sam Lloyd, There’s a House Inside My Mummy by Giles Andreae and Vanessa Cabban, Usborne’s The Complete Book of First Experiences (which also includes tales of trips to the dentist and doctor, starting school and moving house amongst others) and Peppa Pig’s Baby Alexander. We still read the story of the Bunn family’s new baby in the Usborne book regularly. Seren was also fascinated by the illustrations in my childbirth book Bump by Kate Evans, she would come and sit next to me when I was reading it and would pull it off the bookshelf to look through herself.
She “helped” us to decorate Imogen’s bedroom and to sort out baby clothes and toys for her. We talked a lot about what the baby would do (cry, need lots of feeding, not be able to play) and how she was going to be big Super Sister Seren. In the days before Imogen arrived, I helped Seren to wrap up a toy bunny for Imogen as a present, this was a really big deal for Seren and she still runs to find the bunny when Imogen is upset. We also gave Seren a present from Imogen, a lifelike baby doll with a baby vest, hat, nappy and baby shawl that my granma knitted.
Seren went off for a sleepover with Nana and Grandad the night that Imogen arrived, though she was unaware of the events unfolding. When she arrived home the next afternoon, she came in noisily through the front door. “Shhhhh you’ll wake the baby” Andy said to her. “The baby in mummy’s tummy?” she replied. We told her that the baby was no longer in my tummy and led her through to the sitting room to meet her baby sister.