bringing another child into the mix

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jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525
bringing another child into the mix

I know my little man might be too young to understand what's going on but I still wonder how to handle it. How did everyone explain it...make the transition...not allow a jealous sibling etc...for ones that don't have more than one what's your plan for the future? Anyone know of good books on the topic?

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

I don't think there's much you can do to prepare kids this young for a new sibling. When #2 comes along, I plan to try to get T as interested in my pregnancy as I can and get her to understand there's a baby in there. When baby #2 is born, I'll try to keep T's schedule the same as it was before baby so she can more easily adjust. Even though I'll be home, I'll probably keep sending her to daycare if we can afford it so I have time with new baby alone.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Right now I'm just trying to get Aiden to realize there's something in my tummy. So far he doesn't care.
I've seen some kid's books about being a big brother/sister, etc but I don't really like the ones I've ran across because they all talk about giving the baby a bottle, putting the baby in the crib, etc and we BF, cosleep, etc so I wonder if it would just lead to more confusion for Aiden.

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

I tried to get Lyla to understand there was a baby in there, but she never got that part at all. She did love my big belly though and I'd sit on the couch and pull my shirt up and let her blow raspberries on it. One day she pulled up her shirt too so I picked her up and put our tummies together. After that she'd come up to me and pull up my shirt and then pull up hers and put our tummies together. She loved it.

I was worried because she's pretty rough with her toys and she's had me all to herself, but she's been great. She loves the baby and throws a complete fit if she doesn't get to hold him and help with him. We just kept her schedule the same as it had been the whole time and made sure that we spent plenty of time with her. The biggest difference was that DH took over a majority of caring for Lyla (bath, diaper changes, bedtime) after the birth while I was healing from the c/s. I think as long as the older one doesn't feel replaced or neglected they'll be fine. My main advice would be to just make sure that N is included and you make a conscious effort to pay him plenty of attention after the baby is born, which you would do anyway :-D.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

I read a great idea once that I stored away in my brain in case I need it someday...on a thread about this topic on another forum, someone said that when people came over to meet the new baby, they asked everyone ahead of time to greet their daughter first and congratulate her on becoming a big sister, etc. and ask her to show them the new baby. This way she felt included and proud rather than pushed aside during all the exciting new attention. Seems like a simple but very effective way to get off on the right foot!

We have a book from when I was in children's publishing (I stocked up on freebies before I left :D) called "What Can Our New Baby Do?" that is pretty cute...it does feature a slightly older baby (eats mushy peas, etc) and does sleep in a crib, but also rides on mommy's back, etc. so you might find it a little more appropriate for your family, Jackie. It's silly and sweet...Addy likes to read it even though we don't have a baby on the way Smilehttp://www.amazon.com/What-Can-Our-New-Baby/dp/0689850611

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Our LOs are at the age now that they like to role play. Teagan loves to play with her baby doll. She puts it in her high chair, feeds baby, insists that I put a diaper on baby (I use preemie prefolds & a snappi), and puts baby down for a nap. I think it'll help some day when #2 comes along. I plan to get T a ring sling for her baby doll. Then she'll get to carry her baby while I carry #2. I think a sling would be very helpful in your case, Jackie. Aiden might be more jealous of you wearing new baby than even nursing new baby! Find a sling for his cabbage patch doll. And Justine, don't think for a moment that little boys can't role play with dolls!

I'm not really very worried about how T will adjust when #2 is really small. I'm more worried about what the heck to do when #2 is around a year and he/she needs to transfer to T's room. DH keeps saying they'll share T's queen sized bed. Riiiiiight. Because getting T to STTN in her own bed was soooooo easy. I can imagine getting #2 to STTN in a bed with a squirmy pre-schooler will be a piece of cake. DH has weird notions because he grew up hippy. He and his siblings all shared beds until he was like 12 so he insists it can be done. But he and his siblings are also really lucky to be alive given all the horror stories I've heard. He totally understands that his parents were INSANE but for some reason he occasionally offers their parenting techniques as viable options.

I'm also really worried (probably without justification) that #2 will insist upon FF in the car before I'm willing to turn him/her because big sister is FF. Perhaps I can just keep them both RF until high school?

AnnaRO's picture
Joined: 07/06/08
Posts: 7033

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

Perhaps I can just keep them both RF until high school?

This is what I'm thinking, too!

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

My situation was a bit different b/c DD1 was 2 1/2 when I got pregnant. We didn't tell her until we were ready to announce at around 8-10 weeks (b/c she would have told everyone) so when we told her she was 2y 9mo and she did understand what it meant. We did get her some books to read (Jackie, I searched out the ones with BFing moms, and they do exist. If I can find them, I'll give you the titles. But I'm pretty sure I didn't see any cosleeping ones). She had a doll baby to practice with, and each week when I took my belly pic I always had her jump in with her hands on my wbelly, too. We also had a copy of "Your pregnancy week by week" and while I ignored the majority of the book's content, DD1 loved to see the pictures of the baby in mommy's belly.
Then, toward the end I had her pick out a toy to give the baby (and got a toy for the baby to give her) and got her a Big Sister shirt to wear to the hospital.

Jealousy I think is just the luck of the draw. DD1 was so excited about her baby sister, she wasn't jealous at all. I don't think it was necessarily anything we did, she just doesn't get that jealous. Anyway, we let her get involved with the new baby, bring diapers, help with the bath, etc. But again, she was 3 y 3mo when Lainey was born, so it's different. Also, we have always told the girls "You are such a good big sister. Your little sister loves you very much," "You girls are so lucky to have each other, you love each other very much" and things of that nature.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

"TiggersMommy" wrote:

I'm also really worried (probably without justification) that #2 will insist upon FF in the car before I'm willing to turn him/her because big sister is FF. Perhaps I can just keep them both RF until high school?

I've actually heard that that helps some be happy to RF longer, because they can look at each other.

Also, this:

He totally understands that his parents were INSANE but for some reason he occasionally offers their parenting techniques as viable options.

made me LOL. Sorry. Smile

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

"cactuswren" wrote:

I've actually heard that that helps some be happy to RF longer, because they can look at each other.

Also, this:

He totally understands that his parents were INSANE but for some reason he occasionally offers their parenting techniques as viable options.

made me LOL. Sorry. Smile

My troubles are made less troubling if I'm able to make others laugh at my expense. LOL away.

rubber_da_glove's picture
Joined: 12/31/07
Posts: 1527

DS1 just accepted everything. We did tell everyone to make a fuss of him first when they came to see Tobey and he was really proud of his new baby brother (he still is to be honest, he still tells everyone "this is my little brother") When I was pregnant we told him there was a baby in my tummy and he seemed to understand (there is a video on my FB of him being about 18/19 months and we asked him where the baby was and he came and gave my belly a kiss, he was 22 months when Tobey was born) He used to give my belly kisses and cuddles and point and sign baby.

When Tobey came I kept everything for DS1 the same but let DH take over quite a bit in the first few weeks so I could care for Tobey. It worked out pretty well. The only issue for me is DS1 prefers it when DH takes him to bed as he got used to it which isn't so easy for me when DH is working late. But we are all used to it now Smile

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

"cactuswren" wrote:

I've actually heard that that helps some be happy to RF longer, because they can look at each othe

This has been our experience so far. I don't think DD2 even notices she is RF, she has DD1 to entertain her. This is almost the age when DD1 was trying (and succeeding) in escaping her RF seat.

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

I did some searching last night and found a list of children's books that show AP practices and a couple are about being a big sibling/new baby coming. I'm going to have to look into them more! I just know I looked at a bookstore recently and wanted to chuck the 3 books I saw.
Totally getting Aiden a toddler ring sling! DH wants to get him a toddler SSC, but they're all made to fit 3 year olds and such. I think he's going to have to deal. He has a cabbage patch doll that I'm hoping he'll enjoy toting, if not there's also Elmo. Lol
Really wish I would have DH's help when this LO arrives, but chances are pretty low that he'll be around enough to be helpful. Stupid military.

jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525

Jackie-- what are your plans as far as the Co sleeping with 2? I Co sleep as well and am trying to figure out how I'm going to handle it.

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Is N still in your bed?

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Aiden isn't cosleeping anymore. He turned into a horrible cosleeper last fall with constantly waking up (he was getting up every 30 minutes!). Though he joins me in bed every morning for nursing and sometimes will fall back asleep.

Have you thought about side carring a crib to your bed? That'll give you extra room and a separate space for your toddler.

BuckeyeK's picture
Joined: 10/23/06
Posts: 3087

These are the books I liked for DD1:

Hello Baby!
My favorite. Includes pictures of a baby growing in mom's tummy, shows baby BFing (no bottles shown at all) and says that "Mommy's breasts make milk that is the perfect food for a baby." Baby is not shown in a crib, but is in a moses basket at times.
http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Baby-Lizzy-Rockwell/dp/0517800748/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1336526993&sr=8-1

On Mother's Lap
Not about new babies per se, but addresses feelings of jealousy. The theme is "there is always room in mother's lap."
http://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Lap-Ann-Herbert-Scott/dp/0395629764/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336527364&sr=1-1

New Baby at your House
This one is ok. DD likes it because it has real pictures of babies/kids/adults. It does show both breast and bottle feeding (and I noticed that a mom is BFing in the background of one pic of a girl eating ice cream!). It does not address where baby sleeps (though whenever the babies aren't being held, I see them in either a bouncy chair or on a bed). It also addresses how a child may feel about a new baby, happy or sad. Because we didn't want to set DD up for negative feelings about the baby, we skip the negative pages. I mainly like this one for the pictures. If she had had negative feelings after the baby arrived, we might have used them to relate to how she was feeling.
http://www.amazon.com/The-New-Baby-Your-House/dp/0688166989/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1336527576&sr=1-1

Ones I wouldn't recommend if you don't want bottle feeding presented as the only option, or cribs:
I'm a Big Sister/Brother by Joanna Cole. The story is ok, but bottle is the only way baby is fed.

The Little Critter 'The New Baby' book. The story is cute, but in one picture the new baby is alone in her crib drinking a bottle.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

We sidecarred a crib and it was AWESOME. I'm a really picky sleeper and I loved having the extra space with no barrier...I could just pull her over to nurse and slide her back when she was done. With 2 cosleeping, at least it would give you some much needed extra room!

alwayssmile's picture
Joined: 08/26/07
Posts: 14483

Thanks! Smile

jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525

Thanks for the book ideas. N sleeps.with us like half the might. He naps and starts off the night in his converted toddler bed. Ever since he have up nursing he wakes up asking for water about 3 or 4 and then ends up back in our bed. I don't mind it and hopefully it will stop before next baby but if not I'll have to figure it out.

jperry5683's picture
Joined: 02/13/10
Posts: 525

Thanks for the book ideas. N sleeps.with us like half the might. He naps and starts off the night in his converted toddler bed. Ever since he have up nursing he wakes up asking for water about 3 or 4 and then ends up back in our bed. I don't mind it and hopefully it will stop before next baby but if not I'll have to figure it out. My dh also snores terribly so sometimes I end up sleeping with N in his room.

cactuswren's picture
Joined: 10/19/09
Posts: 4658

Addy sleeps with her sippy full of water Smile

HorseMomma's picture
Joined: 06/29/04
Posts: 858

I would always point out a baby on TV ... or have a baby doll...and say gentle baby...I haven't had one jealously issue yet. I think it is how you handle the situations.
Best wishes! HH9M

TiggersMommy's picture
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 6043

Oh yeah, sippy of water in bed for sure. We started doing that when I night weaned T about a month and a half ago and it makes a huge difference.