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Big Siblings

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 

What all are you doing for the bigger siblings (if you have any older kids) to get ready for baby?

My youngest is only 16 months so she really is too young to get too ready though she does seem to understand mommy's belly = baby... but I doubt she understands there's actually a baby in there. 


My older two are 6 1/2 and 9... they've gone to two midwife appointments with me, got to hear the heartbeat, will go with to the ultrasound if they are off school that day... 


I don't do "gifts" for them, don't really see a point in that, their sibling is their gift (they are both VERY excited over this sibling)



Oh additional question... how do you prepare them, when you are keeping gender surprise, for the possibility that they will NOT get the little brother they have convinced themselves they will have, beyond constantly reminding them when they say "him" or "brother" that it could just as well be a girl?

post #2 of 30

We talk about the baby. I don't think we're doing anything "special" to prepare them. 6 yr old wants to help re-assemble the baby stuff lying around. We have to tell him it's not time, yet.


When DD was born, DS was 2.75 and we gave him a watch or something but he didn't even care. We gave him a gift to give to the baby.


I haven't taken to any appointments and I don't plan to. After having an emotional outburst at one appt when we had to discuss c-section for breech, I would hate for any type of "bad news" to come up when they are there. (I'm a little glass half-empty on that.)


As for the sex of the baby, from the get-go, our response to that was that you can't pick and we won't know until the baby comes. The kids are good, they say, "you get what you get and you don't get upset." They also switch back and forth between whether they want a brother or sister.

post #3 of 30

well since we found out our lil one is a boy my older children are already wanting to buy everything and anything that screams baby boy.


I do take them to my midwife apt, its just the younger two the older ones are in school when I have my appointments.I have a doppler here at home and am requested to listen to the "heart beep" from our 3 yr old almost daily.

Our children were there to find out what we were having. We actually kept that a family affair just mom, dad and siblings. 

The only gift thing I have done with all of my children were the big brother and big brother shirts. Since this is #5 I think I will be making a I'm the Big Brother, I'm the Big Sister, I'm the Big Middle Sister, I'm the Big Youngest Sister, and of course I'm the lil Brother. I usually buy the shirt making stuff from Walmart, find a graphic I like online per each children and get plain ole white shirts. I suspect our oldest will only wear his shirt that day and for pictures...biggrinbounce.gif

Since we are also having a homebirth I plan to prepare the youngest 2 of "what to expect", like the noises mommy makes etc. We actually filmed baby #4 from across the room so I am thinking I might show them the video to prepare them for what happens when mommy has a baby. Our middle daughter will be 5 when the baby is born and she has been asking lots of questions. Just this morning she was wondering if she would be able to be in the room when the baby is born or if she will have to leave. Our older 2 were present when #4 was born ( well they walked out about  1min before she was born (mommy looked too much in pain our son said) and then came back in as soon as she was out). My oldest daughter is insisting that she wants to cut the cord, so I am not sure what will become of that. Usually the hubby cuts the cord, but he seems to not mind if she really wants to do it?!? 


post #4 of 30
Thread Starter 

yeah, we're doing a homebirth but my kids will be shipped across the street to our friends house for the birth... i worry about them too much when they are near me even if someone else declares they're taking care of them and I don't need that worry while I'm in labor!

post #5 of 30

Mine are 7 and almost 5. They are super excited and can't wait till summer.


We look on-line at what the baby looks like curently, they come to all midwife appointments but don't stay with me and instead run off to play so they haven't heard the heartbeat yet. We have watched some homebirth videos and taked about stuff and will continue to do that.


More than likely they will be there for the birth or they will be asleep. If they are asleep we won't wake them unless they really want to be woken up.


I don't plan on a support person just for them since I can't think of anyone, so if they really need someone DH will take care of them. He is the master of distraction and can get them set up and settled pretty quickly and then be back to me. DH will also probably be taking pictures too and I thought to give the kids a camera to take pictures with.


We aren't finding out gender so I keep reminding them it could be a girl or a boy we won't know until the baby's birth day.

Son wants a  brother daughter wants a sister.

post #6 of 30

Mine are 10 (boy) and 7 (girl), and the new baby will be my first with a new partner (their new stepdad). Both older kids are very excited, which is great.

I DID find out the sex, and did tell them, which, in retrospect, may have been a mistake.  I wanted them to be happy with the baby brother their getting instead of dreaming about a little sister, but little did I suspect the troubles this would cause as far as choosing a name!!!  Now that they know it's a boy, both kids are constantly trying to get me to agree on their name choices! I can't handle 6 more months of this!  It's cute, but controlling.  And although I've told them 200 times that parents choose baby names, not siblings, they still think they're entitled.  Since it's a new blended family, too, the dad and I really want them on board.

Anyone have ideas about how to make them feel included in that process without giving them the sense that they have power that they don't have?


post #7 of 30
Originally Posted by mimmish View Post

Anyone have ideas about how to make them feel included in that process without giving them the sense that they have power that they don't have?

Personally, mine are younger so I just ignore their name requests (and we don't know sex of baby). But I know someone who had an older child when their second (same marriage) was born. (It was an "oops" baby that they didn't have strong feelings about naming and I think they are 7 years apart.) They did tell the kid he could name his brother and he decided he wanted to give the baby HIS name. Their solution to that was that they named the baby's middle name the same as the brother's first name. Not that I would necessarily do the same thing, but just offering the example.


Do you send out birth announcements? Would you be willing to let your kids help you select the announcements from choices you give them?

post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by mimmish View Post

Anyone have ideas about how to make them feel included in that process without giving them the sense that they have power that they don't have?

"How about instead of thinking up names, you think up cute nicknames you can call him, your own special nicknames for him... and all the fun things you want to do with him when he's older."

post #9 of 30

Ours will be 12, 10, 7, 5, and 3 when this one is born. Mostly they've been through all this before.


Our care is different this time since I am seeing an OB so I am only taking my oldest daughter (almost 10) to my appointments, except the ultrasounds, whereas with my midwife all of the children were pretty involved in the prenatal care aspect. My daughter attended the last birth which was at home and cut the cord of the baby and will probably be attending this birth as well. (She wants to be a midwife or doula.) My 7yo really wants to be there but I am not sure at this point, she is kinda flighty and cries a lot at the littlest things. We have two hospitals to choose from and the one I hear is better is also supposed to have smaller rooms, so I am going to wait until after we've toured them both. Plus we have to have an additional support person per child and I am not sure yet if I can line up the help. Waiting till another midwife friend gets back from the Phillipines next week to see what she thinks.


Naming... we've already had the names picked out for awhile so they really have no say there, though dh did let one of the girls help him choose from a few names he liked with the last one.


Care during birth... most of the children will be next door with my mother-in-law. I don't plan on any special gifts but will put together a bag of goodies and stuff to do for them while they are there.


ETA: I think "we" decided to go ahead and find out the sex at the 20 week ultrasound. My husband doesn't care and I am unsure but the children are really excited to know what it is.

post #10 of 30

My kids are both really excited. I get emails from babycenter and I always tell them what they say , IE "The baby is as big as a lime this week and has fingernails now!" or whatever. (I don't even think those are the same week lol) My son especially is interested in fetal development and I have been showing him whatever I can find that is appropriate for a four year old. 


My son wants to be there for the birth (homebirth) and my daughter says she does not. I don't know if we'll even have a choice. I labor really fast and we don't have any friends in the same town as us to watch them... so they will probably be here. I think I will try to get a doula who does not mind watching after them a bit if need be ... I know that's not what they are for and some doulas won't be okay with that, so I will be sure to let them know before hand that we may need them in that capacity at some point. I'd hire a sitter, but most sitters are not going to be comfortable having to drop what they are doing the second I call them to come be with the kids. And I don't want hubby to miss it all because he has to take care of the kids. I am really missing living near family thinking about all of that. 


The kids both like to insist that the baby shares their gender, so one of them is going to be mad when we find out! As much as I had wanted to wait (hubby's the one insisting on finding out the gender) I think that they will do better knowing, that way whoever gets the "wrong" kind of sibling has time to adjust to that idea rather than being mad when baby gets here. 

post #11 of 30

Yes, about the older kids being interested in baby development.  My 10 year old ds had been adamant that he didn't want another baby in the family, and so I was worried about him not being happy at all and scared to tell him!  (DH had a problem that I was keeping it secret from only him so HE told him).  I think he was a little upset at first. But when I went in for my pregnancy confirmation with ultrasound appointment, they sent me home with a copied page that said "your baby at 9 weeks," and I left it lying on the back counter.  My son came in to wake me up the next day, and said, "I didn't know all that stuff about such a tiny little baby; that's cool."  And he has been accepting and interested since then.  He even surprised me by saying he would rather have a sister (because he already has a brother).


Our current "baby" is nearly 3, and I have been feeling a lot of pressure to get him both potty trained and out of my bed before the new baby comes, but then I decided not to stress or force that issue.  Now I know I shouldn't try to crowd him out of being a baby!  He is growing up, and I bet he will be using the potty at least by July, but it's less likely if I put pressure on the issue, I think.  The co-sleeping issue is still a concern, but like I said, I feel like I shouldn't stress about this now.  I will be buying him a new, bigger bed (the bed in his room is still the crib mattress), and I am also thinking about letting him and his older brother co-sleep instead, although I have reservations about whether that is a good idea.  


We will take the 2.5 yo to the gender ultrasound; other ds will be at school.  I don't like to take him to regular appts and go alone to all of those, but Daddy will come just this once for that u/s.   I will be birthing at a hospital, and had planned for both boys to be at my mom's house during that time, but I am now thinking of maybe having them and my mom at the hospital during labor.  We may make that call when the labor actually begins.

post #12 of 30

This is bay 6 for us, our kids are 9,8, 6, 4.5 and 14 months :)

Our elder two were there for the birth of the last. It was a hospital birth so a friend brought them when I was almost ready to push. It was perfect! They got to cut the cord and tell us if it was a boy or girl.. Was so so sweet! My eldest DD had tears in her eyes she was so happy!! This will most likely be another hospital birth since my BP goes up at the very end and whichever kids would like to be there are welcome.. Prob not the 14 month old though ;)

post #13 of 30
Originally Posted by Stephenie View Post


The kids both like to insist that the baby shares their gender, so one of them is going to be mad when we find out! As much as I had wanted to wait (hubby's the one insisting on finding out the gender) I think that they will do better knowing, that way whoever gets the "wrong" kind of sibling has time to adjust to that idea rather than being mad when baby gets here. 

This is exactly why we're finding out the sex this time. My son especially doesn't do well with surprises/disappointment, so I think having 20w to adjust will be best for us all. I'm kinda excited to be finding out this time!

Dd (almost 4) and I spent the afternoon on Thursday watching home waterbirth videos, starting with her own smile.gif She was totally fascinated and didn't want to stop! They're both very excited about the new baby and are already talking about how they're going to babysit, change diapers and read to him/her <3
post #14 of 30

It's so interesting to hear everyone's experiences- DS is 3.5 and I haven't given this much thought at all.


Although, TBH, I've been so sick I haven't given ANYTHING baby-related much thought.


Yesterday DS made me laugh because we were stuck by a train in front of one of those "paint your own pottery" places.  He said he wanted to go "Right now!" and of course we couldn't because we were on our way home from school.  So he decided that "Two boys- me and daddy" would go back to paint.  When I asked if I could go too, he said, "NO.  You have a baby in your tummy.  You stay HOME."


Not too far from the truth, sadly, because every minute I'm home I'm pretty much in bed, but it still made me smile.

post #15 of 30

Thanks for the great ideas about giving kids something to focus on (nicknames, for example, of birth announcements). My son has already warned me that no matter what I name the baby, he's going to call him "Chuck."  Could be worse!

post #16 of 30

the kids (6yrs, 2.5yrs, and 14mo) come to my midwife appts with me. we'll start watching birth videos, including the ones of our youngest 2, soon. we're having a homebirth this time, so they will all be here at the house and welcome to come and go as they please. i think the plan will be to have mil come over to keep an eye on them, but i suspect that the older 2 will be present for the birth. dd turned 5 a couple days before her last brother was born, and she was present for that birth, which was in the hospital. we didn't find out gender with him, and that worked out for the best. we did for her oldest brother and she sobbed hysterically at the u/s. with her younger brother, there were a few tears of disappointment, but excitement won out and she crawled into bed with me to check him out. she also got to cut the cord. this time, ds1 will be getting that honor. we make sure to remind them that we won't know what the baby is till he/she is born, and that God will send us exactly what our family needs. we've also talked with dd to help her understand that it is possible that she'll have a 3rd brother, but also tried to help her see the good side of being the only girl should it work out that way.


post #17 of 30

My 3.5 year old son is really excited about the new baby.  He talks about it almost daily.  He wants to name the baby, Zee-so (I think some version of Diesel - as in the trains from Thomas).  We haven't found out the sex yet, but we will tell the kids.  My daughter is 22 months and she hasn't a clue.  Which is weird for me because my son was 22 months when she was born.  And I remember him patting my belly and saying baby and holding his little sister the day she was born.  I feel as though my daughter isn't there yet....which is obviously true because she doesn't have a physical baby to see yet.


My son has been to both midwife appointments so far and has heard the heartbeat.  He then tells everyone about it later in the day, it is super cute!  I'm glad he is excited.  We haven't talked about them being around for the birth yet.  I would love to have my other children there though.  My first two births happened over night, so I'm just assuming that will be the case again and the kids will be in bed.  If it is a daytime thing, my dad is going to be over to watch the kids.  Since it will be summer, he'll probably take them outside. 


If my son watches his little brother or sister be born, I know he is going to play "birth".  And I'm going to think it's the sweetest thing ever.  Although, I did already have to break his heart and tell him that he won't be able to nurse his own baby some day.  I'm thinking by the time he is old enough for children he will have gotten over it. ;)

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

Nicole - part of it may also be that you're not "obviously" pregnant yet. My son was 2 1/2 when my daughter was born... by this point in pregnancy (he would have been 24 months on the nose) he could tell my friend had a baby in her belly (I was due in early July, she was due in April) but didn't understand that I did, too, because I didn't have that huge obvious tummy yet and he couldn't feel kicks yet.


Also, they commonly say third birth throws you for a loop. It was the case with me, both of my first two were labored overnight and born early morning (at 40w4d and 38w)... third, I was a day short of 42 weeks and had her in the late afternoon!

post #19 of 30

Yeah, I know I might not have an overnight baby, but it's so hard to think otherwise.  My water breaks, then I wait a few hours, have contractions, then baby.  I know the pattern can be totally different this time (and every time!).    Just like it's difficult for me to picture another newborn baby,  I can only picture the two I already have.   Amazing that a third new little person is going to come out of me and be it's own little individual!


And, I'm sure your are right about the belly size too.  Plus I talked about it more with DS, now I just have so much going on, I don't sit down with DD and talk baby as much.  I hopefully will more often as we get closer to baby time.

post #20 of 30

DD (almost 3.5) was talking to baby yesterday and referring to it as a girl. I explained to her that we don't know and it could be a boy and she insists it's a girl. We are going to wait to find out until birth. For some reason, I don't think she'd believe me even if I did find out. I think it might be better if we have to let her down after the birth b/c as PP stated, the excitement of the new baby may trump the disappointment (if there is any).


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