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What are you doing to prepare siblings?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

DD has just turned three (yesterday) and so far, we've talked about having a new baby in the house.  She's seen my friend's newborn and another friend's 7 month old.  They both have girls that DD plays with, and she is excited about getting her own "baby just like J- or Z-"


I still feel like there is more we can do to prepare her.  I want to get her involved when we go through our newborn stuff (it was hers, after all, and I want her to pass it on to her sibling), but anything else you are doing or have done in the past with success?

post #2 of 27

Some of the hospitals and birth centers offer "siblings" classes. There are also some really cute books about what to expect when the baby arrives, I think we've got 4 or 5 that have been passed down from my older girls.

post #3 of 27

I'll be taking notes notes2.gif


DD is 27 months (she'll be 31 months when the baby is born) and we do talk about the baby with her, but she just doesn't seem interested. I've gotten some of her newborn cloth diapers and clothes out to look at a couple of times, and DD just wants to try them all on herself.


I'm trying not to fret. I know that she's highly resilient and that she'll acclimate just fine once the baby is here. I just wish she were more involved/excited in the whole process.

post #4 of 27

DS is a month older than your DD lightforest, and I don't think he gets that one day babies won't be in my tummy anymore. He has baby cousins and he is really good with them. It is going to be a transition, but I think he is going to be ok. I wish he would understand it a little more. 

post #5 of 27
DSS is 8 and went through this 2 years ago with his sister so he's pretty good with it. I wish he were more excited but all the kids have been going through so many changes I guess I shouldn't really expect that. DSD (26 months) is too little to really 'get' it at all but she is really mellow and go with the flow so I think she'll adjust fine. DD's bio and his fiancée just had a baby so we lucked out as she already understands the concept. She's 39 months. Friends have said they took older siblings to the u/s and talked about baby a lot. I know there are some big sibling books out there and I've also heard of getting a baby doll for them to take care of just like Mommy.
post #6 of 27

Slightly different situation here as my DD will be 7 when the baby comes.  So, we've watched the Nature documentary on fetal development and she's seen the ultrasound pics (unfortunately they don't let kids in the ultrasound appointments here greensad.gif ) and the plan is for her to attend the birth, as well.  She's been to a midwife appointment with me although I think we didn't hear a heartbeat at that one, or if we did it was really brief.  She's seen friends "get" siblings and she pretty much knows what the deal is.  Closer to the birth we'll probably watch some birth videos together so she's prepared for that.


I think it may still be a bit of a rough adjustment for her since she's been so much the center of our lives for so long, all on her own - and not just me & DH - she's still the only grandchild on DH's side.  So she'll have to share Grandma and Grandpa and Auntie R. and Uncle A. too.  But because of the age difference I think that will be a gradual transition - there's not much Grandma and Grandpa can do with the new baby except hold it til it squawks at first, and I think only Grandma will really want to spend a lot of time with the baby until it's fully interactive. 


If anyone has any more experience with a big gap between consecutive siblings though I'd love to hear about it!!!!

post #7 of 27

Spughy - my sister and I are 6.5 years apart. - but my mom did have a still birth 2 years before that - I remember more of the prep for the first sibling, and I got a book, where do babies come from . . . I think alot depends on the temperment of your oldest child. If they want to help, let them help. Some people are very much insistent the older kid doesn't help, only play with the new baby, and I think that's only a good route if they don't want to help, or might come to resent it.I really wanted to help my mom with the new baby, but she wouldn't let me (I think it may have just been a bit of overprotectiveness given the previous still birth, which is understandable to me now, but I resented it as a child).


My son was just under 2 when my daughter was born, we talked about the new baby, he came to the ultrasounds, but I think he didn't really get it. He felt her move and kick in the womb, and I let him listen to my belly with the stethoscope. Most of these things just kind of freaked him out, though he still likes the stethoscope. This time, he will be nearly 3.5, and I plan on taking him to the sibling class at the hospital, getting a book, and perhaps a doll. My daughter will only be 17 months, she will definitely be getting a doll for Christmas, and well, I don't know there is much more that can be done for her that she'd even comprehend.


I don't think either child will be coming to the ultrasound this time. With the last baby, my son was entirely freaked out by me being on the table and cried until he could sit on it with me. This was not really a great thing for me or the tech. I don't want to risk that this time, so I think he will stay home, and he can watch the dvd later.


What helped most I think, was including him as much as I could once the new baby was born. He sat with me during nursing sessions, fed his own stuffed animals, helped with diaper changes when he wanted to.

post #8 of 27

DS will be just over 3 when the new one arrives, and luckily we've had a few friends who have had babies in the last year or so, so he understands the concept of "baby-in-belly" turning into "real life baby".  He's pretty excited.   When I was about 10 weeks I was lying down and he came over and asked, "Mommy, do you have a baby in your belly now?".  Occasionally I'll ask him if he's going to be a big brother, and he always replies, "no!  a big sister!"  Cracks me up every time.  


We got a book from the library called "Hello, Baby"  that he likes reading.  It's a pretty good book, and aside from it being a doctor/hospital vs midwife/home, it covers the growing baby, the getting ready for baby and adjusting after baby comes (breastfeeding, crying, weird sleep schedule).  I think I might schedule my next appointment at a time that will allow me to bring him so that he can hear the heartbeat.


I'm starting to think about whether to keep him around for the birth or not.  My first instinct was absolutely not, no way!  But as I've been reading birth stories, it seems that a lot of kids handle birth better than adults, and that they can be a loving supportive addition.  My son is pretty empathetic.  I had a mini breakdown last week when DP was away and the dog had made a huge mess and he came over and rubbed my hand and gave me kisses and asked if I was feeling happier now.  

post #9 of 27

DD will be 4 when the baby comes... She came to the 20 wk ultrasound (I was nervous, but she was great) and I think that helped. For awhile, she liked looking at developing fetus pictures in one of my pregnancy books. 


I'm interested in hearing any kids books recommendations, I'll check out "Hello Baby". We haven't really gotten too many of those yet, but it might help. The sibling class is a good idea, I had no idea that existed, thanks!


I do try to talk about it, she plays with her baby dolls, and she has a few baby cousins... I think she'll be fine, but I just want her to know what to expect a little bit. I think having my time so fully taken up by someone else will be the biggest adjustment.

post #10 of 27
Thread Starter 

Spughy....your situation is very similar to a good friend of mine. Of course, every one is different, but she really enjoyed having a 7 year space.  She found that things went well with her DD as long as they maintained her schedule and activities: girl scouts, gymnatstics and playdates, etc....so she didn`t feel like the baby was too disruptive to her life.  As for suddenly sharing grandparents after being an only grandchild for so long, I will ask how that went; we never talked about that!

post #11 of 27

DD is 2 1/2 and way into her little brother getting her. She got that there was a baby growing in my tummy pretty quickly.


-She kisses my belly daily and if she's eating or drinking, she offers me some saying that the baby needs it.

-She helps the midwife with my blood pressure and using the doppler when she comes over. She's pretty much right next to her at every step of our appointments.

-She loved seeing baby at our U/S appointment and we look at the pics o the fridge and go over the different parts all the time.

-This past weekend, we went through her old stuff to get out the cloth diapers, toys and any clothing that baby boy will be able to wear. She was very helpful going through everything and saying "brother can wear this" or "brother can use this". 

-We watch her birth video, other birth videos on youtube and different birth documentaries. She especially loves seeing when the Mama picks up the baby and gives them nin nins(breastfeeding)


We are having a homebirth and she will be there. My MIL will be there for her as well. So, she can be around me or off doing her own thing if she likes. We will play it by ear and see if she actually wants to see baby boy being born.

post #12 of 27

I purposefully chose to space my children a little farther apart than most so that my daughter would have a greater understanding of what is going on. It may come back to bite me, but I really hope not. I really enjoy sharing this with her. At the start of each new week, we read the entry and look at the pictures on my baby tracker app on my phone. Ever since she found out that baby can hear us and recognize our voices, she talks to my belly. She offers me bites of food so that Baby Bun can taste it and then wants to discuss whether or not the baby enjoyed it. She's been to most of my appointments, has heard the heartbeat and seen an ultrasound, both of which she really enjoyed. And then, we were watching a movie on Sunday and I pulled her into my lap. When the baby started kicking up a storm, I had her feel my belly and she became the first official person other than myself to feel baby kick. She keeps suggesting the most ridiculous names for the baby, too! My husband, dork that he is, tossed in Moon Unit. That's her new favorite. Thanks, Love.


Regarding the jealousy issue, I've been trying to come up with things for her that will help. I was thinking of making her a scrapbook of her first year, with all of my journal entries and pictures of her through her first year, so she'll have an idea of what it will be like when baby comes. And my mom is planning to come visit for the whole month of March (Heaven help us!) and possibly then some, so that Olli can have some one-on-one time with someone while Mama is doing baby stuff.

post #13 of 27

DS is 4 1/4.  Not every night but lots, we ask him to say goodnight to the baby, now that he has a name.  Every week we look at THE BUMP page with the fruit size and the development, he likes seeing that and learning. When I feel kicks, I tell him and let him try to feel.  We're also making changes to the house EARLY, like the crib will be up in now "The Boys" room this weekend likely, so DS has a long time to adjust to it being in there.  Last weekend I rearranged his closet and what goes in the dresser.  He'll help me do baby laundry once that all comes out of the attic.  I'm starting to sleep differently and let DH cuddle him more so we can still cosleep but that me and my boobs can do newborn duty easily. We read 1 big brother book, and when he has a snack, I ask him if he wants to feed his brother, and I explain that what I eat nourishes the baby.  We'll bring him to the big US next week and as we get closer to the birth, start watching birth videos on youtube.  My midwife involves him with the doppler when she's here. For the holidays, we'll have Chase also buy baby gifts.  

post #14 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by cocoanib View Post



-She kisses my belly daily and if she's eating or drinking, she offers me some saying that the baby needs it.

oh....so sweet!

post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

We told DD that the baby was a boy this week, and her reply was that she wanted a baby sister, and baby sisters were girls.eyesroll.gif


But we got "saved" a bit later, when she said she wanted a baby like J and Z (her little friends)....luckily, both babies are boys!! When I told her that, she agreed that a boy baby was "ok".  


But now, this morning, she is saying she wants two babies: a boy and a girl.


Oh boy....we're not done yet, I think!!!

post #16 of 27

My daughter (5 yo) freaked out (in a bad way) when we told her that if the baby is a girl, it will be named Rose.  She yelled, "But I don't like that name, MOM!!!!!!! We are SUPPOSED TO AGREE ON SOMETHINGGGGGGGGG!"  lol.gif


It was hard for me to hold back the giggles as I explained that the parents get to choose the baby's name.

post #17 of 27

Oh Jodie I'm sorry that happened but it's too cute!  Hopeflly she'll come around and start to like the name before March.


Bena, same as Jodie!  That is just adorable but hopefully she comes around to just having one baby!!

post #18 of 27

Bena, my daughter went through an "I want a baby brother AND a baby sister" kick for a while, too. After explaining to her a couple of times that, while that is possible, it's not very likely, she finally settled on wanting just a sister. XD


Ah, Jodie, that is so funny! I'm letting my daughter believe she gets to help choose a name for now. I'll probably nip it when I get tired of hearing, "Tree! Rock! Sky!"

post #19 of 27
Originally Posted by jodieanneanton View Post

My daughter (5 yo) freaked out (in a bad way) when we told her that if the baby is a girl, it will be named Rose.  She yelled, "But I don't like that name, MOM!!!!!!! We are SUPPOSED TO AGREE ON SOMETHINGGGGGGGGG!"  lol.gif


It was hard for me to hold back the giggles as I explained that the parents get to choose the baby's name.



Awe! When my youngest was born, we had a very hard time deciding on her name (we'd narrowed it down to two - Meridith and Mira) and when she was about a week old, I was strongly leaning towards the "other" name. We sat down as a family to talk about it and my oldest (who was 8) started crying - in the sad way, not the temper-tantrum way - because she was so sure we were going to pick Meridith and didn't like that other name at all. We talked about it some more and did end up choosing Meridith instead.

post #20 of 27
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by jodieanneanton View Post

My daughter (5 yo) freaked out (in a bad way) when we told her that if the baby is a girl, it will be named Rose.  She yelled, "But I don't like that name, MOM!!!!!!! We are SUPPOSED TO AGREE ON SOMETHINGGGGGGGGG!"  lol.gif


It was hard for me to hold back the giggles as I explained that the parents get to choose the baby's name.

 oh my!  I didn't even consider the possibility that she would have a say in the name!!! Oh!oh!  I hope she likes it!  Right now, she is telling everyone the baby's name is A- ....the name of my friend's son (her imaginary friend for the moment...they live 5  hours away but he is at our house every day to play with her!!!)

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