Helping former only child transition to being older sibling - tips? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 06-08-2011, 09:40 PM - Thread Starter
 
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DS will be 3.5 when babe is born and I am concerned about how he will transition from being an only to being a big brother. He is not what I would call generous by nature, although I also recognize that the selfishness we're dealing with at the moment is also part of his developmental stage. I want to be sensitive to his needs, but obviously some things are just going to have to change.

 

Two examples in particular:

We have a glider rocker in his room. We really only sit in it to read stories sometimes before bed (although stories are more often IN bed now) but it's a fairly big part of his room. I don't want to buy another glider rocker but I'm worried he'll resent it if we take the rocker out of his room and put it in the baby's room. I thought about moving it out to the living room (so more of a common area) but I like how the living room is set up now without it and it will be much more convenient at night in the baby's room. What's the best way to approach this?

 

The other thing is seating at the table. Right now DH & I sit opposite each other and DS sits at the end of the table between us.  As the other end of the table is pushed up against a wall (so from the wall it's: Empty seat, DH, DS on the end, Me, Empty seat), it's been most convenient for cleaning to have the messiest eater on the end, but again, that means eventually the baby will be taking over DS's spot. Should we try to shift DS around beside DH sooner rather than later, or can anyone suggest a seating arrangement? I know it's way early to be worrying about this, but I can't stop fretting over it for some reason.

 

I really don't know how to approach the whole thing, so if anyone has any tips or book suggestions please let me know. It's my biggest stressor of this pregnancy so far! redface.gif


- C reading.gif + Tsuperhero.gif = DS 08/08 bouncy.gif  DD 02/12 angel.gif and D? praying.gif sometime around March 16/2014 

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#2 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 07:46 AM
 
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Hi Curiouscanadian, I'm glad to see this thread and could really relate to this post. 

 

My DD will be almost 4 when #2 is born.  My primary concern right now is about how to make this transition smooth and to make sure that DD will be ready to become a big sister.   In fact, one of the main reasons we waited to TTC was to make sure that DD wouldn't still be a baby when we had a new baby in order to help her feel good about becoming a big sister.  For me, the real fear comes from DD having to learn to share me and my fear about being apart from her.  We're pretty inseperable; we walk around holding hands, call each other silly names while out and about (like mombot and kidbot, mommy flower/kid flower, etc...), share a pillow at night, take evening baths together and she's still nursing to sleep.  So, I'm really worried about her feeling replaced or pushed aside either literally or figuratively.  I even had a crying fit yesterday contemplating being apart from her overnight when I'm in the hospital giving birth!

 

So far I've developed a few strategies-- maybe they'll help you (and I'm eager to hear other ideas as well).  First, my plan is to make sure that DD is the first family member to hear the news.  But, also to wait a few more months in order to decrease her waiting time.  In the meantime, we're talking a lot about when we have a baby and how much DH and I like having sisters.  Second, I'm going to let her tell some family members the news once we're ready to share it.  Third,  I'm planning to make her feel like she's having a baby by letting her make decisions about how her room (they will share) will be set up, pick out the bedding for the new baby, pick out  the color and style of any other new items we purchase, etc...  

 

So, I think my advice to you would be to make some of the transitions well in advance.  Maybe move the glider into storage for a few months before putting it in the baby's room and let DS pick out what he thinks should go in that place now?  Maybe rearrange the seating so that DS is between you and DH and just leave his former seat empty for awhile?  That way (ideally) by the time that glider and seat become the babies he's already given them up and he doesn't associate giving them up as having had the baby take them away. 

 

Hope this helps a little.  And, hope we can talk about this much more over the next 9 months!

 

 


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
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#3 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 06:15 PM
 
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I got two wonderful advices from a friend and they worked great for my older DD. First we made big sister-little sister T-shirts for the birth day, and then we had something special that baby "brought with her" for her big sister...

 

Hope it helps!

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#4 of 9 Old 06-09-2011, 06:17 PM
 
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I really don't know how to approach the whole thing, so if anyone has any tips or book suggestions please let me know. It's my biggest stressor of this pregnancy so far! redface.gif



I felt the same, but it all magically resolved itself once baby arrived, don't worry!!

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#5 of 9 Old 06-10-2011, 02:19 PM
 
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I was very lucky that my older child was absolutely thrilled to be expecting a baby. He was 2 1/2 at the time of his birth. He was helpful, excited and he's just not very jealous by nature. However, Dr's appointments and extra attention from others did bug him a little. I never really had any issues like yours specifically, but I am pretty worried about my youngest now and the new baby. He will be almost 4 when the new baby is born. He is very much a dependent "baby". He still wants mama to put him to sleep, lots of coddling attention. He has autism and language delays, which adds a little kink into that. But I think I learned a valuable lesson in going from one to two: it works itself out. Some children have jealous issues at first, but they generally work themselves out. Maybe making small changes now so it seems less like a "oh make room for new baby" situation. And realistically, baby isn't going to be at the table for months after birth, so your older child will likely have adjusted by then. Maybe moving the table if there is room. We have a big dining room so our table is in the middle with one kid on each side, parents at both ends. Sometimes we even swap seats if my youngest wants to sit in his brother's seat. 

 

Also, different activities helped us. My DS was a big helper, wanted to wash clothes, dishes, help in any way possible. It took longer to do everything, but he felt included and like a really awesome big brother. He used to climb up on the couch with me while I was nursing and grab his own mini boppy pillow and a stuffed animal to "nurse". Making them feel included and part of the process made the transition really easy. I imagine that it will with my youngest as well. We still co-sleep a lot of nights. Rather than try to transition him to make way for baby, we're just going to figure out how to work a new babe in. Probably an arms reach co sleeper and keeping DS#2 in the middle. 


Jesse, mama to my three wonderful boys, our newest born at home late Jan 2012 luxlove.gif

 

 

 

 

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#6 of 9 Old 06-10-2011, 04:42 PM
 
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Oh this is something that worries me too, especially because DD will only be 18 mos when the baby arrives! We won't change a lot of things: we cosleep with her so we'll just buy a new bed to put next to ours to make more space for us all. If this baby is like his/her sister, s/he'll only nurse and sleep for a while, so I'll just put it in a carrier while I care for DD. But still, a newborn is demanding and I'm a little nervous about this.

 

I got her a book about this too. The title can be translated roughly to "Mama's going to explode!". It's funny too so I'm sure she'll like it!


hippie.gifintactlact.giffemalesling.GIF mama to my little baby fairydust.gif(07/27/10) and expecting stork-suprise.gif in february 2012

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#7 of 9 Old 06-20-2011, 07:42 AM
 
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I have a bit of a unique situation in that my stepdaughter will have just turned 11 years old when our baby comes.  Any advice there?


A therapist (34) married an engineer (37) 10/10.  Expecting our first around the first of March 2012.   Mother to a 7yo dog2.gif, stepmomma to a 10yo awesome and hilarious girl.

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#8 of 9 Old 06-20-2011, 08:11 AM
 
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So, when are you planning to tell you dc to expect a new baby?  I know it must depend on age and ability to understand...  I know that February seems a million years from now :) but I also feel like DD suspects something (she asked me why I keep running out of energy yesterday, for example).  I was thinking of waiting until 13 weeks or so.  But even that means she'll have to wait 6 months before the baby comes.  I've been planting seeds along the way.  But, DD is a kid that is very change resistant and very cerebral.  I want her to be well prepared and have lots of time to think it through... but not too much time.  How are you all navigating this?


Partner to DH and mom to DD1 (3/2008) and DD2 (born 1/2012).
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#9 of 9 Old 06-20-2011, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hokievol - maybe check on the Blended and Step Family Parenting boards for help with your specific situation? I'm sure there'll be others who have gone through it.

 

Parsley - we told DS last week. I wasn't sure he'd get it, but we've been talking about the pregnancy around him anyway so thought I'd try explaining it. But he's also almost 3, so it's different than it would be with a younger child. Still a bit confusing for him though as his specific request the other evening was "Can I have a little sister tonight?"  I don't think he gets that it won't be happening for quite awhile! lol.gif

 

And he's quite definite about wanting a little sister, I'm struggling trying to get him to understand that he might get a little brother and we have no control over which one it will be.


- C reading.gif + Tsuperhero.gif = DS 08/08 bouncy.gif  DD 02/12 angel.gif and D? praying.gif sometime around March 16/2014 

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