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Thread: Introducing baby

  1. #1

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    Default Introducing baby

    How did you introduce the new baby to your older children? Did anything help to make it a happy/positive experience for your older ones? Was there anything you would do differently?

    Moo will be about 2 years and 4 months when his little brother or sister arrives. I'm starting to think about how we're going to do this All my friends are having babies so I've been giving them cuddles etc to get Moo familiar with it, the more he sees me with a baby in my arms the bigger the tantrum is getting though! I was thinking of making Moo the only visitor on the actual birth day, not only for his benefit but mine and bubs too. Would love to hear your thoughts/experiences!

    Yes I know I have awhile to go but you know how it is


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    Obviously I dont have #2 yet, but when we do, I plan that after DH, DS will be the next person to meet the new baby, and I want to make sure that DS1 gets plenty of time with me, DH and #2 - so grandparents etc can stay away until the next day at least. Another tip I've heard is that when DS1 see's the new baby that jealousy can arise if the first thing they see is THEIR Mummy holding the new baby, so perhaps have your new addition in the cradle/bed etc for Moo to come and kiss and cuddle?

    And perhaps buy Moo a little Baby doll of his own pre birth to look after and cuddle so he has a baby too? I've heard this is a really effective way to deal with introducing a new baby.

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    We bought DS1 a present from DS2 when he was born and DS1 arrived to visit him in the hospital. We did the same for DS1 and DS2 when DD was born and it certainly helped make it a more positive experience .

    We still found DS1 struggled for a while when his little bro arrived, but he was 3 by then and was used to being the centre of attention. He got there eventually. Both boys handled it fine when DD arrived.

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    Ooh so exciting Cheezel, little one will be here before you know it!

    I was 2 years 6 months when my brother was born. I have an incredibly vague memory of being taken to a very late u/s - I remember the jelly stuff being rubbed around Mum's belly. Mum and Dad made sure I was really involved in the whole process, I knew exactly what was going on - i.e. I helped set up the nursery (as well as a 2yo can help lol), chose a gift for the new baby, I knew Mum would go to hospital for a week and come home with a baby.

    On the day he was born (8:30am) I went to kindy like normal. I painted my new brother a picture of our new family, and brought it to hospital to meet him that afternoon. The pictures are classic, I was so excited to meet him! I think just prepare him as best you can, so there's no surprises.

    Good luck!

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    DS1 came to all my check ups and ultrasounds saw and heard DS2 heartbeat. After DS2 was born he was the 2nd person to meet and cuddle him (after DH). When he came in I made sure that DS2 was in cot and that I could cuddle DS1 and give him a kiss, and DH showed him DS2 in cot before picking him up and sitting him with DS1 to touch and cuddle.

    Also had a present from DS2 for DS1.

    There is only 18 months and 4 days between my 2 boys so a bit less understanding that your DS.

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    Thanks for starting this thread - there will be a 15-16 month gap between my two so I am also looking for any tips

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    My DD's experience was very similar to Kaytee's. She'd been to all the scans. She knew he was a he and actually named him. She went to school and I had my section at lunchtime. When I felt better DH went to get her around 5pm and brought her straight to the hossy. We had DS in the cradle so she could approach him on her own. She was so excited and nearly bowled it over. She couldn't wait to hold him and love him. She had picked him a pressie, just as he gave her one. She was his only visitor that day, and is his biggest fan still.
    I also made sure I cuddled just her too. I also tried to spend time with her over the next couple of days just colouring in or going for a walk while DS was sleeping or being held by someone else.

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    The gap between mine is much larger then yours will be. I've heard many people say with younger children that to make sure they see you first and make sure you make a fuss over them and how much you missed then (assuming your in hospital and some time has been spent away from them) and you introduce them to their baby sibling as apposed to them seeing you holding bub as soon as they enter the room and all fuss been on the baby. A gift from the baby to them is also a great idea.

    My DD's were 10 &4 when DD#3 was born. DH called to say they were there and I hid DD#3 is bed with me. It was so cute seeing DD#2 trying to find "the baby". DD#2 was very excited bout been a big sister so I wasn't concerned about her been put out. As soon as they found her they both got their cuddle before going to school/preschool.

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    Briley was a day or so shy of 14 months when Colby was born.

    She was being taken care of by MIL in the waiting room of the Birth Suites.

    It was about 10 minutes after Colby was out that Briley was brought into to the room.

    There was never any jealousy etc obviously but it was nice and calm

    Next time I am planning a homebirth and plan to have both girls there when baby is born. As antenatal appointments are done at home the girls will be very much involved in the journey.

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    My LO will be 21 months when #2 is born. Hopefully, she will be present when bub is born. We talk about babies and have a few books about birth and new babies, but i don't think she much idea yet.

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    hmmm Jamie was ok when we brang him in the hospital jazz was in the cradle but he couldnt see her he was too small lol but hes really good with her now kissing and cuddling her its so cute 17 months apart

  12. #12

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    We are also going to have a 2 year 3 month gap. I am not sure how it will go in hospital, other than DD being the first one to come in and meet the baby.
    But for now we have been reading a few books about a new baby in the family. By far the favourite is 'I'm a big sister' and you can get the same story as 'I'm a big brother'. It is a great book with language like 'our baby' (so emphasising the baby belongs to all of us) and pages about the good things you can do as an older sibling, how you can help being an older sibling and how you are extra special because you are a big sister/brother. The other good one is 'There's a house inside my mummy', I think a lot of it goes over DDs head but she gets the fact there is a tummy house in mummy and our baby is in there.
    I will be following this thread to see what others say, I think the idea of having the baby sitting elsewhere and greeting the older child first sounds useful.

  13. #13

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    Our gap is 3 years - DD1 came to all the OB appointments, helped take my BP and listen to the heartbeat. She saw the baby on the screen in an ultrasound as well. We read lots of books to her - Hello Baby, There's a House in Mummy's Tummy etc so she was pretty well versed with what was happening. She also had a name picked out for a girl which we used as DD2's middle name - DD1 was chuffed about that.

    As soon as DD2 was born DP went home and picked up DD1 (and the 2 Nannas) - he didn't tell DD1 what the baby was (much to impatient Nanna's annoyance ) and introduced her as soon as they got to the hospital. DD1 was given the first cuddle and told she had a sister and what her name was. The DD2 "gave" DD1 some presents. She got a medical kit (to keep checking blood pressure) a book called "I'm a Big Sister" and a kid camera for her to take her own photos of the baby. She was rapt. She came into hospital every day and spent a few hours with us as a family and really bonded with DD2 during that time.

  14. #14

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    I'd be getting him involved in things now to give you plenty of time to have him prepared for bubs coming home with you. In the hospital its a bit weird for them - it's a strange place to them and their entire experience is one of a hospital room, seeing mum after being away from her and then there is this new little person as well and then they just go home. They don't really seem to get it till you come home IME. My eldest was only 20 months when our DD was born and still very much a toddler in that he didn't really understand what was going on, yet at the same time he wasn't fussed about it. He always came to appointments with me and when I brought things for the baby I always made a point of telling him that this was for the new baby in my belly etc. I do think it helped because he could associate my big round belly with the baby once she was born because one of the first things he did when he came to the hospital was point at my belly and said 'baby out now?' and pointed to her. It all went pretty smoothly - he had a cuddle, got a bit upset when she cried because she was hungry, but talking him through it made it OK.

    But no matter how well you prepare them, there are always going to be moments when they just don't understand that you can't give them your 100% undivided attention and there will be tantrums. When he sees you hold a baby, he doesn't see the association with the baby you're having and the baby you're holding kwim?

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    SOrry I haven't had a chance to read all the replies yet... Pinky McKay's Toddler Tactics book has a great chapter on this. Some of the things she suggested from memory included:
    ? during your pregnancy referring to bubs as 'our baby' so that your child feels part of it / ownership
    ? buying your child a present (a baby doll is a good one) for them from the new baby
    ? taking them to ultrasounds etc
    ? not holding/cuddling the new baby when they first come to see you in hospital
    ? talking about what life will be like when the baby comes - eg mumma will sometimes have to give the baby attention, you might have to wait sometimes etc etc.

    There are a host of other things, but I can't quite remember now... The section of the book could even be posted in the articles section on here, I know there are quite a few there... Maybe have a look.

    ETA: the other thing a friend of mine did was took their LO on a tour of the hospital a few weeks before she went into labor. That way she was familiar with the place and knew where mummy was going to have the baby. And it wasn't so foreign when she came for her first visit.

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    Hmmmm, interesting thread. My age gap will be 9 years, closer to 10 actually now I think about it - so hopefully less jealousy issues and she certainly understands a bit more of the goings on about what happens (even if the thought that I had to have sex to get pregnant grosses her out bwahahahaaha!).

    I do like the idea of having DD be the first person other than DH to meet the new bub, and have a cuddle. I think I'm going to have to make my impatient MIL wait, and I want her to be the first to know what bub's name is other than us. DH will be with me for the birth and then when I go back to the ward I'll have him nip out and pick DD up (either from school or home depending where she is) to come in.

    We're having a special u/s for her to come along to this weekend (3d one, yay) and often talk in terms of "your little brother" when we talk about the baby. She's felt him move inside me and is really excited - I'm planning on getting her to help me pack my bag for hospital and pick out bub's going home outfit

  17. #17

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    Thankyou thankyou thankyou for all your helpful replies Some of those things I hadn't even thought of. Such as a present from bubs for Moo and to not be holding the baby when he comes in. I do have Toddler Tactics so will have a look in there. Will get some special books for him when DH gets paid again. We've been talking about the baby and showing him pics of when I was pregnant with him, he's come to all appts and scans so far (thoguh he did get very upset about someone touching Mummy )

    Thankyou again, any other experiences most welcome!

  18. #18

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    My kids are 8, 6 and 7 months. We always referred to the new bub as 'our baby' during my pg's so that, as others have said, the older kids feel a sense of belonging and involvement. We had a present from the new bub to the sibling/s and took the older sibling/s shopping to buy a gift for the new baby. We read a lot of books (There's a house inside my mummy is a good one, can't remember the author) and talked a lot about the important job of being a big sister/brother and how good they would be at it and what a lucky baby to have them as siblings. Let the older kid/s help set up the nursery for the baby, fold clothes and so on and tell them what a good big brother/sister they are. When bub is home, ask your older child to help by handing you the nappy, the wipes... my DS LOVES putting the dirty nappies in the outside bin, it's 'his job'.

    Prepare the older sibling for your stay in hospital if you are birthing there and explain who will be caring for them while you are gone and that they will come and visit you all the time. Have things in your hospital room for the older sibling to do, such as colouring or building blocks. I was able to leave the new baby with DH and take the older kid/s to the hospital cafe to get a coffee/milkshake, which reminded them that we would still have time alone together and they were still just as important. The big kid/s were the first visitors for the new baby and we didn't have anyone else visit until they were happy and comfortable, perhaps a couple of hours.

    I had T-shirts which said 'Big Brother' and 'Big Sister' for my kids and a lot of people made a fuss of them. I had them waiting for when the kids came to the hospital after the baby was born. The kids proudly wore the T-shirts to school the day after DD2 was born!

    Something I don't think has been mentioned but which was really good for us is to ask all visitors to make a fuss of the older children if they are present when the visitor comes to the hospital, and THEN see the new baby. It's so easy to forget the older kids and make a beeline for the baby!

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