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<p>What have you done to prepare your older children for the birth of your upcoming baby? My little guy is 3.5 years old. So far I have told him the baby comes through the baby-tunnel. I don't want to scare him, but I want him to kind of know what to expect. I am planning a homebirth and hope to have him around (though have options for him to go if he doesn't want to be there). Are there any good videos or books that are appropriate for his age?</p>
 

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<p>i have a 5yr and a 3yr and we talk about (all things) baby a lot. they both love to hear their own birth stories and to look at my birth books. my 5 yr started saying, really often, "i just can't <strong>believe</strong> that a baby can come out of your vagina!!"  she seemed a little more freaked out than awed, so i explained a little more about how the body works, and have started to call it the birth canal instead. </p>
<p>my 3yr was really impressed by her sister and still tells everyone that i am going to have a baby coming out of my vagina. i am sometimes happy for the language barrier. lol.</p>
<p>i will have a hospital birth (vbac, live far from hospital) but have often told my girls that you can have your baby at home and they both talk about that too- that they will have their babies at home.</p>
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<p>i had a great "new baby" book, for my first dd, that talked about the whole process- from tiny baby in belly to coming home from the hospital and how confusing having a baby can be. it was such a great book, but i lent it out and never got it back. it had a vague name- something like "the new baby" or "baby comes home".....i've been looking on amazon, but can't find it. so, i will second the question for good book recommendations. i felt like it really helped prepare dd1 for the reality of having a baby around.</p>
 

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<p>We got DD a book called "I'm a Big Sister Now" that basically goes through what a baby can't do (eat pizza, walk, talk etc) and that babies cry because they need something. It was very basic, but she liked to read it over and over again and it seemed to be enough for her. We reinforced some of the ideas after DS was born ("babies cry because they need something, why don't you help me figure out what!").</p>
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<p>DD's not been hugely interested in how the baby comes out. She's been very satisfied with "My tummy will get hard and squeeze the baby out. The midwife will come over to help." She's seen a few c-sections on TV and I had to explain that that isn't the normal way babies come out, but she wasn't interested in specifics.</p>
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<p>I don't feel the need to get too in depth with her about what's going to happen, though. She does NOT do well with me being in pain, so once I know I'm in labor, she's going over to a grandparent's house. (I cut my finger a few months ago and even though all I did was say ouch and cringed for awhile, she freaked out and cried for a good 15 min...witnessing me giving birth would just traumatize her.) Since she's going, DS will just go as well. He'll want to cling to DH and I anyway, and that's just not what I want to be doing while giving birth, ya know?!</p>
 

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<p>Any suggestions for talking to kids under 2 about a new baby?</p>
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<p>My twins will be 23 months when baby #3 arrives and so far we've read some books about the new baby and we've talked about the baby but it's hard to gauge how much they understand. They love to "kiss the baby" (my belly) and lately they decided the baby needs to drink and insist on shoving their sippy cups in my belly button... <span><img alt="orngtongue.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif"></span></p>
<p><span>We're also planning to give them baby dolls for Christmas so they can have their own "babies" when I'm busy with the baby brother.</span></p>
<p><span>I'm probably stressing about this too much</span>... my girls are very laid back, easy going toddlers... I just hope they adjust well to having to share mommy's attention.</p>
 

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<p>My dd is 27 months.  She's already a little mama with her baby dolls, so I use that when I can.  If she whacks her baby on the table lol, I'll tell her that she needs to be gentle, as that hurts babies, etc.  We talk about baby Bekah all the time.  She thinks she has a baby in her belly too lol. </p>
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<p>My dd stopped nursing mostly when I hit 18 weeks.  She kept trying, but it was a "suck, suck, done" thing and still tries occasionally.  I plan to tandem, so that ought to help with nursing jealousy or jealousy in general...maybe?  I figure if I'm constantly holding Bekah and nursing her, as long as my dd is either nursing or next to me, she'll be ok.  I want to make the transition as easy as possible.</p>
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<p>I don't know.  I'm a bit nervous.  My ds was 6 when I had dd, so it was a totally smooth transition.  My dd will be 2.5 when this one is born.  I'll be watching this thread.</p>
 

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<p>I surf youtube for homebirth/waterbirth videos quite a bit with my daughter, who will be 2 1/2 when her brother comes in Feb. I explained that mamas make a lot of strange noises when they're laboring- that it's the same kind of grunting you do to get poo out when you're trying to get a baby out. And it's not that the mama is in danger, it just helps a lot to make noise. THAT turned a lightbulb on in her head lol.</p>
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<p>"Baby on the Way" from Dr. Sears is a good prep book for kids- it shows a lot of pictures of mamas with huge appetites, swollen feet, cross sections with a baby inside, etc. And then mama goes to the hospital/birth center, has the baby. The kids stay home and wrap presents for the new baby. The last half shows dad hanging out with the siblings a lot and mom breastfeeding. It's not perfect for my family since we're planning a homebirth, but it's nice overall.</p>
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<p>"Welcome With Love" is a FANTASTIC homebirth book if you can find it- sometimes Amazon is selling it for an astronomical price and sometimes you can get it used there for about ten bucks, if you're lucky. It has amazing images of a midwife with an oxygen tank, a mama birthing while standing/squatting/being supported by her partner, the midwife looking at the placenta with a child, and a portrait of the new sibling. It's one to keep forever. Get it if you can find it!!</p>
<p><a href="http://childrensneeds.com/welcome_with_love.html" target="_blank">http://childrensneeds.com/welcome_with_love.html</a></p>
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<p>"My New Baby" by Ann Kubler is a simple board book with no text that allows you to add your child's name (the toddler is pretty adrogenous imo) to a story you create yourself. It has a LOT of images of dad changing diapers, babywearing, taking the toddler to the park. Mom breastfeeds a lot while dad and the toddler make a salad, etc. My daughter's favorite part is at the end, where the toddler helps put the baby to sleep and then gets a special storytime with Mom and Dad and no sibling.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>nosce</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1285570/preparing-older-children#post_16119927"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
"Baby on the Way" from Dr. Sears is a good prep book for kids- it shows a lot of pictures of mamas with huge appetites, swollen feet, cross sections with a baby inside, etc. And then mama goes to the hospital/birth center, has the baby. The kids stay home and wrap presents for the new baby. The last half shows dad hanging out with the siblings a lot and mom breastfeeding. It's not perfect for my family since we're planning a homebirth, but it's nice overall.
<p> </p>
<p>"Welcome With Love" is a FANTASTIC homebirth book if you can find it- sometimes Amazon is selling it for an astronomical price and sometimes you can get it used there for about ten bucks, if you're lucky. It has amazing images of a midwife with an oxygen tank, a mama birthing while standing/squatting/being supported by her partner, the midwife looking at the placenta with a child, and a portrait of the new sibling. It's one to keep forever. Get it if you can find it!!</p>
<p><a href="http://childrensneeds.com/welcome_with_love.html" target="_blank">http://childrensneeds.com/welcome_with_love.html</a></p>
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<p>We've read both of these with our kids and they are great! We have a couple of others that aren't as good but are ok. We just borrowed Welcome With Love from our midwives yesterday and read it with the kids last night. It went over really well.</p>
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<p>We talked about how when you pick up something heavy you make a noise and that moms do similar noises because they are working hard to push the baby out. Then we took turns picking up heavy things and seeing how loud we might be.</p>
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<p>My kids are 5 and 2.5. The 5 yo is pretty into it all. He cut his sister's cord when she was born and he's been asking really great questions and really seems to get what's going on. The little one though really doesn't get it.</p>
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<p>I'm planning to get some birth videos to show them too.<br>
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<p>My DD is older (7), so she's been pretty involved so far. She went to the first midwife appt and heard the heartbeat early on, and was with me for the ultrasound. She often kisses/hugs the baby (my belly), and we talk a lot about what it's going to be like. I'm planning a homebirth and we've watched quite a few videos, some of them quite graphic, so she knows how the baby comes out, etc. We'll have a backup plan if she decides she doesn't want to be there, but she's not a very squeamish kid so I think she'll be fine being present.</p>
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<p>I think it also helps that a friend had a baby about 6 mo. ago who has a son a few months older than DD (in the same grade). We've babysat him (the baby) a few times, and she got to help try and give him a bottle and change his diaper (he was trying to crawl away from the diaper and wanted nothing to do w/ a bottle from me, though presumably he doesn't starve while his mom is at work on a regular basis so I may just not be good with bottles...so it was a challenge).</p>
 

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<p>I was actually gonna suggest looking up some birth videos too, you can usually find some good ones that aren't scary or anything, just peaceful and wonderful.</p>
<p>I did that with my two 23 month olds when their brother was coming. (The older ones were 7 and 17, and really knew it all.) And we've done it again now, ours are so big now that they all know all about how this happens, but I've shared some beautiful ones that I've found with them anyway.</p>
<p>We have "It's NOT the stork", it explains the whole process from conception to birth (and much, much more) in a good way. That series is very good.</p>
 

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<p>I am going to look for a copy of "Welcome with love" We have read two Dr. Sears books and a few random old books about new babies from the library. I just change the story of the library books as we read it as needed to be positive about new siblings, the pictures have been mostly fine.  Does anyone have a suggestion of a birth video that would be nice for at three year old to watch? A link to one online would be excellent.  thanks</p>
 

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<p>Here's a link to my dear friend Georgia's waterbirth of her son. Her daughter was fairly young at the time, I think 18 or 20 months. This is by far the most lovely natural birth video I have EVER seen.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DJDexz5ObYzQ" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/verify_age?next_url=http%3A//www.youtube.com/watch%3Fv%3DJDexz5ObYzQ</a></p>
 

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<p>Here are some more great birth videos on youtube:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/nosceful?feature=mhsn#p/f/7/QlvbSCIoiAs" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/user/nosceful?feature=mhsn#p/f/7/QlvbSCIoiAs</a></p>
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<p>These are more for the mamas reading, not so much for your kids:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/nosceful?feature=mhsn#p/f/4/z3WA9iHz5ww" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/user/nosceful?feature=mhsn#p/f/4/z3WA9iHz5ww</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.youtube.com/user/nosceful?feature=mhsn#p/f/5/RrgASvJmMds" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/user/nosceful?feature=mhsn#p/f/5/RrgASvJmMds</a></p>
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<p> </p>
 

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Discussion Starter #13
<p>Thank you for posting these. I've saved the one youtube video to show my son. This should also give me a better idea if it's a good idea to have him there for the birth. From reading other birth stories, I've decided to have our birth pool in our bedroom, so the living room can be a birth-free zone for those who don't want to be there (and I don't want to be there). I will check out my midwives library next week when I'm there for any of those books!</p>
 

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<p>DS isn't interested in how the baby comes out at all, so we haven't discussed it.  Even when I was planning a homebirth I didn't want him there.  A) he's prone to getting VERY upset at the drop of a hat and B) my DH is a devoted father and would have a hard time providing labour support if DS was around.</p>
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<p>We discuss the baby constantly though.  When we give him a bath we talk about when the baby comes out and can have a bath with him, and how he'll be able to help us wash the baby, but won't be able to splash.  We talk about how the baby will cry (DS likes to imitate it.) and places we will take the baby.  We talk about what the baby will eat.  We talk about everything - every aspect of life, we talk about how the baby will be included.</p>
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<p>I need to start talking about the labour, and how he'll go and stay at Nanny and Grampie's house, but I'm not worried. He's done it before and had a good time, so I don't think it'll be a problem.</p>
 
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