Rewinding a bit to before Banana was born. Once I got to around my third trimester, I decided that my girls could use something visual to understand when the baby was going to come. Every week Peanut would ask how big the baby was now (comparing it to fruit and vegetables) and she loved to hear about development, but I thought they could use something of an actual countdown. I remembered that a while back someone posted about a chain they made for their kids on my birth group (an extension of a mothering.com due date club) so I decided to try it out.
So this is what we made:
A simple paper chain. I took construction paper and cut out strips, then wrote numbers for the weeks on them (up to 41 weeks, as I assumed given my past births that it would be right around there that Banana would be born). I let the girls color them and then we taped them together and hung the chain up on the wall. I also wrote on their calendar (more on that soon!) the number week we were starting with a star around it so we would remember to cut the link off the chain.
Every week Peanut and Twig took turns cutting off a link of the chain. They really loved it! We did it so that we were cutting off the number for the week we were starting (so when I was officially 35 weeks, we’d cut off the 35) and it helped them remember what week we were on. Peanut especially enjoyed physically cutting off another week and seeing the chain get shorter and shorter.
If I were to do it again, the only difference I would make would be to do some signifier of being “full term” from 37 weeks on. Maybe do all those ones in a specific color? Then I think it would have been even easier to see when the baby could be born. I’m also happy that we ended up going less than 41 weeks because we never had to cut off the last link and wonder why baby wasn’t here yet. So if you’re unsure of when baby will get here, I would over-shoot it and go 42 or even 43 weeks with the chains.
It was really fun to do the countdown to Banana being born and find another way to involve the big sisters in his pending arrival. Let me know if you try it out! What fun ways did you help your kids countdown or prepare for their new sibling’s birth?