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Nil 30.09.2010 09:01

Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Hello,

I am interested to know how did you prepared you first child for the second one. Any tips, experiences, anecdotes?

I am showing pictures of babies to my toddler, telling her that a baby is in mommy's belly and I also show her pictures of bigger bellies with the baby inside. Yesterday we got the first scan and she was pointing at the pictures saying Baby baby! But I am not expecting her to really understand the concept...

What about the room if they will share?

Nil

Sutter 30.09.2010 09:22

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
First congrats on being pregnant again.

When i was pregnant with my second child i always involved my daughter especially when my son was born, i would ask her to help mummy and be a big sister to her baby brother, she helped me prepare feeds, change his nappy and i always praised her telling her what a big help she was and a good girl. I was afraid she would of been jealous, but she never was, she was proud to be a big sister and always wanted to help.

Mélusine 30.09.2010 09:28

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
I was a bit worried about telling my son (4) that I was pregnant before the 3rd month, in case I miscarried. I thought it could be a bit traumatic.

But then, he was wondering why I was throwing up all the time, so I told him it was because I had a baby in the tummy, and that it was normal to be a bit sick at the beginning.

Well, his answer was that he was very disappointed he was not there when Sergio (my bf) put the seed in my tummy, he really wanted to see that! :) I guess I should precise a bit my 'bee and flowers' speech :)

He vaguely understands there is a tiny baby inside me that will eventually get bigger and turn out into a brother or a sister. But it's all quite vague for him. I'll take him for an echo later on, when you can really see a baby on the screen and not a bean!

Meisie 30.09.2010 09:52

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
My daughter is now 2 years and 3 months old and my son is 5 months and 2 weeks old (just to give you an idea of the age gap). When I was pregnant, my daughter was really too young to understand what was going on. I also showed her the baby when I had my scan and she also said "baby baby" but she didn't really understand.

There wasn't much I could do to prepare her although I did buy her a baby doll when her brother was born and she LOVES that doll! She calls it her "babyah" and goes everywhere with it. Prior to the birth of her brother she didn't care much for baby dolls at all. I showed her how to change nappies on it and give it some milk in the bottle. She loves that:)

More work for me came after my son was born. I make sure that I keep her in her regular schedule and as Sutter did, I also encourage her to assist with nappy changes, bath times etc however, if she does not wish to help out I just leave her to do her own thing. What is also very important is that I make sure that when my son is sleeping or is happy wiggling around on his own, I give her my undivided attention so that she knows this is our time together alone. As I am nursing, I find that she gets irritable as she gets bored waiting, I have tried to give her toys and books and activities she enjoys doing while I'm nursing and sometimes it works and other times not.

What I also do is on days she is at the Krippe (day-care) I take care of the housework. On the days she is at home I do minimal so that I can give her the attention she needs.

I find that if I give her my full attention at certain points during the day, then she is quite happy to do her own thing when I have to leave her alone when I nurse or get her food ready etc. However, some days are better than others ;)

If I may offer further advice regarding preparation, try and freeze at least 1 week of food for dinner prior to your new baby being born. What I did was I just cooked as I normally did but prepared double the amount of food and stuck the remaining half in the freezer.

Additionally, your home is going to be totally trashed so just be prepared for that and try and sort out any OCD issues that you may have (I had and still do have and that has been one hell of an adjustment I have had to try make!).

Macchiato 30.09.2010 14:06

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
I'd reduce addiction to EF, and spend more time with the kids:msntongue:

smackerjack 30.09.2010 20:24

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
There were 2 and three quarter years between my daughter & son and to be honest I did not really refer to the new arrival much until the last few months. When they are only 2 ish 6,7 or 8 months is such a long time in their lives.
We went shopping the last few weeks and I included her in choosing clothes etc and included her in all preparations. When my son came home from the hospital I made sure that in his carrycot when we got home there was a gift underneath his blanket "from her new baby brother".
That really went down well:)
About 3 weeks later she suddenly asked when he was going back - But luckily she then added, that she wanted him to stay.
Of course they must be jealous -it is only human nature -but if they don't feel excluded and feel secure all will be fine.
I remember that time as one of the happiest of my life....

havanah 30.09.2010 20:38

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
There's a book called "My Baby" which is illustrated and without words; we looked at it often as the due date came closer and imagined how it would be when the baby cries, etc. This turned out to be the best prep because it can be rather disappointing (and alarming) for a child to hear how loud a baby can be, how much sleep they need, and how although they can't always come first there will still be time for them too.

I also liked it because it had uncomplicated illustrations of celebration, then of mum nursing baby while dad and older child prep supper (love that one -ha!), then dad is getting a crying baby dressed while the older child is nearby dressing himself, etc. I've got it lying around -if you're interested, let me know and I can send it off to you.

Mrs. Doolittle 30.09.2010 20:53

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 962042)
What about the room if they will share?

Nil

This is the one point that may cause you grief. Your daughter may not really understand what a baby is, but I am sure she knows her room is her own and sharing it could be a problem for her. In the beginning you will probably want the baby in with you, but for how long?

Plenty of children share rooms, I did, my husband did, our kids did, but not with an infant. I wouldn't trust a toddler in the same room alone with a baby.

Nil 30.09.2010 21:11

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by havanah (Post 963070)
There's a book called "My Baby" which is illustrated and without words; we looked at it often as the due date came closer and imagined how it would be when the baby cries, etc. This turned out to be the best prep because it can be rather disappointing (and alarming) for a child to hear how loud a baby can be, how much sleep they need, and how although they can't always come first there will still be time for them too.

I also liked it because it had uncomplicated illustrations of celebration, then of mum nursing baby while dad and older child prep supper (love that one -ha!), then dad is getting a crying baby dressed while the older child is nearby dressing himself, etc. I've got it lying around -if you're interested, let me know and I can send it off to you.

This is so sweet from you! :D

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mrs. Doolittle (Post 963084)
This is the one point that may cause you grief. Your daughter may not really understand what a baby is, but I am sure she knows her room is her own and sharing it could be a problem for her. In the beginning you will probably want the baby in with you, but for how long?

Plenty of children share rooms, I did, my husband did, our kids did, but not with an infant. I wouldn't trust a toddler in the same room alone with a baby.

I would like them to have their own room like we grow up my bro and I. But since we dont know where we will be and it what kind of home, I picture it like it is for now with her room. I would guess that the baby will be in our room for a bit but not long (I can't find any sleep, did it, tried it, didn't work passed a few weeks). I don't want her to be with the baby because I don't want her to wake up when the baby will cry.

The good thing is she loves babies and she also loves to pretend her baby doll is sleeping and she rocks her. I just don't want her to get the shock of her life when she finds out that this new crying and smelly baby in the house is there to stay without any preparation!;)

Melitta 30.09.2010 21:34

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Congratulations!!!

When I was expecting my second child, my midwife did a special session just for my daughter (18 months at the time). She got to hear the baby's heartbeat on a litle sonar machine and then the midwife explained that Mummy was going to have another baby, but it was OK because the baby won't take away any love from her. She draw a heart shape on the board and divided it into four. In one quarter she wrote 'Mummy' and said that Mummy has to love herself before she can love anyone else. In the next she wrote 'Daddy' and said that Mummy loves Daddy very much. Then she wrote my daughters name, saying how much I love her, and then she wrote 'Baby' in the final quarter, saying that this is the part of Mummy's heart that has been reserved for the new baby.

While my daughter was really young, the midwife insisted that they will take it all in and understand. I also read my Daughter 'Topsy and Tim meet the baby' and 'There's a house in Mummy's Tummy' to help prepare her.

My daughter took to the baby from day one and has to date, one year on, never been jealous so, while it's impossible to know for sure, I think the midsife's lesson really helped. If you don't have a midwife that offers a similar service, then using the info above, you could do a similar exercise.

Oh, and I also wrapped a present for the baby to give my daughter when they first met, which also helped a bit. She had chosen a pressie for the baby too.

Good luck!

EnglishRose 30.09.2010 21:41

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
My daughter is now 2 years 9 months and our son is 5 weeks old. I too was worried initially with what to tell her, how will she react, will she understand etc etc.

In the beginning of my pregnancy I had terrible sickness and was as a result very tired. We would explain to her as simply as possible that Mummy was tired as there was a baby in Mummy's tummy. After a few quizzical looks, she would say "Mummy's tired. Baby" and point at my stomach.

I found a book on Amazon called "There's a house in Mummy's Tummy" which I bought and this turned into my daughters favourite book. It is quite simple and explains why your tummy is getting bigger and that you eat strange foods and why you have to wait and also refers to how the child can show the baby lots of fun things when it's born, like playing with toys.

She would happily point to the characters naming Mummy, Daddy, herself and Baby. For the few francs the book cost, it was invaluable!

We also took our daughter to a teddy bear shop for her to choose a bear for baby that she could take to the hospital when he was born. She seemed to love the fact she could choose any bear she wanted and did indeed proudly bring it with her when the day came. She was equally more than delighted to find that her new baby brother had been born clutching DVD's from her favourite TV cartoon! Those DVD's have also been quite invaluable at times, to allow me to feed or deal with her brother!

She is so far a very proud and very helpful big sister and we have only had a few instances of jealousy. She loves to feed dolly when I feed baby and change dolly's nappy alongside her brother.

I think the other thing to watch for is not to tell the older child off too much, but to calmly advise them on how to play/interact with their new sibling and show them how you want them to behave alongside the baby and massively praise all the good little things they do!

Good luck!

Well 30.09.2010 21:56

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Nil (Post 962042)
Hello,

I am interested to know how did you prepared you first child for the second one. Any tips, experiences, anecdotes?

I am showing pictures of babies to my toddler, telling her that a baby is in mommy's belly and I also show her pictures of bigger bellies with the baby inside. Yesterday we got the first scan and she was pointing at the pictures saying Baby baby! But I am not expecting her to really understand the concept...

What about the room if they will share?

Nil

Tell your baby that newborns come with presents to their siblings! Your baby will look forward to it (but don't forget to prepare a present :))

kevlegs 30.09.2010 21:59

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
It will all work itself out. You will be happy to be blessed with two great kids.

I wish that I were in your position.


Good luck

MusicChick 30.09.2010 22:36

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
I wouldn't show her this, I don't know what were commies thinking..We actually got this from my parents to teach our child about how babies come to the world, when she was about 1,5yr :eek:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23KLC...eature=related

Quote:

Originally Posted by smackerjack (Post 963060)
..
About 3 weeks later she suddenly asked when he was going back - But luckily she then added, that she wanted him to stay....

I remember my friend's child getting quite upset that the baby does not go back to the hospital after 2 weeks of only crying, pooping, sleeping and eating. When we were small, we were almost 3 yr old when the next sibling was born, mom just gave us the babycarriage with the newborn in it and sent us march around the house, rocking the baby to sleep. We felt so important, I was ironing my baby brother's cloth diapers, my older bro was mixing the baby cereals, we creatively fed our little brother with all sorts of weird things to "help out". The fact we weren't scolded was great, we felt like mom can't mother the baby without us properly :D My older brother was "in charge" of me as well, when I was born, picked toys and clothes for me.

Now, I have read up about kids in one room, they seem to be better off. More independent and self contained, more bonding, less scared of monsters, better communicators later in life, less prone to hog materialistic stuff, etc..I grew up sharing a room, it was fun, we had a pack, whispered ourself to sleep, the older sibling explained how things work to the younger ones (well, the nuclear bomb was not fun to imagine at 5), the younger ones made the older giggle with really rude rhymes, still make me laugh I remember them, we counted sheep together, a lot of toys and furniture were simply ours, not mine or yours.

tanyarama 30.09.2010 23:07

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
I am wondering this myself. My daughter is 2 and a half, baby brother coming ANY time now.
I imagine it will be a challenge in the early days but will only get easier.
All the best!

Carlos R 30.09.2010 23:22

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Haven't read through the other posts - lack of time, but I'll add my 5 raps - apologies if repeated.

We have 3, all 18-19 months apart.

The big thing for us was to ensure that the children had full access to their siblings. We did not "protect" the younger ones from any damage the older ones might do by being interested, i.e. holding, poking - not in sensitive spots of course - stroking and generally caring for a younger child. We were of course there to help, but not hinder or block.

It was really frustrating to see - especially - my MIL fretting over the older children holding the younger one(s) in the background. Really a "negative" vibe.

As far as we were concerned, children have a natural interest in younger/smaller babies than themselves. If they didn't fine. But if they did, we were always going to encourage them to investigate and explore.

Interestingly enough, we never had any jealousy issues, and all three still love to be around newborn babies - the concern of the new mums usually evaporates when they see how gently even our youngest (only 2.5 yrs) treats babies.

Pre-birth, the best you can really do is read stories about "mummy having a baby" and involve them in as many of the ante-natal visits you can. Let li'l princess "choose" some toys to give to the baby and maybe any kit you need to buy to involve her and make her feel she's part of the process.

Good luck & by the way congrats (not said it yet ;))

wellmood 01.10.2010 00:06

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Hi,

how nice to read all thewse stories and rethink these subjects!

The main issue I had with older brother [difference is 28 months] was that he took advantage of me nursing the little one, I think there is not much you can do except maybe watch a movie together or read a book while nursing [not ideal]. Or if you bottlefeed, maybe he or she can help.

Sleeping in one room is somehting I want for the 2 brothers here, but so far the oldest falls asleep in our bed as party keeps on going on if they are in the same room.. Also the oldest stays awake for a long time, playing and reading.
But in a year or so, who knows they might be ready! If they really start communicating..

Before number 2 was born, I had a funny book with small lids, showing underneath the baby growing inside mommy`s belly - but it`s Dutch.

Also in my expoerience, the 2nd baby was such an easygoingm cute little fellow that I could still spemd most time on his big brother. Or maybe that was the reason the 2nd was so easy to handle - or maybe we were the reason ;)

Godo luck with the pregnancy and congratulations too!

wellmood 01.10.2010 00:07

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
sorry for all these horrible spelling mistakes.. I hate laptops :msnmad:

Carlos R 01.10.2010 09:07

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by wellmood (Post 963270)
sorry for all these horrible spelling mistakes.. I hate laptops :msnmad:

If you think that's bad, try an iphone...

Nil - the Mrs also suggested that you tell li'l princess about when the baby is awake, kicking, sleeping - basically make it into a person that's just waiting to get out.

CH_Me 01.10.2010 10:15

Re: Preparing the first child for the second one!
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Carlos R (Post 963225)
The big thing for us was to ensure that the children had full access to their siblings. We did not "protect" the younger ones from any damage the older ones might do by being interested, i.e. holding, poking - not in sensitive spots of course - stroking and generally caring for a younger child. We were of course there to help, but not hinder or block.
...

As far as we were concerned, children have a natural interest in younger/smaller babies than themselves. If they didn't fine. But if they did, we were always going to encourage them to investigate and explore.

Interestingly enough, we never had any jealousy issues, and all three still love to be around newborn babies - the concern of the new mums usually evaporates when they see how gently even our youngest (only 2.5 yrs) treats babies.

Treating little babies gently is what most kids do. The time you need to prepare them for is when the baby gets mobile and starts taking their toys.

Holding or poking is the least of my worries. Jumping on, pushing over, driving over fingers, putting things on their heads or feeding the littles ones is a far bigger danger. My older son doesn't know when to stop when he gets silly. I don't leave my kids alone together and I won't put them in the same room at night.


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