When I found out I was pregnant with my second, I worried my daughter was going to have a hard time. Everything was about to change for all of us, but I was afraid she was going to get the short end of the stick. She was used to having her parents to herself, so I worried she'f resent her brother. Luckily, it didn't take me long to realize that my daughter absolutely couldn't wait for her sibling to arrive. She was excited to become a big sister.
In fact, my daughter was so excited that she went around and told everyone that her mom was pregnant... way before her mom was ready to divulge the news. And as my pregnant belly grew she wanted to touch my belly, feel her future sibling's kicks, and talk to him all day long. Now, I don't consider pregnancy to be all that great of a time (I mean, who likes dealing with morning sickness and constipation?) but watching her prepare for her sibling's arrival was simply incredible.
Sure, my daughter had no idea that babies are pretty boring, and I have to admit that she expressed some serious "gender" disappointment when she found out "her" baby had a penis. But they got along swimmingly the older her little brother got, and he ended up loving playing dress-up, watching My Little Pony, and pretending to be a princess with his big sis.
Becoming a big brother or sister is a huge deal, and it can be a hard adjustment for any only child. Luckily, my daughter showed all the signs that she absolutely couldn't wait to meet her new sibling, including the following:
They Ask You When It Will Happen Every Day
As any toddler-parent can tell you, young children aren't known for their patience. My daughter was 2 when I got pregnant with her baby brother, and from the time she found out I was pregnant she asked me every single day if that was the day he was going to be born. She absolutely couldn't wait to meet him.
They Tell Everyone You're Expecting
I learned the hard way that toddlers are terrible at keeping secrets. It turns out that when you get pregnant with your second, you don't have to make a birth announcement at all: your kid will do it for you. And when they learn how babies are made and how they're born, they will tell everyone about that, too.
They Talk To Your Tummy
Once my daughter realized that there was a baby growing inside my stomach, she started talking to him regularly. She would tell him secrets, ask him questions, and sing him songs. I am pretty sure it was the most adorable thing I have ever seen.
They Suggest Baby Names
It was so fun to dream up baby names with my toddler. My daughter had several names picked out, which (of course) changed over the course of my pregnancy. Her contributions varied from Ava (which I actually liked), to Yellow, Jealous, and Netflix. Unfortunately for her, none of her suggestions made the final cut.
They Ask You A Ton Of Questions About Pregnancy
My daughter had just entered the "ask a million questions a day" part of toddlerhood when I found out I was pregnant. So, she got a crash course in where babies come from, how they grow in uteruses, and how they're born.
They Offer To Share Their Toys
I knew my daughter was excited to become a big sis when she actually offered to share her toys with her baby sibling. Sharing does not come easily to her (or any toddler, really), so it was a sure sign of her enthusiasm for her younger sibling's arrival
They Love To Feel The Baby Kick
For my daughter, feeling the baby kick was alarming at first, but then it became absolutely addicting. She couldn't believe that there was actually a baby growing inside me until she felt him kick and saw him on the ultrasound screen. She was entranced, and oh-so excited to meet him.
They Make Plans
My daughter created some very detailed plans for play time and other sibling shenanigans once her little brother was born. Of course, since she was only 2 at the time, she didn't quite understand that newborns don't make the best partners in crime.
They Help You Get Ready For Baby
My daughter was the best helper, so she loved to go shopping with me and was more than happy to help decorate her brother's nursery. When I had to go on bedrest she became my little nurse, getting me drinks of water and snacks so that her baby brother stayed inside a little while longer.
They Want To Come Along To The Hospital
My daughter loved to come along with me to my prenatal appointments, mostly because they had toys and lots of expensive medical equipment she could touch. But I know she also wanted to hear the baby's heartbeat and ask the midwife questions. That's why I wasn't surprised when she was disappointed after I informed her that she couldn't come along to the hospital when the baby was born. I thought about letting her watch, but since I had no idea how long I was going to be in labor I decided to let her have a sleepover with her grandparents instead.