Having a baby is one of the biggest life changes that you'll experience. Becoming a parent is a major life milestone for everyone and having a baby is probably one of the most life-changing events you will ever experience! 
Your priorities and expectations all change during pregnancy and this may take others by surprise including your family, friends, partner and children, but this is all a normal part of making the transition to becoming a mother. It's hard to know exactly how you'll feel once your baby arrives, so we've compiled some helpful tips to help you prepare for that day. 
1. Plan! 
Make your birthing plan and ensure your partner knows what they should be doing during labour. Arrange what will happen with your children when you go into labour, will they stay at their grandparent’s house? What if you go into labour when they are asleep? 
Planning is key. 
2. Spend time with your older children. 
If you already have a child, spend a little extra time with them now, before you have a new-born to keep you busy. Some parents worry about their older child feeling displaced by a new baby, so taking the opportunity for some bonding time before the birth can help to remind them how much they are loved. 
3. Arrange for extra help. 
The first few weeks with a baby can be overwhelming. If you're lucky enough to have friends or relatives who are willing to help out, it's worth having a chat with them before the birth of your baby. 
4. Cook lots of food! 
You will have your hands full for sure! Preparing meals for your family in advance will save you a lot of time and effort when you have been up all night with your new-born, so cook and freeze lots of meals now. 
Having a new baby in the family will be a significant adjustment for your older child/children. 
We have put together a few tips on how to prepare and adjust your child for the new arrival. 
• Involve your child as much as you can with your pregnancy, get them excited and share with them their roles and responsivities when the baby arrives. 
• Visit friends with new-born babies if possible; this will give them an idea of what things will be like. 
• Talk to your child about when they were a baby, how exciting it was and how everyone wanted to hold them and see them. 
• Practice holding a doll and supporting the head, teach your child how to be gentle with a baby. 
• Let your child be involved in some decisions, choosing clothes, names etc. 
• When the baby arrives, set aside some special time with your older child. Some one-on-one time is needed each day to ensure your child is not feeling pushed out. 
• Listen. Your child may be feeling upset or unhappy about the changes the baby has brought, never deny or discount their feelings. 
• Have the new baby and your older child exchange gifts. 
• Remind visitors to pay attention to your older child, and not just the baby. 
Children will always have a reaction to the birth of a sibling at any age. Preparing your child as best as you can before the arrival is key. Your child will adjust more easily and the whole family will enjoy the family's lovely little newcomer. 
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