Preparing Your Child for a New Baby Part 3: Pull Out the Baby Pictures!
Something that has been really fun for us as a family lately is to look at our three year old son's baby pictures! When I found out I was pregnant I pulled them out just to remind myself of what it was like to have a baby. I pulled them out again when everyone was asking if I looked the same this time as when I was pregnant with my first. We just recently got them out one more time to start showing Graham what a baby will look like.
I think that for very young children it is helpful if they are able to relate what they are hearing and seeing. It may not be possible for you to have a real baby on hand to show to your child, but the thing that most of us should have are pictures! If you just so happen to not have any pictures of your first child then browsing the Internet could be a great place to start as well. I receive email updates every week that shows an illustration of what my baby looks like (size, length, etc). I have been showing these pictures to Graham so that he can have a more visual idea of what is going on with his brother who is "growing in mom's belly."
When we pulled out all of Graham's baby pictures there was a light in his eyes. He knew that the pictures were of him and he realized that he was a baby. We then started talking about the fact that his baby brother will look a lot like this when he is born. There were some pictures of Graham crying as well as several of him happy. This allowed us to have a wonderful discussion about how baby's cry when they need things. He also saw the pictures of how we had to bathe him when he was little in his own tiny tub.
Not only is this a great way to start introducing the idea of a baby, but it really helps with bonding between the older child and parents.