Ideas for teaching a 2 yr old about having a new baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 08-27-2013, 08:28 PM - Thread Starter
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This is my 1st time posting on this forum, Ive been quite the stalker just reading and learning so much from all of you...however Ive not read much about how to teach my nearly 2 1/2 yr old about his new sibling coming in October. Ive done some things to try and help him understand but Im not sure he gets it that much. Am I expecting too much from a toddler before baby even gets here? To give you a little background, hes extremely attached to me, more so now than ever since my body quit producing milk and he so desperately wants to nurse still. It breaks my heart when he tells me my boobs arent working! Its been about 3 months since he couldnt nurse though he still talks about it all the time. I tell him that Mama can make more milk once baby comes and all he wants is to try and get the baby out himself so milk will come back(silly kids with their imaginations)! Also he has always been very jealous whenever I hug or kiss his Dada, even attempts to seperate us, which makes me so afraid of what he will do with me nursing the baby. Ive had him around babies, he doesnt show much interest, Ive watched homebirth videos with him as we are planning a homebirth and he seems bored by the whole ordeal, we read books about babies and I explain to him that I would love his help changing diapers, washing baby, ect., he loves it when I give him little jobs to make him feel important so I keep mentioning that I would love his help with the baby. Is there anything else I can do to help him understand? Any suggestions or words of encouragement would be awesome about right now because this is the only thing Ive truly worried about this whole pregnancy.

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#2 of 10 Old 08-28-2013, 01:10 PM
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I don't have time to write much right now, but I got a lot of good ideas from searching threads on the transition from one to two or something like that. It sounds like you are doing everything right! I was in your shoes, we just had our second in june, and my DS is very attached to me, and always was/is in competition with DH for my affection. Just try to follown his cues on things he's stressed about (which at this point might not be a lot since he wont get it until the baby is here!).Things will work out!!

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#3 of 10 Old 08-28-2013, 01:20 PM
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We used a book called what baby needs by dr sears to help explain to our two year old. We finished nursing five months before the baby was born and like yours was still talking about it and says they were hers. Once the baby was born she saw him nurse and never asked to nurse. We make a big deal about things she can eat and drink to make her almost feel bad for the poor baby who can only have milk. We made sure to have special items that she liked the first month or so like apple juice, ice cream, apples etc. when I nurse I offer to snuggle or read to her. Sometimes if she is playing blocks or something I will sit on the floor next to her to nurse. Hope that helps.
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#4 of 10 Old 08-28-2013, 01:27 PM
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Hi Irielyn,


I'm in the same boat. My son will be two in a couple of weeks, with a new baby due in early October. It sounds like you're doing everything you can to get him ready for the change! I think there is only so much we can do ahead of time. The rest will be everyone learning as you go. I love that you're talking to him about helping out, I bet when the time comes it will make him feel very important to have a job! 


Are you planning to have your son present at the birth? I wonder if that might help, too, for him to actually see and be a part of his new brother or sister arriving in the world. My midwife believes that little ones must have some kind of memory and understanding of birth, as they're not so far away from it themselves! My son talks about the baby "pushing big water out". I don't recall where that came from, I don't think it was something I said, but who knows. 


Congratulations on your growing family! :)

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#5 of 10 Old 08-28-2013, 01:47 PM
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My son will be 2 in October and we're expecting our baby in February. I wasn't able to nurse my son despite wanting to (long story). So I'm concerned that he'll be confused when he sees me nurse the new baby. To prepare myself for successfully breastfeeding, and to get him used to seeing mamas breast feeding, I've started taking him to La Leche League meetings. It's a wonderful, supportive environment, and while he mostly ignores the breast feeding in favor of playing with the other toddlers, during quiet moments, he'll sit on my lap and watch the nursing mamas and babies with mild curiosity. I take an opportunity to explain that the baby is being fed by its mama and our "tummy baby" will be doing the same with me when it's time for the baby to come out of my tummy and join our family. I point out how quiet and peaceful the babies and mamas are, and how important it is to let them cuddle quietly while the babies eat, so their tummies will get full.

The LLL leaders and members have been very welcoming, and think it's wonderful that I'm attending the meetings while I'm expecting, and love helping me explain nursing to my son. There are moms of toddlers with newborn nurslings and some do tandem BFing, and the toddlers are examples for him to see how to behave around a nursing baby. The sweetest is when we watch a mama nursing her newborn, and the baby's big sibling will gently kiss the baby on the head!

Do you think being exposed to nursing mamas will help your son know what to expect? I can't recommend LLL enough...I wish I had gone when I was expecting and struggling with BFing my son, and I already feel more confident about nursing the newbie when he/she arrives!

Mom to Henry, born 10/2011 and The Newbie, due 2/2014!
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#6 of 10 Old 08-28-2013, 08:32 PM
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Here are some articles by one of my favorite early childhood development people. Hopefully they'll give you some insight. I just love her!


Start instituting these things now w/your toddler if you don't already...

Former Nanny Extraordinaire, looking forward to being a Mama! treehugger.gif I love Organizing & being a Health & Wellness Coach eat.gif & I'm crunchy granola as long as it's organic and certified gluten free. GF since March '08 yummy.gif. Willoughby Nov '11  cat.gif TTC #1-still, again, some more, & seriously pondering adoption. 
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#7 of 10 Old 08-29-2013, 12:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for all the helpful comments and encouragement ladies! And yes, BushMama83 we are planning on having him home for the birth. Id love for him to be present and see his new sibling join us earthside, however I have this intuition that Ill probably go into labor after he falls asleep for the night and he will wake up and suddenly theres a new babe in the house! Maybe thats part of the reason why Im worried....


And alaura24, I have been taking him to LLL meetings so that he can see other Mamas nursing their babes in hopes that he will understand more, however he spends so much time playing with the other toddlers I dont think he seems to notice!


Im probably more concerned than I should be over this, its just so hard for me to take the "wait and see" approach!

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#8 of 10 Old 08-30-2013, 08:39 AM
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Irielyn, make sure you have an exit plan for your toddler in case the birth turns out to be too intense for him. I haven't done a home birth but I'm loud and my labours are intense (like most) and DD1 cries if I have a coughing fit while I have a mild cold eyesroll.gif. I know many kids are great at births but I know mine would have found it scary and would have been upset. I hope it goes as planned but it can't hurt to have a plan B smile.gif
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#9 of 10 Old 08-30-2013, 11:11 AM
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I agree, skycheattraffic.  My son who was about 2 yrs 9 mos at the time got upset when he came along for the ultrasound.  My husband was even there to hold him and we had talked about it beforehand but he thought it was hurting me for some reason and kept asking when it would be over.  After a few minutes I had my husband take him out of the room.  He wasn't traumatized or anything but I was very surprised that it upset him like it did. He will be just 3 when baby is born and I plan to labor at  home hopefully for most of the time before pushing the baby out at the hospital (5 min away).   I was going to have my parents both come over if it's during the day and help to entertain him and my dad would be available to take him to their house if need be.  I really don't know what to predict but my last labor I was very active and moving a lot and definitely somewhat vocal, though that was more towards the end.  I don't think he'd like seeing me in a different state if I can't respond to him in the same way as usual.  

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#10 of 10 Old 08-30-2013, 12:10 PM
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I'm in the same boat: my daughter will be 2.5 in December when our second child is born. I second the Dr. Sears book - it is excellent! I don't know how much DD understands of the book, but she does enjoy it. Another suggestion: I recently got her a baby doll as shes starting to do more dramatic play. I plan to make a carrier and some diapers for her doll so that she can mimic me if she wants when the baby comes. She could also work out issues with the doll if she needs to.

I've also been trying to work on encouraging short bursts of independent play, and napping solo (which she still struggles with. I guess I'd like these to be habits she develops now, instead of having to expect them from her out of the blue after baby arrives.
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