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What did you do to help your older dc adjust? I have a almost 3 year old dd, and want her to feel comfortable as much as possible. Of course we talk about the tiny baby coming often, and whatnot, but I thought maybe some of you had good ideas of what to do!<br><br>
Thanks!
 

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My DS1 was 33 months when we had #2. Throughout the pregnancy we talked all the time about the baby coming, how babies don't do much in the beginning, read the big brother books, etc.<br><br>
B was born on Christmas eve, so the holiday toy overload was a good distraction for O <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> Really, once B came home, we tried to keep it fairly low-key. We didn't push O to kiss B, cuddle B, etc - just offered him lots of chances to look at B and suggested things that B might like (read to B, sing to B, etc). I was careful to not make B the cause of any friction - so when O was having one of his regressive fits, I never said, "sshh, you'll wake up the baby" (although heaven knows I was thinking it). We tried to keep O's routine the same, so he had some idea of what was happening in his now mixed-up life. I tried to make sure that I still had good one-on-one time with O (I took over bedtime for a few weeks), so that he didn't feel totally displaced. And while we exercised some leniency in dealing with his behaviour, we *tried* to keep our behaviour expectations that same as they were pre-baby - which was difficult, as I was feeling so guilty that I had ruined his life by bringing this other child into the mix!<br><br>
The first weeks, for me, were awful - but it got better quickly. It will work out well for you, too.
 

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I don't have much time so I'll just mention what I thought helped the most. We didn't bring dd2 home to dd1. DD1 came to the hospital and we all drove home together as a family. We try not to blame the baby for instance if dd1 wants a snack and I'm nursing I say mama is busy and will get it for you in a minute rather than I can't the baby is nursing. Obviously our routines changed but I worked hard to keep the important ones the same. For instance I still lay down with her at night even if its only for a few minutes and yes there were times that dd2 would be crying in dh's arms for me. It was hard at first but each day gets easier.
 

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i tried to get my older kids involved in my pregnancy as much as i could. we looked at babies, talked about babies, read about babies, lived and breathed babies. when my second was born, my oldest was right behind me watching, and he was as excited about the baby as we were. when my third came along, both of the big boys were asleep, but we woke my oldest immidiately, and he was there to snuggle the baby with my dh while i birthed the placenta. i woke my middle son when i came to bed with the baby they nursed together and fell asleep together. we have not had any problems with our older kids after a new baby. we have always tried to make a new baby and birth as normal as possible, and then just get on with life. i had my last two at home, and i'm sure a hospital birth would complicate things slightly.<br><br>
do you plan on having her at the hospital while you give birth or immidiately after? will you have someone around just for her? my MIL came from out of town right after my last two births. the kids adore her and she was there just for them, so that was helpful.
 

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We had an awesome, smooth transition from 1 to 2 children, which was unexpected to me, since my DS1 was a pretty high-needs toddler. Things that I think helped:<br><br>
- we treated the addition of a new sibling as 100% normal from the start. We're a family, sometimes families get new members. There was no talk of "mommy will still love you" or anything like that - I've heard people say things like that and I feel that it plants the idea that maybe mommy *won't* love you the same. We felt that we should project the expectation that this was a happy thing, rather than the expectation that he would feel displaced.<br><br>
- we read a lot of books about babies, talked about the baby growing inside mommy, played with dolls.<br><br>
- we had a fun plan for him while I was at the hospital. He rode with us to the hospital and my sister met us there. He had already seen the hospital and knew that was where we would be. He LOVES my sister and was really psyched to have a special day with her and an overnight stay with his grandparents. He had spent the night there before and we knew this would be fun and exciting. My sister took him on a picnic with a friend of hers and then they went home to bake cupcakes.<br><br>
- We had him join us at the hospital soon after DS2's birth for a birthday party. He and my mom/dad/sister brought the cupcakes they had baked as well as party hats and presents for the baby. We had a big brother present for him as well. Getting to see the room where mommy and daddy were staying was exciting for him and he still talks about getting to eat my fruit cup. LOL<br><br>
- When we were ready to go home, my parents brought him to the hospital again and we all left together, as a family, and arrived home as a family. It was important to me that we were not sending him away from our home to have him return later to mommy and daddy at home with the new baby.<br><br>
- lots of cuddles in the weeks afterward<br><br>
- DH took off as much time from work as he could<br><br>
- my ILs came to visit and it quickly became apparent that DS1 needed a return to "normal" - i.e., fewer visitors and back to just our nuclear family. We ended up cutting the visit short so that we could have time with just the four of us.<br><br>
- I wore DS2 in a sling almost constantly to allow me to continue busy life with DS1<br><br>
- I learned to nurse in a variety of acrobatic positions to allow for playing/reading/cuddling DS1 while nursing DS2
 

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<span><b>NEVER brought a baby home - they were ALL born AT HOME! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"></b></span>
 

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I had the new baby give the older sibling(s) a present when she came to visit us at the hospital. Kind of a like a hostess gift but for a new sibling! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I also made arrangements so I could spend one-on-one time with the older child within the first week after the birth. It's difficult when you're nursing but if you time it right you can sneak out for a story time or lunch somewhere.
 
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