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TTC v2.0 - "only child" will be 7

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi!

 

I'm getting married in a few months and we'll be TTC immediately. By the time v2.0 is born, v1.0 will be seven years old. We've been deliberately vague as far as the "How does a baby get in your belly?" discussion to this point, and we know we'll have to be a bit more forthcoming once I'm actually pregnant.

 

Anyway - How have you handled a pregnancy and "early days" with regard to an only child who is around that age? Other Half is not a "baby person" and I have no concerns about the two of us fussing over an infant and leaving v1.0 to entertain himself, as Other Half would rather be playing with v1.0 than dealing with an infant. However, v1.0 and I have been living together/apart from Other Half for most of v1.0's life (long story/work situation - I chose to remain near my family with v1.0 and we tried to make visits as frequent as possible), and that has me a bit concerned.

 

v1.0 is quite excited to have a sibling and has been asking for one for some time now, but I had a very negative experience with the birth of my younger sibling (4 years' difference) and I worry about handling this poorly.

 

I will happily take under advisement any suggestions or experiences that you might have - thank you!

post #2 of 9

My son is five and we're about to add baby girl very shortly.  I've been very clear on what babies are like when they're first born, that they need their mama almost all the time and that we'll have to be patient for a bit.  I didn't see any point about sugar-coating it, those first few weeks are hard.  He's also starting kindergarten in a few weeks, so the amount of change in his life is going to be pretty big.  But while I've made it clear that babies are sometimes "boring" I've also tried to include him on as much as he wants to about choosing toys and talking about what he can teach the baby once she's older.  I've also talked about some fun things we can do together once baby is sleeping for longer stretches (we haven't been on a bike ride in a while, for instance, because of my complete lack of balance), so it gives him something to look forward to.  It sounds like your partner is on board with doing special things with him too, and that's important.

 

A friend lent us this book to address "how did the baby get there", I thought it was pretty good:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Its-Not-Stork-Families-Friends/dp/0763633313

 

It's pretty clear on proper terms (mostly) and we did have to have a talk about how the subject matter is for us to talk about at home without making it sound like a big dark secret because I didn't want *that* phone call from his day care regarding angry parents wondering how their kids learned the birds and the bees on the playground.  ROTFLMAO.gif

 

I'm stumbling through this the best I can too, so if I have any gems once the baby is here, I'll let you know.  winky.gif  My sister was 12 when I was born, she's still mad that I spit up on her favorite pajamas 38 years later...shrug.gif

post #3 of 9
This happens to be the exact spacing between my kids.

We got books (It's not the Stork, and other ones I don't remember now) to explain pregnancy. She was fascinated and excited by the whole thing. She was great with the baby.

The baby will get a lot of new presents. That was an area of jealousy. We got a few "big sister presents" so we'd be able to pull out something occasionally when the baby got a present, and also she was the one who got to open the baby's presents, which she loved. I also let her help me choose what the baby should wear each day, and she loved to read stories to the baby, even when the baby was tiny and wasn't paying any attention to them.

I think just try to keep him as involved as possible, and make sure you try to give him special time and attention when you can.
post #4 of 9

Oh yes, that's a good point - having something new and special to do while you're stuck nursing or rocking a cranky baby or whatever is in our plans too...

 

Also, don't be offended if he's not all that interested either.  My son loved reading that book and he is excited to meet her, but he's also super tired of people asking him if he's excited (it's the childhood equivalent of "you haven't had that baby yet?", I've decided) and he's got so many other things swirling around in his little mind.  It's still very abstract to him.

post #5 of 9
My kids are 6 1/2 yrs apart. My daughter loved those websites that show pictures of Fetal development month to month and that sparked a lot of conversations about it all. She also came to the 20 week ultrasound. After the birth, she has loved being a big sis and is old enough to be genuinely helpful. I think she has matured a lot since his birth and it has been heart-warming to watch the bond grow between them. The toughest part has been my own feelings of inadequacy for being unable to focus on her like I once could. Also, I get so annoyed with her now, and it was never like that before. I get annoyed when she is being too needy, or wakes me up at night to get her something, or she's too loud, hyper, touchy, etc. And then she gets annoyed at me. I didn't expect that part, and a couple of my friends who also have kids with a big age gap have told me similar stories. I don't know what to do about it but I try to be aware of it to avoid treating her badly.
post #6 of 9
I am in exactly the same boat! I could have written your post. 6.75 years apart.
post #7 of 9

Our oldest child was only 2 when her sister was born. She knew, "Mama and Papa love each other, and they made me together!" (Although she told my inlaws. "Mama and Papa started me in Mama because they love each other, but my sister.... we don't' know where she came from... she started herself!" Two year olds are weird.)

 

My older girls were 11 and 13 when their baby sister was born. They knew the facts by then, I was a LLL leader since they were small  and we always had pregnant women and babies around us.  We always had a copy of Our Bodies Ourselves and A Child is Born on our coffee table, or in the bathroom or on someone's nightstand and often my girls would ask a question, and we could answer it with either or both books. Other books have come and gone, but those two are constants.

 

I don't think the idea of sex is something that should be held as a secret from children. Why? I always answer what they ask when they ask it and then go one step further to help with what they might be thinking but not asking. We NEVER had "The Talk" as babies and sex and love were a topic of growing sophisticated conversation since they were babies themselves.

 

Is your older child asking any questions yet? I found that the more contact kids have with pregnant women and babies, the earlier the questions happen. Around 2 or so they start to wonder "How did that baby get IN there?" and it goes from there. Just answer truthfully, and honestly and you can't go wrong. I also found those two books were a lot of help. If the child isn't asking any questions yet, you may want to wait until you are pregnant and the questions start. If no questions start, I'm not sure when you would offer information, but sometime during the pregnancy, because if you don't say something first, someone will. And, it's always better to handle these things the way we would like to on our own.

 

It's all better than what I was told, that God "put the baby" into my mother (or my aunt or whoever was pregnant) while she was sleeping, and when I asked, "How does it get out?" I was told "The Blessed Mother makes the mother go to sleep and when she wakes up, the baby is lying on the bed." Really. I had some weird idea of Mary using a scalpel to get the baby out or something. When I asked, "Then why do they have to go to the hospital?"  (One of our neighbors had home births, but my mother refused to tell me that.) I was told, "Because the mother gets very tired when the baby is taken out." It made NO sense to me. *sigh*

post #8 of 9

My son was 7 when I got pregnant again.  (That one miscarried.)  At that point he was not really clear on how babies are made because he had not asked often or recently enough or been interested in details about that--he did want, and got, lots of details about birth in general and his own birth.  My partner and I had always felt a little puzzled by our kid's lack of interest in sex, because WE each were super-curious about sex from as early as we can remember!  But we didn't want to push info he wasn't ready for.  He watches TV like "The Simpsons" that occasionally mention sex, but it seemed he thought it meant just kissing and snuggling.

 

When I was pregnant, he got very interested in the whole subject and finally came to the question of how, exactly, did we start the baby growing.  I explained about the penis in the vagina delivering the sperm to the egg.  He said, "What?!  How embarrassing!!"  I said, "Well, it may sound strange to you now, but this is something grownups like to do in private and actually do for fun, as well as to make babies."  He was very startled but gradually absorbed the idea.  We then read some library books on the subject.  Now that I'm pregnant again, he seems to feel adequately informed and hasn't asked many questions.

post #9 of 9

We recently borrowed this book for our 6.5 yr old: http://www.amazon.com/How-Babies-Made-Steven-Schepp/dp/0316042277/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382014260&sr=1-1&keywords=how+are+babies+made

 

She asked is this what daddy did or something to that effect and then the questions stopped. I'd suggest you look at it first if you are going to let him read it.

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