help from mamas with 2+: how do you ease the transiton of adding another child to the family? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 12 Old 08-16-2008, 06:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Looking for help from the most experienced mamas in the ddc! What suggestions do you have for making the addition of a new baby go better for everyone in the family? I have done a little reading, but realize that personal experiences usually are much more helpful. TIA!!

So in : with E and G...give the ultimate gift:
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#2 of 12 Old 08-16-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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Mine was a bit older (4) when we went from 1 to 2....but, there were absolutely no issues (until later!). I included him in everything, and pointed out how in love his little brother was with him. I made sure to never say "mommy may not have as much time for you...". Just make sure you can read books while you nurse (teaching them how to turn the pages by themselves helps out with this). We moved our older one into his own room about 6 months before the next one came and got him his big bed, so he didn't actually feel displaced by the baby. I think a lot depends on the temperament of your older kid, but it really wasn't until the baby/toddler started stealing his toys and hitting him that there were any sibling rivalry issues. Now....oh well...we can think back to how wonderfully easy those baby days were!!
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#3 of 12 Old 08-16-2008, 10:16 PM
 
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My oldest was 28 months when my soon-to-be middle child was born and while *I* had a really hard transition, I don't really think it was so bad for them, looking back on it. We had issues with Samuel trying to play with Atley in ways that weren't age appropriate for Atley (like, hey, let's jump in your bed, Atley...) and Samuel would get upset when Atley would make baby noises. He would say "Atley's saying mean things to me" I have no idea why he thought that, but it was a pain to try to explain to a completely irrational two year old that his brother was not being mean to him by cooing and "taking" baby talk.

My biggest issue was that while Samuel was really colicky and just not a happy baby, Atley was really, really easy *all the time*. I spent the first 4 months of his life waiting for the other shoe to drop, thinking the next time he started crying, it would never stop. I finally realized that they were different kids and just let go of it, which made life a lot easier .

To ease the transition, we talked a lot about friends of his who had baby siblings and how he was going to get a little brother like so-n-so got a little sister. He gave my belly hugs and kisses every night and said good-night to "Atley" (which made me freak out that maybe it would be a girl and we'd have to name her Atley ), and we introduced him to Atley as soon as possible. We let him hold him and touch him and look at all of his fingers and toes and just meet him. I was really worried that he'd feel displaced and so I wouldn't take any offers of help that "took Samuel off of my hands" but I do wish I had let him have some special playdates (just a couple of hours and a friend's house or something) during those first few weeks. I think it would have made things easier for me *and* for him because life with a new baby is so monotonous!

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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#4 of 12 Old 08-17-2008, 06:51 PM
 
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Our family will be welcoming our fifth addition to our family in a few weeks. I think the toughest transition was going from 1 to 2. After that, everyone we added was no big deal. I was probably the one that had it hardest because of the extra work load (when my 3rd was born I had 3 in dipes. I had a newborn, 1 y.o., 2 y.o.) But as far as the siblings go, as long as they were able to help or be included in someway, there were no jealousy issues. We have always spent most our time as a whole family, not really doing the time alone with a certain child, so they just saw a new brother or sister as an addition and not competition for mommy's attention. If they do get jealous and want alone time with you, you could let them know that you'll play/read/etc, with them in a certain amount of time after you're done tending to the baby if that is what you need to do. You could ask them if they'd like to help you do what you need to do so that you finish quicker maybe.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-18-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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Our family will be welcoming our fifth addition to our family in a few weeks. I think the toughest transition was going from 1 to 2. After that, everyone we added was no big deal. I was probably the one that had it hardest because of the extra work load (when my 3rd was born I had 3 in dipes. I had a newborn, 1 y.o., 2 y.o.) But as far as the siblings go, as long as they were able to help or be included in someway, there were no jealousy issues. We have always spent most our time as a whole family, not really doing the time alone with a certain child, so they just saw a new brother or sister as an addition and not competition for mommy's attention. If they do get jealous and want alone time with you, you could let them know that you'll play/read/etc, with them in a certain amount of time after you're done tending to the baby if that is what you need to do. You could ask them if they'd like to help you do what you need to do so that you finish quicker maybe.

I love the way you said that You know we are just adding some people - it's cool

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#6 of 12 Old 08-18-2008, 10:55 AM
 
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But as far as the siblings go, as long as they were able to help or be included in someway, there were no jealousy issues. We have always spent most our time as a whole family, not really doing the time alone with a certain child, so they just saw a new brother or sister as an addition and not competition for mommy's attention. If they do get jealous and want alone time with you, you could let them know that you'll play/read/etc, with them in a certain amount of time after you're done tending to the baby if that is what you need to do. You could ask them if they'd like to help you do what you need to do so that you finish quicker maybe.
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#7 of 12 Old 08-18-2008, 12:15 PM
 
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I guess for me, it was something that just happened. My first 2 were only 10 1/2 months apart, so when we brought home our second, ds didn't seem to mind, and it was just something new.
When our 3rd came our older kids were 3,2yrs. We were careful to make it as non-stressful to them as possible. We even had them pick out a birthday gift for the new baby to bring to the hospital.
When we came home everyone told me that I needed them to be able to spend alone time in their room, or have them watch tv, or something to keep them busy while I nursed. I didn't like that. Many times you would see me with baby on the boppy nursing, and the other two haning on me like little monkeys, poking their brother's cheeks, playing with his toes, asking me questions, ect. We never once had a problem with jealousy.
We also made it a thing of normalicy. They didn't play in the carseat, or swing, or bouncer, but they were allowed to play with any of the baby toys, play with brother, hold him with help WHENEVER they wanted ect. We did the best we could to integrate the baby into the family in a fun and mater of fact way.

Thea, wife to Daniel Homeschooling Momma to 4 beautiful, engergetic children.
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#8 of 12 Old 08-18-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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We went from one to three when my first was just 2 years old. One thing we did that didn't work well was talk a lot about how exciting it was that he was going to be a "big brother". I think he ended up feeling like his worth was wrapped up in being a big brother, and he was pretty posessive of the babies when they were first born. Once DH and I spent some time talk with him about things that had nothing to do with babies, things got easier.

Related to this, something that I believe has been helpful for our family has been to carefully avoid any type of comparison -- even positive comparisons (e.g., "The baby can't eat cookies, but you can"). Instead, I try to just focus on the child I'm talking to without bringing his siblings into it.

Something else that seemed to work was to properly set our first's expectations as to what a baby can and can't do. Before Cale and Dillon were born, we talked about how babies cry a lot, and that crying is their way to communicate. We even showed Griff some pictures of himself as a baby crying, and he thought they were pretty cool. Griff fussed a lot when he was little, and we worried the twins would, too -- it turned out they hardly fussed at all, which was lucky for us given all of the little kids we had at that point! But, anyway, when Cale and Dillon were born, Griff liked suggesting things they might betrying to tell us when they cried.

I'm sure you've already got it or been recommended it, but I found Siblings without Rivalry to be a great book -- for some reason it put me at ease that I'd know what was right even with more than one child.

I'm pretty impressed with how well my three boys get along now. Not sure if it's anything we did, though, and often think we're just lucky. But they seem to genuinely enjoy each other. Here's hoping Cynthia's right that adding subsequent children is easy.

* Jaime
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#9 of 12 Old 08-18-2008, 10:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all your words of wisdom! Hopefully with a little extra love from everyone, adding the baby to the family will go just fine. Ds seems excited to have a baby-we'll see how he feels when baby is here!

So in : with E and G...give the ultimate gift:
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#10 of 12 Old 08-19-2008, 01:13 AM
 
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I'm taking notes!

My daughter has been an only child for 10 years, so I'm worried about how this is going to drastically change her world. Still, we talk about how the baby will look up to her and think she's the coolest person in the world... and she reads stories to the baby (or at least to my belly) and hugs the baby (in the belly) every night.

She's insistent that she does NOT want to be there for the birth. I sort of wish she were willing to be there since I think it could be a good bonding experience, but I don't want to force her to be there either.

Mama to Munchkin  and Chickadee ...and co-parent to 3 additional bundles of energy!
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#11 of 12 Old 08-19-2008, 08:57 AM
 
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I'm taking notes!

My daughter has been an only child for 10 years, so I'm worried about how this is going to drastically change her world. Still, we talk about how the baby will look up to her and think she's the coolest person in the world... and she reads stories to the baby (or at least to my belly) and hugs the baby (in the belly) every night.

She's insistent that she does NOT want to be there for the birth. I sort of wish she were willing to be there since I think it could be a good bonding experience, but I don't want to force her to be there either.
I was 11 when my oldest younger brother was born. And while it did change a lot of things it was also a great learning experience for me. I learned what it was REALLY like to have a baby. My mom jokes that it was the best way to teach ME about birth control. It was too. But more than that it really really prepared me for being a parent myself and that is invaluable. Obviously she won't see the value in that now but she can learn compassion and responsiblity.
Including her in baby care but not expecting her to be your live in babysitter will serve you well. My parents never forced me to watch any of my brothers. It was not automatically assumed and I really appreciated that. It also made me feel special because that was something I could do for them that they appreciated as well.

April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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#12 of 12 Old 08-19-2008, 09:23 AM
 
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Taking notes...I was an only child and have been thinking about how this transition will work out.

Tina - mama to DD1 10yrs, DD2 5.5 yrs and DD3 22 mo and wifey to DH.
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