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?
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.
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.
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 .
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 ) 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 http://www.amazon.com/What-Can-Our-N.../dp/0689850611
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?
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.
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.