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I am trying to figure out a way to transition my three year old for our new baby. I am 24wks and baby will arrive when ds is three and a half. I try not to talk about it too much, mostly when he initiates a conversation about the baby or asks questions. Please help - I would like to prepare him as much as I can!
 

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I found it helpful to read books to my boys when I was pg with my third. They went with me on all my pre-natals with our midwife. They were totally involved, even helping me shop for maternity clothes. The best part by far was that they were at the birth. They saw it all, and watched her birth up close and personal. They both helped cut the umbilical cord and held her shortly after birth. I think the more involved you let them be, the closer their relationship will be with the younger sibling. Three years old is old enough to understand much of what's happening.
 

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In the same spot here, my son turns 3 next week and baby is due around the first half of August. We talk about the baby and I tell him what a great helper he will be (he is attracted to this idea), and I also mention that when the baby gets older, they will be able to play together.

We plan on trying to give him as much individual time after baby as possible. I'm hoping that hubby will be able to take him out and do things so that he can have some special "daddy" time when mommy is busy with baby. I'm going to try to keep him involved with as much baby care as possible, such as: diapering, dressing, bathing, etc...It will probably be more work for me letting him "help" mommy with baby, but I'm hoping that it will help him feel more involved. Instead of "no, you can't touch the special baby" and having him feel like he's been replaced.

Hope it all goes well for you!
 

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I can't tell you how many people FREAKED out at my approach, but it worked wonders for us!

We talked about the new baby A LOT and Daisy came to every midwife appointment. She was at the birth, and she was the first person to carry the new baby.

Yup.

Carry.

I let Daisy do far more than just "help". She was a hands on full participant. I made her a sling and had her carrying Rose the first day Rose was born. She has carried and rocked and crooned to her sister from day one. I also refused to kick Daisy out of the family bed, so they have slept together since day one, too (with me in between them, of course).

Daisy started nursing again, and even though I was told a million freaking times that it would harm both girls, I ignored that and just nursed both of them. I have the sweetest picture of Daisy nursing and stroking the head of newborn Rose, nursing on the other side.

I think having the attitude that a new baby will be wonderful instead of tragic makes a big difference, provided you have spaced your children so that the older one can understand exactly what "new baby" means. And it seems like you've done a great job with spacing.

It will be terrific! Don't worry! Three years between kids is recommended for lots of different reasons, not the least of which is easing or even eliminating any kind of sibling rivalry. Not true in every single case, of course, but generally true, and therefore, generally reassuring.

Congratulations on your new baby!
 

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I had a similar approach to our baby's arrival as DaisyRose. We talked about the H.'s arrival all the time with our oldest, A. A. came to all of my midwife appointments and to the ultrasound. We watched movies about babies and birth. We talked about what it might be like to be a big brother and what to expect from a newborn (ie. no running and ball playing together). And found really great new baby books at the library. While A. was not at H's birth, he was the first person we called (he was about an hour away with grandma) after H. arrived. And when A. burst home with excitment and enthusiasm, we readily let him hold and snuggle his new brother. And though A. was weaned when my milk had dried up during pregnancy, I nursed him when he asked (it was only a handful of times). And both my boys share our bed. I sleep between them but there have been many mornings I've awoken to discover that A. climbed over me and snuggled up to his brother in the night
.

Quote:

Originally Posted by DaisyRose
I think having the attitude that a new baby will be wonderful instead of tragic makes a big difference
Couldn't agree more.

And I second the recommendation of "Siblings Without Rivalry". Fabulous insight.
 

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Our little "Shmuey" will arrive when DD will be 3years2months. We are very excited about this spacing!

We told DD that there was a baby in my belly when I finished my first trimester. She had some understanding of this because our neighbor and dear friend was 5 months further along than me, and we'd been talking about her baby and pregnancy a lot. So, DD was very excited, and we immediately set to work involving her in as much discussion about the baby as we could. We've all talked together about what she can do to help when the baby is born, and we've given her three specific jobs that are hers alone: 1) Peekaboo. 2) Washing the baby's feet in the bathtub. 3) Introducing the baby to his/her grandparents and teaching the baby all about the grandparents. She came up with #1 and #3 herself (#2 was a suggestion from the woman who cuts my hair, a mother of 5!).

We loved the Sears book "Baby on the Way" and read it a lot. We also have the Dora the Explorer book called "Big Sister Dora," which she likes, and for a mass-market book, is really not bad at all. It even implies a home birth, which I think is cool -- you just have to ignore the mention of bottles.

When "Shmuey" arrives, we've told DD that she can go with her grandmother to buy the baby a special blanket just from her, and we're going to leave her money to do it herself. Then, we're going to give her a doll sling from the baby for her to use to carry her baby doll (whom she is never without).

I think this is the best we can do. My only worry is what will happen if labor comes on fast and strong and she and I are alone. I'm trying to plan for this possibility with as many backup plans for support as possible, but I've also told her that when "Shmuey" tells me it's time to come out, it's going to be a lot of work for me and I'm going to need her to be especially quiet and helpful. This may be tough -- and DD may watch a lot of Pooh videos until we can get someone to come help!


Oh, one other thing -- someone suggested to me that I start saying things like, "Shmuey, I can't help you right now; you're going to have to wait while I get DD a snack. It's her turn right now" and "Shmuey, DD is being so patient while I get water for us. You're lucky to have a big sister like her!" etc. The idea is that she get used to the baby as a presence in her life as soon as possible. I've been trying it, and it seems to interest her. She'll even say, "Mommy, you need to have a snack because Shmuey's hungry!"


I think it's going to be a wonderful adventure -- and I hope DD sees it that way, too!
 

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hmm. great ideas here.

erin is most excited about the idea of helping change baby's diaper. we've told her she can get the wipes wet (washcloth, wet in the sink).

re: bottles ---> we do bottles when mom goes to work. So we've told erin that when the baby and erin are home with dad, erin can help feed the baby with a bottle. Erin insists that baby needs a sippy cup, but whatever. She's pretty excited about it all around.

baby will be born in a hospital and erin will be with my close friend deb. that's due to various issues --- mostly I can't find someone who is comfortable with birth and doesn't have small kids to be there for erin. So...she and deb are going to make or buy a birthday cake and we're all going to sing happy birthday together.

we're also busy talking about all the things that big sisters can do that babies can't do. eat popsicles and blueberries is the latest.
 

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I would agree with the PPs who said that talking about it a LOT can help, and treating it as if it's a happy, blessed event (which it is, really) instead of something to be endured will also help.

We told DD about "Binky" when I was 3 mos pregnant - right about when we told most people. Since then we've read books (Baby on the Way and another book involving a homebirth, since that's what we're having) and talked a lot about what will happen when and after the baby comes. DD comes to the MW appointments and knows that the MW "will come to our house and help the baby come out".

Last night DD was telling me that after the baby comes out, we can all sit on the green couch together and read stories. It was so sweet!

DD also insists (and has for months) that the baby's name is Binky....and I've actually taken to calling her that, lol.

Edited to ask: for those of you who have watched videos/movies with your kids about birth, do you have any recommendations?? TIA!
 

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When our third baby was born, siblings were 4, 2 and 16 (dn). One thing we did which was really fun and meaningful was to have a birthday party for the baby in the hospital. I bought presents ahead of time from the baby to give to the kids, even (or especially!) our 16 year old nephew. The kids made gifts for the baby. We wore party hats, sang Happy Birthday, and had a special snack. It was all quite adorable, and they still talk about it to this day.
 

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When I was due with my second we told my firstborn ds about the baby about the time I was finishing my second trimester. He was two at the time and was very excited but really didn't have a clue what it would mean for his life. I took him out and bought him his own "baby." We picked out a baby doll that was as close to newborn size as possible. I think it was about 15 inches long, not quite realistic for a term newborn, but close enough for him, and easy enough for him to carry around.

That baby went everywhere with us. It had it's own carseat in the car, it's own blankie, we got out the baby bathtub and practiced giving baths to the baby. We included it as if it were part of our family. He loved that baby and was so totally excited when his real baby brother arrived. He had a real sense of how our days were going to go, and what new things would become part of our routine because we had already practiced many of them. I had also made a habit of holding his baby when I was sitting on the couch, or when we were saying prayers at night. He really seemed to like it after his brother came that we both had a baby to hold.
 
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