I would really like my son to be present at the birth of his sibling, but I want to prepare him as much as possible. We are going to have my MIL there to be in charge of him, so that he has someone to attend to his needs, and if it gets to be too much for either of us she can take him to her house. I am trying to think of ways to prepare him for the birth, but the only thing I can think of is to show him the video of his own birth, which was in a hospital after 50+ hours of laboring at home before we transferred. Has anyone tired showing a video? Or any other ideas? It's weighing heavily on my mind as baby is due in 8 weeks (eek!). Any advice or info would be GREATLY appreciated.
Preparing 2 year old for homebirth.
Youtube has some good videos, but be sure to screen them alone first. We love the book Hello Baby by Jenni Overend. We also talk a lot about what might happen. Things like '....mommy might yell really loudly to help the baby come out....' and then we yell together :)
Mostly just talking and pretending is what helped prepare our daughter.
You might be surprised at how 'no big deal' it is to your son. We were surprised with our (2yr old) daughter. Everyone was so calm around her, she just took it as something that was just...happening.
My son was 22 months when our daughter was born and I decided I would just see how it went. If he seemed upset by what was happening, then my dad would take him out of the house. As it turned out, my water broke after he went to bed and my daughter was born before he woke up. I'm still a little disappointed that he wasn't awake during the birth, but I think it worked out for the best. We are planning on having another child and I think I will explain more to him next time, but only because he can understand more. He will probably be 4 years old when we have our third child. I guess I feel like a 2 year old will be more likely to accept what is happening and just go with the flow. They don't know about blood yet and they might not even know you are crying/yelling in pain. 2 year olds cry and yell a lot for plenty of reasons other than pain.
All they need is someone to be there for them, and you've already got that. My DD was 26mos when I had my second at home. It was a night labor so she slept for most of it. She woke up right as things started getting real busy (I suppose I was about 7-8cm), my mom was there. She got her a snack and something to drink, said "Mommy is having a baby so we are going to play until the baby comes." Then, they just played in the other room. She never showed interest in coming into the room where I was laboring (my mom was under instruction to let her in if she was curious and take her out if she was overwhelmed).
She took everything in stride. My mom said that the only thing she said while they were playing was, "Mommy's crying." So my mom just said that it was because the baby was coming, and this explanation was sufficient for her. When the baby came they both came in to meet her, and DD could not have cared less. lol
They are basically babies at that age and they will simply pick up on the emotion of the room. If everyone else is calm, they will be too.
If I were you, I'd be more worried about what you're going to do AFTER the baby is born! ;)
All very good points! I hope he is just "there" when baby is born, and takes everything in stride! I was thinking about it yesterday, and I can imagine him throwing toys into the birthing pool. I don't know how I'm going to deal with that (ha ha)! I am definitely worried about what's going to happen afterward, and how I will handle TWO children. Right now the plan is to go with the flow, and see what happens. Hopefully I will get to sleep again someday! :) Thanks for all the input! :)
Thanks for all of your replies! As it turns out, our daughter was born so quickly that our son wasn't even home for her birth. My midwife didn't even make it in time. Everything I had been concerned about has turned out to be just fine, including our co sleeping, tandem nursing, and jealousy issues! I feel so fortunate to have two happy, healthy, well adjusted babies! Thank you all again! :))