When I got pregnant with our second child, we were a bit worried about how our two-year-old daughter Kayleigh would react. She was used to being an only child and we thought she might be a bit jealous at the thought of having to share mummy and daddy.
I decided to tell Kayleigh straight away so she’d have a long time to get used to it. I explained mummy had a new baby in her tummy. It was hard to know how much she really understood as she was so young.
During the pregnancy I tried to include Kayleigh as much as possible. We took her along to the scans and she loved listening to the baby’s heartbeat. She thought it sounded like a train and started telling everyone I had a train in my tummy!
We made the pregnancy very much about Kayleigh, telling her how important her role as a big sister was going to be. I also bought her a Tiny Tears doll and some nappies and a bottle so she could practice doing baby things.
The night our daughter Taylor was born, it was too late for Kayleigh to visit but my husband Mark took a Polaroid of the new baby and took it home to show her. Apparently Kayleigh said ‘I don’t want that baby, I want another one!’ But when we actually brought Taylor home, Kayleigh was thrilled. I think it helped that we brought her a ‘present’ from the new baby, a toy dog she’d been wanting for ages!
She did go through a slightly possessive stage, though, especially when I was still breast-feeding Taylor. She’d get tearful and try to get my attention but she soon grew out of it. We always made sure we gave her lots of one-on-one attention. Mark took her out for day trips and as soon as I felt well enough, I took her out for the afternoon too.
Jennifer Stephens, 36, mum of two, Porthmadog, North Wales