I've been thinking hard about how to prepare Bear for the arrival of a baby. I'm not sure how much he can understand at 20 months about what's going to happen. I suspect not very much. That said we want to give him the benefit of the doubt and talk to him as if he can understand. My main objective is to teach Bear what a newborn baby is like and what it does.
I've had a hunt around for a good board book that introduces babies to very young toddlers. I couldn't find anything I was happy with. I wanted to find something that had realistic pictures of newborns in board book format so that Bear could independently explore it without doing it damage. I liked this one the best - the content seemed relevant and age appropriate but the pictures weren't realistic - I might get it for him later, once he's met the baby. In the mean time I've made some cards for him instead.
I found this book at an op shop and had to buy it (I remembered it satisfying my adolescent curiosity when I first found it on my mum's book shelf back in the day). It has beautiful photos of newborns doing newborn things. I photocopied them onto photo paper, cut them out and laminated them onto some cardboard. They came out nice and robust.
We use them to talk about what babies are like and what they do i.e. sleep, nappy changes, baths, cuddles, cry... The cards live in a basket in Bear's baby drawer (the only drawer in the playroom that isn't Bear-proof) with his baby doll, a blanket, a bib, a washcloth and a soft rattle.
A baby doll
I was so inspired by this post to put out a baby doll for Bear. Why not teach boys to care for baby dolls? How important are tender, gentle, confident fathers!
We look at the baby's face and body and point out his eyes, nose, ears, fingers and toes. We take his clothes off and put them back on. We cover him with a blanket. We take turns cuddling him.
Bear doesn't choose to get the baby out on his own. I guess he's still just not that interested. He's much more interested in pushing his truck, building train tracks and throwing balls. Every now and then I suggest to him that we explore in his baby drawer and he enjoys playing with the baby together.
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.