SIBLING PREP

Thanks Samantha T. for sharing your family's journey in prep for a new sibling...

 

We were over the moon when our little Delilah arrived… but worried about introducing her to our son, George. My husband Ryan and I prepared ourselves for confusion, jealousy, and frustration from our (relatively) well-behaved 4-year-old.

The rollercoaster journey we’d all taken to finally complete our family only heightened this fear.

You see, my first pregnancy with George was as natural and complication-free as can be, but trying for my second… wasn’t. After receiving a heartbreaking secondary infertility diagnosis - and much deliberation and tears - we decided to use an egg donor to conceive. 

Yet, over time, this turn of events made me even more determined to make sure our family was harmonious and happy (as much as that’s possible with a newborn and preschooler!)

Thankfully, we found a number of ways to help George learn to adjust to the concept of a new baby, and using his Wonder Crew doll, Will, played a key role in his acclimation to “big brotherhood.”

George hadn’t had much contact with babies, so we first tried our best to introduce them to him. Fleeting visits from friends and family weren’t enough, unfortunately, which is when the idea of getting him a doll came about.

If we’d had a girl, there’d have been dolls aplenty around our home already, but it wasn’t something we’d ever considered for George.

We began looking for a toy that wasn’t geared solely toward girls, fearing this wouldn’t create much of a connection with him. Not surprisingly, the pink and blue aisles at Walmart left much to be desired. Fortunately, while randomly perusing Amazon for who-knows-what, we found the Wonder Crew dolls!

It was exactly what we needed!

A Wonder Crew doll would help evoke that emotional connection we so desperately wanted George to have with his baby sister, but without it being too serious or overwhelming for him. He could have fun with, play with, make friends with, and take care of his Wonder Crew buddy without feeling taught or forced.

We believed it’d provide the perfect natural progression from caring for his friend to caring for his baby sister.

Ryan and I worried how we’d encourage George to take care of his Wonder Crew doll like a baby. We didn’t want to lecture him, taking the fun out of his playtime with his friend.

So, how did we do it?

We didn’t have to do much, actually!

First, we let him pick out which Wonder Crew doll he wanted - he opted for Super Hero Will because he looked the most like him. This immediately involved him in the process, which we felt was very important. It also built his excitement as we waited for Will to arrive (just like waiting for his real-life sister to arrive, too).

When we finally received and unpackaged Will, George naturally stepped up as care-taker to his best friend. Without much guidance from either of us, he started nurturing Will, being careful with him, and looking after him!

After a few days, we started talking about what babies need help with. Will needed his clothes changed, bathed, and his diaper changed (yes, we bought doll diapers!)  Soon George began to tell us Will needed bathing, changing, and so on – it surprised us just how proactive and thoughtful he could be.

We truly feel the Wonder Crew doll helped him come to terms with and understand what was happening in “real life.”

Will is still one of George’s favorite toys to adventure and play make-believe with. While his little sister has arrived, he’s taken up big brother duties for both Will and Delilah – something that truly amazes me.

Thank you Wonder Crew for thinking about boys and their emotional development. 

With much love and appreciation,

Samantha T.