How are you/all the older bros/sisters doing?

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Marite13's picture
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How are you/all the older bros/sisters doing?

So...I know many of us were worried about how our first children were going to react to their first sibling. How is it going for everyone?

I have to say... I'm feeling like I'm letting down my DD. I was just saying to DH tonight that I really have to make a point of interacting with her more intentionally, instead of just to keep her brother safe from her. I'm sad for how our relationship has changed... but things are kind of crazy around here with lots of different stuff going on, so I basically never get to put the baby down, because DH is really busy trying to get a bunch of stuff done around the house. So I just always have the baby.

DD herself is doing ok- she likes her brother, and talks about him, or asks where he is if she doesn't know. She's still way too rough with him, and sometimes I have to be really careful. She gets pissed at him if he pops off while nursing and tries to force him back on the boob- yesterday she pushed his head with a hand full of Legos- took a good layer of cradle cap right off him. Sad She just doesn't get the gentle thing AT ALL.

So yeah, we're doing ok...but, I def feel like I have to try harder to make the whole situation better.

How are the rest of you doing??

sometimes's picture
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Well... Savannah LOVES her baby brother. She doesn't really show any jealousy at all and she loves to kiss and cuddle him. She's also a great helper and I've even let her feed him a few times. She loves it. She's always saying "Aww, he's so cute" and saying "That's MY baby brother.".. She can be a little careless with running around, etc but in general tries to stay aware of him. So I am very pleased about that.

Now.. my relationship with her... I feel kind of like you, Mara. I feel like I'm always telling her to leave him alone or that I'll do something for her right after I finish with her brother, etc. I really need to take her out for a mommy/daughter date soon.

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Paxton is doing fantastically. He's 4 and is in a really helpful wants to please you stage. He loves to help with diaper changes, holding baby, pats his bum when he's fussy...

Hayden on the other hand--she could care less. She is alittle upset with me, but she doesnt have any interest in Finn. Won't hold him, go near him, acknowledge his presence. Nothing. Which is probably for the best, because she's very rough and kind of a brute. She doesn't know her strength and that makes me nervous.

I get alittle sad that Hayden is so upset with me. She's used to being the baby and the center of attention... So her world has been rocked and she wants nothing to do with me anymore..

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Penelope loves her little sister! She's mommy's big helper. She helps with diaper changes, rubbing lotion on Lily (she can be gentle) and always talks to Lily Rose and is so sweet to her! She wants to breastfeed her, lifting up her shirt saying, my turn, my baby! It's pretty cute. She even hold Lily really carefully and just beams.
She's a bit upset with my husband and I and was clingy at first, but I expected all that. When Lily Rose is napping I make sure to cuddle with Penny, play outside, blow bubbles, read books. I also get to put her to bed sometimes (thank God for bottles- my husband is happy to give the occasional bottle).
I dunno, it's going better than I thought. I'm still consumed with guilt about my changed relationship with my oldest, but we're all adapting.

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Kaylin has developed a terrible attitude. I know most can be contributed to her being three but its getting exhausting. She mouths constantly, cries and whines, and even told Abram to "shut up" yesterday because he was crying. For the most part she could careless about him and seems to just get annoyed that he's here. She told me yesterday that I need to give Abram a bottle do Daddy could have him.

Like you Mara, I'm sad at how our relationship has changed. I am so occupied with the baby right now that she doesn't get much positive attention. I feel I'm always getting onto her for acting out. I've been trying to take one day a week to do something fun with her, like the water park or movie, but it seems it always ends with her having a bad attitude and ruining the outing. No matter how hard I try, nothing seems good enough!

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All is going well here. Our "biggest" problem is the kids fighting over whose turn it is to hold Seth or change his diaper or who got to do it longer or last time....Our second DD Callie gets really upset with me when I won't let her hold him, typically when he is sleeping and I don't want her to bug him....just leave the poor kid alone!

They all kiss him 50 times/day and he is the first person they want to see when they wake up each morning. By the end of the day the poor kid smells like peanut butter, cupcakes, syrup, etc-- whatever the big kids have been eating and then kissed his head.

We are coping well, but are used to managing many littles at once. He is accepting bottles, but I've yet to leave him for more than 10 minutes at a time.

We are still on the go a good bit (today we spent the morning at a splash park with friends, and we're going swimming with other friends this afternoon.) We try hard not to disrupt their lives or change the schedule much-- the new baby just comes along with us for the ride. So far, so good!

Marite13's picture
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"boilermaker" wrote:

All is going well here. Our "biggest" problem is the kids fighting over whose turn it is to hold Seth or change his diaper or who got to do it longer or last time....Our second DD Callie gets really upset with me when I won't let her hold him, typically when he is sleeping and I don't want her to bug him....just leave the poor kid alone!

They all kiss him 50 times/day and he is the first person they want to see when they wake up each morning. By the end of the day the poor kid smells like peanut butter, cupcakes, syrup, etc-- whatever the big kids have been eating and then kissed his head.

We are coping well, but are used to managing many littles at once. He is accepting bottles, but I've yet to leave him for more than 10 minutes at a time.

We are still on the go a good bit (today we spent the morning at a splash park with friends, and we're going swimming with other friends this afternoon.) We try hard not to disrupt their lives or change the schedule much-- the new baby just comes along with us for the ride. So far, so good!

Audra, I'm jealous of how well everything is going for you!! Did you ever have a harder time introducing a sibling (like with your eldest and the next?) or has it always been such smooth sailing?? Does it get easier the more kids you add??

DD did an about face with me today- she went from kind of just not coming to me at all, to wanting me for every little thing today. I was kind of glad she was willing to try, but sad to have to say no, or make her wait so often. Sigh.

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Max has a very mild case of it (probably because it just popped up a couple days ago). I won't be surprised if it gets worse because my daughter had a terrible case of it and it lasted for quite awhile.

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Jason is luckily a Daddy's boy. He is definitely handling it well, but I feel bad for how often he is stuck waiting for us to get done with something for the baby for attention. He has too much energy and misses the kids from daycare and I think the structure too. We just hired a nanny yesterday for when I go back to work but the more I think about it the more I think he will need preschool instead. He needs someone to play with him and while she is perfect for the newborn I think she may have a hard time keeping up with him in physical settings. So he's kinda getting the short end again...Mommy guilt is by far the worst feeling in the world I've had to deal with.

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Chase is so far doing great (7years old) however, Im very sad to say, he is with his Dad for the summer, so we have only had him two weekends since the birth, and one of those was the big storm with no electricity. During those brief times I did feel like I was always correcting his behavior around the baby - be more gentle, quiet, etc - but I tried to explain that I was teaching him not scolding him. I miss him SO SO SO SO much but I think all in all it is probably better for him to be with his Dad, full of summer time activities, than here with the constraints of an infant. That said, I cant wait for August 7th when I get him back and for he and his little sister to bond properly!!!!!

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Mara-- luckily it has always gone well when we've added a new baby. I think most of that is luck and the other is that we have pretty easy going kids, who have always liked babies a lot.

There is a great book called "Siblings Without Rivalry", that Trey and I read and re-read frequently. It is an OLD book, recommended to me years ago by my boss at work (who has two boys now in their 20's....who were less than 2 years apart but have an amazing relationship with each other....and their parents.) We try very hard to use suggestions from that book about things "not" to do to create rivalry among the kids and so far it seems to be working well. The authors also wrote another book called How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk-- another great read, but for older kids.

Some of the "tricks" that we use-- we occasionally with "scold" Seth when we are with the other kids. By "scold", I mean we'll say, "Sorry Seth, I'm busy with child X right now. You'll have to wait until I'm finished." We only make him wait a minute or two, but it makes the kid we are with feel important (and are words they hear themselves throughout the day--kwim?) Or if Seth grabs their hair and pulls or something, we'll tell him no, you have to be gentle to your sister. The funny thing is that our older girls are totally on to us and will say, he doesn't know better, or he's crying you should get him.....but it works wonders on the 3-5 year old crowd. We've also learned that babies are quite resilient and have of the freaking out we used to do in the beginning was unfounded-- our kids have never been deliberately unkind to a new baby...and most of the mistakes that they were making were really okay (maybe they weren't as soft as we were, or maybe they don't get the diaper on exactly right, but we try to let most of the things slide....and only comment/remark on the most severe mistakes, if that makes any sense.)

Good luck! The other thing to remember is that Beni won't remember this time. At all. Even Callie doesn't remember when Lexi was born, and she was almost 4 at the time.....so be gentle on yourself! I know the guilt is hard right now, but she'll just feel like Z has always been here in just a few months....honest.

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Griffin is doing GREAT with his baby brother. He adores him and has been waiting for ages to finally get his mitts on him, so he is always sitting by him, looking at him, kissing him, etc. He didn't understand how gentle he had to be at first, and he still tries to climb on or roughhouse with DH and I when we are holding the baby and we have to remind him to be careful, but overall he gets it now and is much more gentle. We told him the baby was "fragile" and that word seemed to help it click. He has been a little whinier and throwing more tantrums than usual, but I expected that. Mostly I just feel guilty that I can't spend time with him like I used to and our relationship has changed. He was my little sidekick and we were/are very close, so it's been hard to feel like I just can't pay much attention to him right now. There's a lot of "mommy is nursing the baby right now, so you have to wait" going on. He has been playing a lot with daddy, and loves it, but he really wants me to play too and I need to find a way to make time for him. Luckily, Ronan has started sleeping a 2-3 hour stretch in the afternoon, and I can put him down in his moses basket or the bouncer and he sleeps, so that has been giving me a bit of time to focus on DS.