Will is very "aware" (as much as he can be) of Emma. Now that her room is well underway, he loves going in there. He especially enjoys getting in "Emma bed" and looking at the jammies and onesies all washed and ready (!) for her in the closet. He was a little jealous of the bookshelf that we got her, since he has been going through a house phase, so we took a wooden firehouse out of his playroom and put it up there.
We haven't disturbed anything in his room and don't plan to. He is still doing just fine in his crib, with no escape attempts and (mostly) sleeping soundly through the night, so we plan no bed transitions in the next few months. The only thing we were thinking about "stealing" to move into Emma's room was the rocking chair, but as he still really loves being "rock rocked" before bed and we read in that chair constantly, we have decided to leave it and just buy another for her room. Since friends gave us the crib and changing table and we have gotten all of our clothes through handmedowns, it's something we can afford.
We read books to him. I found a whole bunch of "New Baby," "Big Brother," etc.-type books at the Goodwill and a garage sale. We probably have ten of them. He picks at least one out every night as a bedtime story (I am not trying to force the topic, but he seems very interested in it).
He points to the baby in my tummy all of the time. If you ask his sister's name, he will tell you Emma. He points babies out in public spots. When we go to the doctor, he talks about hearing the "heartbeep" for days after. When we pulled into the OB's office parking lot the other day, he excitedly said, "Emma? Heartbeep?" This is the same building where she'll be born, too.
This all being said, I am fully aware that he is just a little guy himself and there is no way to truly prepare him for what is coming. I know that until the rubber meets the road and she is here, he will not understand any of it. We just wanted to do all that we could to ease the transition for him.
What advice do you have (even if you've not had a second child - or even a first - what have you seen others do or what did your parents do) that made it easier for when a sibling was born?
A few things that I am especially curious about. . .
1) The hospital.
I will be there for at least three days, possibly four. Will is staying with his Grandma an hour away. Obviously, she wants to come and visit and has said she will bring him. I have heard that having them meet on "neutral" territory is the best idea, but I am a little unsure about whether he will be scared of the hospital (he doesn't like it when I have my blood pressure taken at the OB - so imagine all of the things that could potentially scare him when I am post-op) and if he will be upset to have to leave us again. So. . . do you think he should come meet Emma there or just stay away?
Oh, and also, the hospital offers free c-section tours, and he would be welcome to go on one of those with us. I definitely don't think M and I need that, but do you think he is old enough to get anything from it?
Edited to add: Our hospital lifted the "no kids under 12" policy (that was put in place over the winter because of the H1N1 virus) last month. So at this point, he can visit us.
2) The homecoming.
One book I read said that he should be at the house when Emma arrives so that he doesn't feel like he went away for a few days and everything changed in his absence. Then another book said that he should allowed to be part of the homecoming, so meeting us at the hospital and bringing her home. I am not sure if he is old enough for this to matter much, but what do you think?
Of course, I am also just worried about the first few weeks in general. Any advice on easing the transition would be extremely helpful and much appreciated! Thank you!