Preparing over kids for new baby?

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jaimelr's picture
Joined: 01/09/10
Posts: 217
Preparing over kids for new baby?

What have you done or are you planning to do before baby arrives to prepare your other kids for babies arrival / in advance of baby's arrival?
DS is 2 and we are starting to transition him into a toddler bed (during naps only - he has been a disaster sleeper so I am hesitant to mess with night routine).
DS had been showing some potty training interest so we were going with the flow but he has since backed off. That is not a biggie to me. It will happen when everyone is ready.
I would love to have DS weaned of the soother before baby arrive but doubt that will happen (again my own paranoia about his sleeping at night). And I really dont want to go down the soother route with #2 but I am not sure if DH will have the strength to resist.
And so far we have not told DS much about a baby coming. It is not a secret but he doesn't understand tomorrow so I don't know how he will understand months in the future. That said he is constantly putting a ball up his shirt against his tummy and walking around with it so he must be noticing on some level. Over the next few months we have many friends having their second babies so I think being around them will give us more opportunity to raise the matter with DS. (the kids will be 26 months apart).

Sweet Pea Twins's picture
Joined: 09/08/09
Posts: 922

Honestly, he may be able to understand better than you give him credit for - my twins were only 16 months old when DD#3 was born, and they understood that mommy had a baby in her tummy and that they were going to have a new baby in the house... they were excited for it - used to kiss my belly and say baby, etc. It was a bit of a shock when we first brought Deb home, but the jealousy was kept to a minimum - I think mainly because we had spent so much effort to get them prepped. I would try reading him books about a new baby brother or sister, and telling him about it. A baby doll for him to take care of can help him understand a bit, too. Show him how to feed the baby a bottle (if you're BFing, I guess that could be counter-productive), pretend to change diapers, pretend baby is crying, etc.

My situation is different this time because my kids are all old enough to really understand - at 9, 9, and 8, what I'm really having to prep them for is that their world is suddenly going to be rocked with an exhausted mom and that I'm going to need more help from them around the house. I've also made sure that they understand that it's going to be a big change for ALL of us but that I will never love them less than I do now because there's another baby coming. They are very excited to have a new baby brother, so I'm sure they will be great helpers, but I'm not sure they will understand just how it will change the dynamic at this point. So we'll see how it goes... lol

Joined: 11/29/06
Posts: 1316

DS and I watch birth videos and movies. He loves when the babies are born, but gets upset when they cry and yells "NUNNY!" (our word for nursing), he knows the babies love the nunnies when they're upset! haha.
I don't know how much he understands. I say "where's our baby?" and he points to my tummy, but I don't think he actually believes me that there's a tiny human in there.
It'll hit home once that person is born and he can't seem to get rid of it! hahaha

PianomanTran02's picture
Joined: 08/16/08
Posts: 401

DS is so excited right now. He went with us to all of my fertility treatments, so he's known from the very beginning that a baby was coming. He goes to all my OB appts too. He likes to lay his head on my tummy and listen to baby bro and feel him kick. In the last 9 months, his 2 best friends and cousin all had a baby so he knows what's coming, but the wait is starting to drive him crazy. He loves going to the store and helping pick stuff out for him too. Some of him choices aren't my faves, but he's so excited to help so I let him. He does really good with the other babies and loves to help with them, so I'm hoping this will help him adjust with his new baby.

He will be starting preschool in September too, so we'll see how that goes. I told him that will be his special big boy time where he can go and play without baby brother. He's really excited to start school without mommy.

Joined: 01/09/12
Posts: 110

My DDs are really excited about the baby. They are 9 and 3. DD#2 keeps saying that she is going to rock the baby. It is really sweet.

Joined: 11/17/06
Posts: 437

Well, DS is 5 - so thankfully he is out of the potty-training stage and sleeps in a twin bed! We have mostly just been talking to him about it. We make sure to refer to the baby by name so he gets used to the idea. He's very excited about having a brother, but a little unsure about sharing his toys haha!

We are trying to make this summer special for him and keep him busy. He is always asking when I go to the doctor if this will be the appointment where "I get the baby out."