South suburban spotlight
When Maureen Johnson of Tinley Park learned she was pregnant with her second child, her first thought, besides being excited, was "What does this mean for my daughter?"
Johnson worried how her 1-year-old would make the transition. "Once I was farther along in the pregnancy, we told Bridget she was going to be a big sister. She was so young that she probably didn’t grasp the concept completely, but from that day on we made a concerted effort to have "Baby" be a part of our daily discussion," Johnson says.
Part of the discussion turned to nursing because Bridget still nursed. To help Bridget "share mommy," Johnson stressed the fact that nursing was the only way the baby ate.
"We played up how Bridget could eat cheese and toast and fruit and vegetables, but the baby wouldn’t be able to do that," says Johnson. "Borrowing the idea from a fellow mom, we made it into a game that went along the lines of: "Can baby eat string cheese?" and we would all say "NOOO!!" as if that was the silliest thing we had ever heard."
Johnson said she also read big sister books to Bridget. Her favorites were The New Baby at Your House by Joanna Cole and What Baby Needs by William Sears.
"All the preparation worked," says Johnson. "By the time our son Liam was born, Bridget was thrilled to have a real baby to hold and kiss and love."