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5 Things For My One-and-Only Before the New Baby

I'm on a mission to make sure my daughter's transition into big sisterhood is a seamless one. I expect a few problems, but I'm hoping these 5 celebrations will help ease the stress of her changed life a bit.

I'm due in November, which means my only child has just a few more months at the center. I'm a little nervous for her. I was old enough to remember what it was like to lose that only child status, and it can be a bit traumatic. Of course, both kids will be loved like crazy, but it has to be tough for a 2-year-old to share the center of our world. It's been all hers for her entire life!

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We're about two months away from baby boy's debut, and my husband and I are doing all that we can to make sure this transition will be easy for everyone. We're especially looking out for No. 1. Here's how:

1. Room makeover

Our girl loves her bedroom and can easily spend an hour in there playing contentedly. How exciting would it be if she got a new room with big girl furniture? Goodbye, toddler bed, and hello, twin bed with Doc McStuffins sheets.

I can see the look on her face now.

A big girl room means she'll know changes are coming, but in a way that will positively affect her. Furniture she can open and close on her own gives her some independence and, overall, she'll appreciate having a cool and new look in one of her favorite rooms in the house.

2. A big trip

At 2 years old, this kid has done her fair share of traveling. She went to Disney World for the first time this year and, since we're local, we'll be taking her again. Why not? It's not just the magical experience that the three of us will appreciate, but we'll have tons of pictures and videos to highlight it all. Framing pictures of her trip to Disney World will serve as a reminder of how much she's loved and how Mommy and Daddy enjoyed—and will always enjoy—spending time with just her.

Any time she gets discouraged post-baby, we'll show her pictures from the party and remind her of how important her role is to our family.

3. Baby prep help

One of the reasons why I wanted my kids to be 3 to 4 years apart is because I wanted the oldest to at least understand a liiiiittle bit about what's going on. My 2-year-old gets it.

She knows she has a baby brother, she knows his name and she knows that he's in Mommy's tummy. She has no problem with walking up to my tummy to sing songs to her brother, and I love that she's really connected with the idea of him. I know it may be different once he arrives, but for now we're celebrating her by allowing her to help in every way she can. She folds his clothes and picks out some necessary items. I want her to know her choices count, too. How exciting is that? When baby brother gets here, we'll get to remind her of all of the ways that she helped prepare for him.

4. A party

OK, yes, we've never actually thrown our daughter a birthday party, but what we will do is have a "You're A Big Sister" party shortly before baby is born. It'll be a big celebration with just Mommy and Daddy (and maybe a few friends). She'll get to rock a Big Sister T-shirt, have some treats and get a few big sister-appropriate gifts just for her. We'll take pictures and really honor her impending role to help her realize how great she'll be at it. Any time she gets discouraged post-baby, we'll show her pictures from the party and remind her of how important her role is to our family.

5. Books

Storytime is a big part of our nightly routine, and we thought of no better way to prepare our daughter for the changes than by reading to her. So many books talk about the ups and downs kids will experience around new siblings. We've managed to find a few books that highlight the importance of the role. She gets so excited to just turn the page to read about how much she'll enjoy being a big sister. We read several of those books each week and, by now, we think she understands what's happening and how important she will continue to be in our family.

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Am I missing anything? When adding a new baby to your family, how do you continue to keep the older child feeling appreciated?

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Photography by: Instagram

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