Introducing a sibling: dos and don't - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-05-2010, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm looking to see what kind of advice might be out there for introducing a second child into the home. DS is 2 1/2 and he seems to be really supportive and excited but I do sense that he is nervous.
For those of you who have already introduced a sibling:
1) what would you do again
2) what do you not recommend

I realize that all kids are different but I'm curious to hear about what did and didn't work for you.

Cheers,
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#2 of 10 Old 01-05-2010, 10:43 PM
 
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We always talked about the love and excitment of it all - and how special it is to be a big brother/sister. I figured if negative emotions came up, we'd deal with them then, no need to put the idea in their head beforehand that it might be hard to share, etc.....

One thing I read that really stuck out to me and made a lot of sense (and makes me cringe everytime I hear another parent do it) is to never make things 'because of' the baby...for ex: I can't read to you now, I have to nurse baby (instead: I'd love to read to you - in 10 minutes!) or: We have to leave the park now, it's time for the baby to nap (instead: 2 minutes left and it is time to go!) or: we can't go out, it's too cold for baby (instead: we can't go out right now, let's do xyz instead!) You probably got the idea! That's all I can think of right now.....if I think of more, I'll be back!

: mama to 3 sweet boys, 10/21/03, 2/23/07 and 1/20/10
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#3 of 10 Old 01-05-2010, 11:12 PM
 
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I really liked the book "Siblings without rivalry" I rented it from my local LLL chapter, it is a little old but still had great suggestions. And helped me understand why the older child would feel slighted.

My son was 4 days shy of two when my daughter was born, I think he was still young enough that the change didn't rock his whole world. They are now 2 and 4 and are the best of friends.

oh and I also agree with what the past poster said about not 'blaming' the baby for things that need to get done, or not spending time with the older one.
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#4 of 10 Old 01-06-2010, 02:03 AM
 
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The two biggest things for us were having DS1 present at the birth, and tandem nursing. I don't know if that helps you at all, but that's all I can come up with.

Crunchy wife to my high-school sweetheart, mama to DS (10/23/05) , DS (11/22/07) , DD (3/9/10) , and DS (5/26/12),  and three babies in Heaven.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-06-2010, 08:55 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtnmoonmama View Post
One thing I read that really stuck out to me and made a lot of sense (and makes me cringe everytime I hear another parent do it) is to never make things 'because of' the baby...for ex: I can't read to you now, I have to nurse baby (instead: I'd love to read to you - in 10 minutes!) or: We have to leave the park now, it's time for the baby to nap (instead: 2 minutes left and it is time to go!) or: we can't go out, it's too cold for baby (instead: we can't go out right now, let's do xyz instead!) You probably got the idea! That's all I can think of right now.....if I think of more, I'll be back!
I don't have experience with this yet, this baby is our second, but I have read the same exact thing! I've also read about emphasizing how important the new big sister/brother's role is and making them feel important.

Passionate homemaking wash.gif dishes.gifwinner.jpgfamilybed2.gifmama to Christopher (11/07), Evan (2/10), and Wyatt due in July!! jumpers.gif  In love with my amazing husband <3

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#6 of 10 Old 01-06-2010, 01:25 PM
 
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DDC, hope that's ok-PP has it right on. There's so much focus on baby from everyone-because that's just how it is, and should be Try to focus on big sibling as much as possible. Here's my couple of tips:

~Big sibling presents from baby.-and from anyone else if you can manage (ie: ask your parents to get a big sibling gift if they are bringing baby gifts)
~Plan some time each day (even 10 minutes does wonders) to just marvel on your older child. Listen to their stories, talk about what's important to them and try not to discuss baby.
~Allow something that you previously didn't because "you are a big sis/brother now" (bump bedtime back 10 min or something of the like and make it known how special that is-only for big brothers etc)
~Most important for me, was letting big sibling warm up to baby at their own pace. I never make them hold baby-even for a picture- sometimes they just kind of stare for a day or two and then bring me a blanket for baby or all of a sudden kiss baby on forehead. I kind of laugh that it's like when I brought home "step dad" for the older kids...don't force anything and it will happen naturally.
~Expect some backlash. No matter how I cut it, one of my kids didn't talk to me for two weeks after he realized "we are keeping it?!!" DH had to dress him and all because he wouldn't let me touch him. It broke my heart then, but we laugh about it now.
-I guess what I'm saying is your experience may not be so extreme, but don't expect perfect bliss either -There will be days when your older is frustrated and whiny, the baby is screaming, you are sore and hormonal...but it will pass! Try and be gentle to yourself on those days and ask for help!
-in relation to asking for help-it reminds me-it never hurts to let an outside family member spoil your older kid a bit too. Special dates with grandma were awesome for me. I could lavish on baby without any guilt of an older sib getting jealous and the older sib was in heaven getting spoiled by gma...just a thought if you have that kind of support system-perhaps talk to them now about this and they can remember it was requested and step in after baby is born for a couple dates.

I think underneath it all, most kids just want to know they are still loved and important and doted on-but in ways appropriate to them. By the time baby is a couple months, you'll be a pro!

Mama to 4 Boys & One baby Girl! My DH co-sleeps! (with the couch) I'm a Student Midwife!
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#7 of 10 Old 01-06-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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Thanks for this thread!

Maggie, American expat, mother to DD1 5/27/2007 and DD2 2/15/2010
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#8 of 10 Old 01-06-2010, 02:11 PM
 
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Rikki Jean---
Thanks for saying tandem nursing, I am still nursing my 2.5 year old and have been wondering how that will play into the sibling aspect.
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#9 of 10 Old 01-06-2010, 09:07 PM
 
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Thanks, too. I just started letting DS try nursing again, he loves the colostrum (he was very sad when my milk dried up 1 1/2 yrs ago).
I've been trying to help my DS understand all the things baby can't do. Baby gets carried because she can't run around and play, baby nurses all the time because she can't eat pizza (insert favorite food). I guess I've tried to help DS understand how helpless babies are, and get him excited about helping to take care of the baby. We'll see how that goes.
Any seasoned moms try something like this?

One son , 3 years old. One husband, nine years of love. Expecting A Girl Feb 25, 2010
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#10 of 10 Old 01-07-2010, 01:11 AM
 
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Another suggestion I've read that might be helpful is that if you are planning on making any big changes in routine (if you have one) is that you start doing it BEFORE the baby arrives so there aren't so many changes all at once.

- Jen, Mama to DS1 (02.04.05) and DS2 (02.11.10) & baby #3 due in early January 2013

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