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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'd love to hear some ways you mamas of more than one have helped connect siblings with a new baby. It will be such a shock for my toddler, who is the only grandchild on both sides right now. He's used to constantly being the center of attention. Any tips or specific things anyone is planning on doing to help with the transition?
 

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I make sure I still have time to for the older one to make them feel like they still have a place with me and have not been replaced. They still need our love, maybe more than before till they get used to the changes. I also (if they are old enough) get them to help me like bring a diaper or help put baby powder on that way they feel useful, appreciated and that they still have a place in the family.
 

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I do not have more than one child but with my child I have so far always had success in preparing her for different things by reading about it and talking about it. I would say that this works from about 1 years of age but when the child is little it is much more you talking and the child listening.

For example, at 19 months my daughter started daycare. I found a book which described her type of daycare in a mostly positive but realistic way. It described what the children would do during a normal day and some of the fun things that would happen and a little about how it is sometimes hard to get along with everybody but on the whole mostly in a positive light. We read it at least once a day for about one month and I talked about how she would soon go to daycare and play with children and that the teachers would watch over her so that mommy could go to work and that when mom and dad have finished work we will come and pick you up. I pointed to the things described in the book I knew she would like such as playing, eating, going outside and so on and how they would do this every day at daycare so that she would have a positive view. It worked out fine and she transitioned well. I plan to do the same if we ever have another child unless it will be at a time when she is old enough to just be talked to straight without examples from literature.

I am not American so I do not have any suggestions of books but make sure to read the book first, many books are not suitable for this type of introductory reading. Many books focus on problems with siblings (or daycare for that matter) and these should not be used for introductions but they can be a good tool if the transition is not successful and the child is jealous or angry with the situation, then the books can be a way of understanding that these feelings are normal and how to overcome them.
 

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Even though they are out of print, this is a favorite of mine from Sweden which works very well for this type of balanced but positive approach that I talk about. This is the baby brother book, there is also one about daycare (and some other topics) which is the one I used. The book pictures breastfeeding (and some spoonfeeding so the baby brother in the book is probably around 6 months old). Betsy (or Emma as she is called in the Swedish version) helps her mom get things for her baby brother, watches him breastfeed and the mom is loving and caring to both of them. The pictures are 70s-80s style but still not so off a modern child would not be able to relate to them.
 

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@itybitywity I'm in the same spot as you. Our daughter will be 23 months when the new baby comes along and she is the only grandchild on both sides -- so very spoiled with attention! I've just started to think about how I'm going to give her what she needs while bonding with the new baby. It's something I'm a bit apprehensive about but I figure in the end she we'll all survive. I think as an outgrowth of exclusive nursing and the fact that my husband works a lot and it's not uncommon for her not to see him on a weekday, she's still pretty attached and clingy with me. She's been getting better but, for instance, if she knows I'm home, she won't let my husband put her to bed. And while I'm a little worried about how it's all going to go down once new baby comes, ultimately I think it will be a good thing for DD and DH that he'll have to take on more with her and she'll have no choice but to accept it.


Also, I got this book, which I think someone on this forum suggested. Thanks to whoever that was! It's definitely designed for kids in the 2-year range -- it's simple and the toddler in the book looks and acts right around 2. And it pictures the mom breastfeeding the new baby, which I think is helpful. So far DD likes it and asks to read it almost every day -- not sure how much of it she understands since she's just 17 months but I think she's at least getting used to the visuals.
http://www.amazon.com/My-New-Baby-Rachel-Fuller/dp/1846432766/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1438004661&sr=8-3&keywords=new+baby
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! I'm hoping to include my guy in as much "helping" with the baby as possible. We're going to try starting infant potty training right off the bat with this second one (we waited a few months with the first) and I'm hoping to get him involved in that. He's already weaned- I couldn't handle the thought of tandem nursing. I'm a little worried about how he will take it when I start nursing again but don't let him nurse. And I liked the book. We actually found another one of those "Waiting for Baby" at the library and he has really been enjoying it.

Is anyone else co-sleeping? We got a toddler bed and put it next to our bed to try to get him use to sleeping in his own space but I wonder if a crying baby will just keep him up at night. I don't really like the thought of putting him in his own room yet. Does anyone else have any experience with that?
 

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@itybitywity is your DS potty trained? I'm so on the fence about when to do this with DD? Like I said she'll be 23 months when the new baby comes so I don't know if it's best to attempt it before all the craziness of a newborn, or just leave her in diapers and try a few months after the baby is born and things are settled down? I'm a bit afraid if we try say in December that she'll regress once the new baby comes. But the thought of two kids in diapers kind of scares me, too!


No experience with the co-sleeping bc we transitioned DD at about 9 months. No one was getting any sleep the other way so it was definitely the right decision for us.


On the other hand, I still haven't weaned DD and, like you, can't bear the thought of tandem nursing. She's 17 months now and the plan was to have her completely weaned by 18 months and for awhile I was feeling really good about it -- she just wasn't that interested and her nursing session (only one at before bed) was very short. She's now suddenly regressed and is refusing milk in a bottle or sippy cup and requesting to nurse multiple times per day. I'm pretty sure she knows something is up! Anyone that has any gentle weaning tips, I'd be happy to hear them!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He is just about potty trained. We still have accidents here and there but they are few and far between. We are still having to take him to the toilet every few hours when he's wearing undies or he sometimes waits too long and can't make it there. And he's in diapers at night just in case. He he only pees in them about once a week at this point. I am so happy to not have to worry about 2 in diapers at the same time. I would start with your 17 month old now, just to get her used to going in the toilet. Even if she regresses wouldn't it be better to get her used to the idea while she has your undivided attention? Maybe a mom who has two kids could weigh in on this one!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Oh for the weaning, I totally hear you about not wanting to nurse two at once! I admire ladies who can do it but it's hard enough for me sharing my body with one. I'm sure your little one knows that something is up with you. My 2 year old has been more clingy with me of late. We weaned slowly by making more of a set schedule for nursing based on things happening in our day. Before that nursing had been a bit more random. But we starting sticking to a clearer schedule and then I slowly, every week or two cut out one of the times we nursed. We tried to have something fun and distracting planned during that time to keep him occupied. Eventually we were down to once a day and we cut that to every other day, then every three days and then we were done. We did it slowly over 2 or 3 months. It worked really well for us. I was actually surprised that we didn't have more of a fight on our hands!
 

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I make sure I still have time to for the older one to make them feel like they still have a place with me and have not been replaced. They still need our love, maybe more than before till they get used to the changes. I also (if they are old enough) get them to help me like bring a diaper or help put baby powder on that way they feel useful, appreciated and that they still have a place in the family.
Hi! new here. I have a 3-year-old boy. I'm looking for insights on how to bring another wonderful, crazy one into the family.
 

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I make sure I still have time to for the older one to make them feel like they still have a place with me and have not been replaced. They still need our love, maybe more than before till they get used to the changes. I also (if they are old enough) get them to help me like bring a diaper or help put baby powder on that way they feel useful, appreciated and that they still have a place in the family.
Hi! I'm new here. I'm looking for insights on this very subject. Glad to be here. :smile:
 

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He is just about potty trained. We still have accidents here and there but they are few and far between. We are still having to take him to the toilet every few hours when he's wearing undies or he sometimes waits too long and can't make it there. And he's in diapers at night just in case. He he only pees in them about once a week at this point. I am so happy to not have to worry about 2 in diapers at the same time. I would start with your 17 month old now, just to get her used to going in the toilet. Even if she regresses wouldn't it be better to get her used to the idea while she has your undivided attention? Maybe a mom who has two kids could weigh in on this one!
Haha I've had two in diapers for a while and it's a pain not to mention costly. I usually potty train once they start talking around 18-24 months. It seems when they reach the talking stage they are able to grasp the concept of the potty. I don't get mad at them if they have an accident, they are doing the best they can and everyone learns to use the toilet sooner or later. Some sooner and some later. We are all different.
 

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So far my daughter is excited for the new baby, and has had more of an interest in her baby dolls since she found out. I think it helped that her little neighbor friend had a baby sister first, since they are so close in age, she's looked at it positively. We've also been reading a couple of books about what is going on with me growing the baby. @itybitywity, we still cosleep with my daughter, she is three this month, she was sleeping in her own room for a couple of months, but decided to come back in with us. We're still trying to figure out how to set up all four of us in the bed, I'm thinking maybe a cosleeper for the new babe, since my daughter usually ends up perpendicular to us in the middle. I'm grateful my DD is potty trained now, though she does have the occasional accident, though the accidents sometimes seem willful....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A co-sleeper might be a good idea. We didn't use one with my son so I honestly hadn't even thought of it- duh! He's sleeping most of the night in the toddler bed next to our bed but he does still fall asleep between us and he often ends up back between us at the end of the night. I hate to try to force him to stay in the toddler bed. He's giving us so many hours of good sleep that I kind of feel like we owe him a few hours next to us. I just see a big fight to get him to stop doing that and I'm not sure that I'm up for it!

I found last time though that I liked being able to shift the baby from one side of me to the other so we could breastfeed from both breasts easily during the night. I'm not sure if the co-sleeper would allow for that very well. Did anyone use a co-sleeper with their other babies? How did you manage breastfeeding?
 

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I have the same question re: the cosleeper and nursing. With my daughter, I just kind of sleep rolled her over top of me to nurse on the other side. I know some more well endowed ladies said they could sidelay and nurse from both breasts on one side, but my breasts are just too small for that. So then I was worried about rolling her (or him, I don't know why I said her, maybe it's a sign) into the middle to get kicked in the head by her/his sister.
 

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This is a great conversation so far. With our last baby, DS2, who is now just over 1 1/2, we had a lot of thought about this. My oldest DS1 was just over 2 when the new baby arrived and handled it pretty well. We read Dr. Sears Baby on the Way every day for the last few months to him. He really enjoyed reading it, and when the baby came he would quote from the book so you could tell it was helping him process what was going on.

The other thing we did that I think helped is decided to allow him to be present at the birth if he wanted (while still providing him with support and a place to go if he wanted to leave) -- and all the preparation that went into that, in particular we watched a bunch of birth slideshows then videos. I still remember vividly the day he suddenly 'got' that it was a new baby coming and not just us reliving his own birth. I pointed out to him the older brother in a birth video, and told him, "You're going to be the older brother like that boy!" This look of realization came across his face and then he ran off sobbing. For the next few days he struggled emotionally (and we stopped watching slideshows for a while), but one day he asked to watch the show again and really insisted on watching the one with the big brother. He then smiled and pointed to him and said, "I'm going to be a big brother, too."

I'm still trying to imagine how different it would have been had he not been at the birth center with us (he decided to skip the pushing and went to play during that part, but met his baby brother a few minutes after birth). I just can't imagine suddenly showing up with a new baby after leaving him with family for a couple of days! That said, I know it's not right for every family, and really depends on your kid.

I nursed both of them for about six weeks, then weaned DS1. We had tried weaning before and it had always been very traumatic and then aborted, but this time we talked about it a few days ahead of time, and then when it was the day he was totally fine (*I* was a total mess but that's another story!).

As far as cosleeping, both of my boys still cosleep. We separated them in bed when we had a newborn, and have a sidecar toddler bed that is rarely used. We're now trying to move a four year old out of the bed and he seems game for it as long as he gets a bunk bed, which DH is working on building.

Hope that helps! It was very interesting reading everyone else's experiences :)

Anka
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for all the feedback ladies! I'm also not quite sure how to make a cosleeper work with nursing. I was trying to remember back and realized that when he was tiny my son was on a waterproof fabric mat with a soft blanket snapped to it to avoid leaks onto the bed (it was a lifesaver since I think some leaks with cloth diapers are really unavoidable). So I would just sort of move the whole mat to one side or the other of me. Rolling or moving him any other way always woke him up.

I think we're going to have to get him to sleep in the toddler bed next to our bed all night or cosleeping with the next baby isn't going to work well for us. I'm not really excited about convincing him to do that. I think it's going to involve a lot of tears and less sleep for us adults but it will make things so much easier when the baby gets here. I suppose the lack of sleep will be good training for us since we've been enjoying an actual full night's sleep the last 3 months or so! And I don't really feel guilty about it because he will still be in the room with us, right next to us in fact since we have our mattress on the floor. I would rather make changes now so he doesn't associate them with the new baby being the cause. Better that he resents us for a bit than the new sibling!
 
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