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Old 02-12-2013, 09:27 AM   #1
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Prepping siblings

I'm wondering how all of you with other children will be preparing them for the arrival of a new sibling. Of course, it will vary by age, but I thought it'd be a good discussion topic.

My son is about 2 1/2, so I've been talking to him a lot about a baby in mommy's belly, and how the baby will come out and live with us. Not sure if he entirely "gets" it, but I'm trying to help him understand. We also have watched videos of newborn babies, babies nursing, and birth.

I'm thinking of setting up the bassinet soon, so I can show him where the baby will sleep.

Thoughts? Tips? Suggestions? Share your stories.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Re: Prepping siblings

My kids are older as this was an oops baby. My boys are 13, 11, and 7.

One thing I have spent a lot of time doing, even before I was pregnant, was talking a lot about behaviors of mammals, and how mammal babies are all basically the same in what they need. My kids have always been very science-minded and innately good with animals, and I know this will transfer over to being big brothers.

I have also stressed that babies cannot communicate with words, to say, "Hey, I'm hungry/lonely/sad/tired," and so to get what they need they cry. Crying is supposed to elicit help -- you aren't supposed to like the way it sounds, it is purposely bothersome. I know a lot of litle children get very disturbed when babies cry, so this is a point I stress to my kids even though they are not so little.

I take the opportunity, when we are out and about and we see/hear babies crying, to talk to my kids about what might be wrong with that unhappy baby. Mostly we chalk thig up to, babies aren't made to be happy alone, in their crib/carseat/whatever. They are not programmed to thrive that way. Think about where the baby is now, all warm, squished, secure -- he never gets hungry, he never gets cold, bright lights aren't an issue, flailing limbs don't happen. Then he's born, and wow, I'm cold, it's bright, I cant' control my body, what's that happening in my stomach? And where's that lady??? How can I get back to that lady? So we talk about how "needy" newborns are designed to be, so they don't get picked off out in the wild, lol.

I will admit it is easier to prepare older kids, but the advantgae to younger kids is, often they don't have much of a memory before the baby, so things can settle back into normalcy faster.
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:51 AM   #3
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Re: Prepping siblings

My los are 5, 3 (4 in April) and 18 months. The 2 older children know and understand I am having a baby. They got to help pick out a name and pick out carseats. I tried to keep them involved. They already went through it not to long ago.

As for the 18 month old she obviously doesn't understand but she does kiss my belly and sometimes talks to the belly--not sure why it is not like anyone else really talks to the belly--maybe she understands more than I think.
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:09 AM   #4
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Re: Prepping siblings

For the older kids, it was/is as easy as telling them we're having another baby. They all remember Levi being born and being a newborn at home, so they know what's going on and what to expect.

For Levi, we haven't really done anything. I don't think we ever really did with the kids when they were younger. IIRC we did try with DD, when pregnant with DS1, but then once he came and was here we realized it didn't really matter how much we did or said beforehand, it's all about the child him/herself and how s/he reacts and responds to the baby - some kids love it, some kids tolerate it, and some kids hate it. It's hard to tell how it'll be until it happens, kwim?
We have told him that there's a baby in my tummy. He pokes at my belly and rubs it, likes to feel Hiccup move around. But there's no way to really get him to connect that with an actual live newborn coming into our house!
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:58 AM   #5
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Re: Prepping siblings

DD1 was 21 months and DD2 was born. They will be almost 4 and 2. We talk about the baby a lot, how the baby will come out, how we have to be gentle with babies. They both have baby dolls and we practice being gentle with them. We talk about how babies cry sometimes and it's ok, and how mommy will be very busy taking care of the teeny tiny baby, just like she was busy taking care of them when they were teeny tiny. I just talk about everything. That way they've heard it all before and it's not a surprise to hear me say it when baby comes. We have to be quiet when baby is sleeping. No hitting/squeezing/pinching/biting the baby. It will be hard for mommy to carry you and the baby so you have to be patient. Little babies needs lots of time and attention. etc.
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Old 02-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: Prepping siblings

I have a 5 year old and a 2.5 year old. We've just been talking about changing diapers, and my 2.5 year old has been trying to get me to buy everything for the new baby (pacifiers, strollers, car seats, bottles, etc.). I let her help pick out the car seat color.

DD1 was 2.5 years old when DD2 was born, and we really didn't do much to prepare her. It was a very easy transition for her, so I'm hoping it will be the same this time.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:08 PM   #7
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Re: Prepping siblings

My kids are both 6 so they are both pretty involved, especially DSD. She wanted to help a lot with the nursery. Her Mom had a baby about 7 months ago, so she knows whats going to happen. I know she worries though, like she asked me to please come home as soon as I can after having her. And she's worried she'll be at her moms when she's born and won't get to see her right away.
My sister ordered them a sibling book from Amazon.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:14 PM   #8
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Re: Prepping siblings

DD will be 2.5 when the baby is born.

We got her a great book 'I'm a big sister!' that she adores. She knows there's a baby in my belly (I mean.. to the extent she can 'know'.. she repeats it), but she also just assumes daddy has a baby in his belly too.. lol the other day she noticed that my belly and my friend who is due in March - her belly were both big and she went back and forth touching them.. so I think she sees that something is.... different about something.

we moved her to her 'big girl room' and she said that the toddler bed was her little bed. I have been telling her that's the baby's bed, but it will be easier when we actually put the crib side back on.

with a child that young though, I don't know that there's much more to do.

I have been considering getting her a 'nursing nina' cat stuffed animal that has all these little kittens with magnets in their mouths that stick to the momma cat (there are also dogs, pigs and maybe a couple other animal options). but I haven't gone that far yet.

also been considering getting her a matching baby doll carrier so she can carry her baby as I carry my baby. We did finally get her a doll actually. not that she cares about it though :P
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Old 02-12-2013, 06:05 PM   #9
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Re: Prepping siblings

Quote:
Originally Posted by EmilytheStrange View Post
we moved her to her 'big girl room' and she said that the toddler bed was her little bed. I have been telling her that's the baby's bed, but it will be easier when we actually put the crib side back on.
We've always tried to take the crib down totally, put it away and all, so that they see they have their own bed now. That way the crib isn't their's when we bring it out for the next baby.
Of course, that hasn't happened this time with Levi and the crib.
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Old 02-12-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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Re: Prepping siblings

We talk about it a lot. I'm not sure there will be as much of an issue with the new baby. The bigger issue for us is that we are moving in three weeks... I'm concerned about how our kids will deal with all the change. We have never moved before.
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