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Old 19.03.2011, 00:20
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advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your second

My second baby will be due in July and both my husband and I are not swiss therefore we wont have any family memebers here to help with the childcare while I am in hospital. The good news is that I will be having a pre arranged C-section so that my nearly 2 year old will know when his sibling is coming and the operation wont take as long as a natural birth in most cases. The bad news is that my boy is not attending any sort of day care, kinderkrippe or spielgruppe due to his seperation anxiety at the moment. His seperation anxiety started 2 month ago and doesnt seem to get any better- bascially I cant leave him for a second and he wont tolerate anyone but I caring for him. I went to his pediatrician this week and asked about the seperation anxiety and was told to wait until he gets better.
I am wondering if any of you have got some experience and were in a similiar situation?
Many thanks in advance for your advise or comments.
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Old 19.03.2011, 01:18
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

Perfectly normal situation for a 2 year old to do this. When new talking sausage arrives make sure you involve no.1 in everything to do with the new baby. Before, during and after. Get them excited in the whole experience. He will soon stop this, believe me.

Good luck
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Old 19.03.2011, 08:28
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

I just wrote you a big answer with full of links and informations to help you and I lost everything.

I'll come back later when I am more calm and I'll write it again.. I have greats tips for you!

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Old 19.03.2011, 08:36
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

Hello,

some advice that might work.
There will be a lot of times during a childs development that they want to be very close to you. They can feel if something is going on (in your situation it will be the new baby). That is very normal! You only have to ask yourself how you can help him in these times. They are not easy for you because when he has more independent you worry about his development. There are times when you have to step backwards and later it goes forward again.
You have to ask yourself how is your reaction in the situations when he wants to be so close. What kind of reaction does he gets from you?
Have two 30min playtimes with him without interruptions (no TV, no phone etc.). Right now he needs you more and he should get "some extra time with you". In the following weeks use this playtime that he can meet other children (start with one child that comes over with his parent). That means that he has to learn that you are still there but he can play in peace without to worry that you will leave. Till the baby arrives it will be much better!
Be outside on a playground with him.
Have a routine when you have to leave him (must be the same every time). For example: See you later alligator- in a while crocodile and a hug. Take a look to yourself that you send him the right signals. Do not be insecure when you leave him. Most kids accept a new routine and good bye situation very well.
Make a picture book for him with pictures of you, his birth, family members. That will be his book and most kids love to take a look to it. Later put the pictures of your new baby inside. It is his family book!
Praise him when he has played on his own for a while.
I hope that helps a little bit. I work with babies and children and their families and have got lots of experience. If you have more questions you can send me a private message.
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Old 19.03.2011, 08:43
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

It's very normal for the older child to become a little 'clingy' when the new baby is due - also the child picks up on your anxiety, even if they don't consciously understand what is going on...

My advice would be to build your support network up as fast as you can - be honest with the people around you - will any family be coming to visit around the time of the birth ?

As a second-time mum with a child of very similar age, I was worried and I also felt guilty like my older one was somehow going to miss out...then I realised that actually, when she had time with Dad, or Grandma, she had a great time! - she wasn't missing out by being with them...

Do you make regular time for your child to be with their dad for 'dad' time ? It does have to be a habit, and it does have to be 'no choice'...toddlers respond better to predictable routines than insecure ones - even if they protest, if it's 'no choice' then you soon will find that they get used to routines...for example, Saturday morning mum stays in bed and dad gets up to the kids and gives them breakfast. That's 'dad time'...

In our household dad also does bedtime routines and his 'shift' is from 8-11pm and from 5am onwards. I do the 11pm to 5am shift for the smallest child...and the two older ones now usually aren't a problem...

What worked for us mostly was to have dad take a much bigger role with the older child, and for me to focus on the youngest one. This made a lot of sense for breastfeeding as well (obviously dad can't breastfeed).

My Montessori training gives three special roles to the father:
1. Love/ Support the mother.
2. Develop their own special relationship with the child.
3. 'Run Interference' - this is basically to protect you from unwanted interruptions, unhelpful advice, and pressure from outside forces....

For example "Oh, she's just taking a nap, can you please phone back later"... "No, we aren't having visitors right now, but you could come over to see the baby at 4pm and please bring some fresh milk, a loaf of her favourite bread and a salad"...
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Old 19.03.2011, 09:27
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

Hi,

I think I can help you. I have a 2.5 years old daughter and I am at less than 4 weeks before to give birth to my second child. I have been asking myself the same questions you are asking now so I have done a lot of research already to find tips, tricks, opinions and help. Lots of it are from this forum.

First thing, you have to deal with your first child Separation Anxiety now. Don’t wait, be pro-active and take mesures now.

Here is a Google links of plenty of answers and tips for you:

Separation Anxiety in children

My daughter joined a playgroup long time ago and she is completely comfortable to go there. Next week she will begin to go there for 5 mornings a week instead of 3 because I am too tired and too big to run after her during the days she is at home. It helps her to spend all her energy and it help me so much!

Join a group and be there with your son, when he feels a bit more confident, leave him with them for a few minutes and slowly increase the time you ‘’disappear’’. You still have plenty of time until june, but begin now!

Next thing, here is a book I strongly recommend you. It came out last November and it is a very great source of tips to how to prepare your older child, how to prepare your home and how to cope with both kids after the birth.

The Second Baby Survival guide

Now about your C-Section, here is a link where you'll find plenty of tips how to take care of yourself and how to cope with the pain, etc.

C-Section on request

This other Link is also awesome, it is all kind of tips and tricks from members of this forum of how to prepare you first child for the second.

Preparing the first child for the second one

I hope those links will help you. If I think about something else, I’ll come back to you. If you have any questions, please ask!

An other great tip is to prepare as much food as you can and freeze it. You’ll be happy to not have to think about cooking after the birth (you won’t have time anyway!) I am so mad that I couldn’t do this, now I have to rush to prepare some food… Since we were supposed to move before the birth I couldn’t do any food…. And now, I am in trouble and in a rush without energy to cook, great!

An other tip! Prepare the baby's stuff way ahead. At 2 years old, they don't understand what is going on, they don't understand the concept of a baby coming... Now that I have a big belly, my daughter begin to kind of understand that something is in there.... Kind of! She loves to kiss, hugs and lay on my belly.

My daughter sees the baby’s bed since months already and she is telling me each time that this is the baby’s bed, the baby this, the baby that, etc...

When I bought clothes and washed it she helped me to fold them and she was proud to say it was for the baby. She also knows the name of the baby and she loves to say it! We also bought some gift together for the baby and the baby bought her a gift she will get when she will meet him for the first time…

Ok, enough for now, I’ll think about more stuff!

Nil
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Old 19.03.2011, 09:30
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

Hi, me again!

Ask your Health insurance if the cover some help for after the birth, like a doula, Spitex, etc.

You might have some help covered by your insurance and try to find someone to help you with the cleaning. This is what we are going to organise now for this next few coming weeks and few more after the birth!

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Old 19.03.2011, 09:49
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

good, kind and supportive advice Nil, I have no more rep to give just now, so I'll be back tomorrow..

And the next time you "lose" your text because the system has logged you out, just log in again using the proposed fields of the "log out" page and you'll see that you'll recuperate your text.
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Old 19.03.2011, 09:53
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

1) dont worry - your anxiety transfers to your child.
2) everyones role in the family will change with the new addition - mummy, daddy and "big" kids. Be aware of this - just go with it like a rollercoaster, until everything settles again.
3) breath deep, and dont worry!
4) Let your "big" kid take his role as a new big brother seriously - his relationship with his sibling is going to outlast yours as a mother.
5) let the big kid hold the little one in the hospital - it is hard for your soul, but helps him be included.
6) One step at a time. One day at a time.
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Old 20.03.2011, 00:38
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

wow a lot of great tips here. a big thank you to you all!

I didnt have time to get on a PC until now due to my son's seperation anxiety and will write more when I have more time tomorrow hopefully.
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Old 21.03.2011, 09:43
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

Apart from the anxiety issue, for childcare on/around the due date I'd contact the red cross for emergency childcare services. In this area, GE/VD, they have this service for when the child or parent is sick and cannot normally care for the child. I am guessing that a hospital stay by you would qualify to use such service. In view of the anxiety, perhaps contact well in advance to see if a gradual separation can be practised well before.
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Old 21.03.2011, 09:56
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

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5) let the big kid hold the little one in the hospital - it is hard for your soul, but helps him be included.
Not sure why it would be. We actively encouraged our children to hold the baby on the day it was born and these are some of my favourite photos/memories.

We had the in-laws over for births #2 & 3 - another advantage of planned C-sections!

When the Mrs came out of hospital, I took 3 weeks off and we had not family over. Then we had the in-laws and laws over for a week each. Thank heavens for Easy-Jet...

By 5 weeks post birth, the Mrs was fully recovered anyway.

But as others have said, involve the child and don't fret too much about allowing the older one to interact with the baby. Unless they start wielding sticks/other and/or poking in the eyes/mouth/nose/top of head then they are unlikely to do any serious harm. Added to which, especially with toddlers, the more you deny them something the more they will want to do it.

Good luck!
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Old 22.03.2011, 17:40
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

This is another Thread about how the first child might react to the second, which might be interesting.

I hope no-one else put it in here already.
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Old 22.03.2011, 20:18
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Re: advise needed- how to handle your first child when you giving birth to your secon

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This is another Thread about how the first child might react to the second, which might be interesting.

I hope no-one else put it in here already.
Ooooh Thank you, I didn't see that one!
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