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Old 05-25-2006, 02:19 PM   #1
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Prepping toddler for a new baby

Well, it's approaching, not fast enough (or too fast!) I'm not due until July but the new baby is probably going to be here within the next few weeks. We've been talking to DJ (22 months) about it for a while but who knows how much he really understands. The other day he pulled up my shirt and ordered my belly button to "Come out here and play...NOW!" Sometimes he hugs and kisses the baby in my belly, but he also insists that he has a baby in his belly.

One of his playmates just got a baby sister a few weeks ago and he is very excited about her. He'll hold her hand and kiss her head and tell her she's so pretty and so sweet. But she's not around all the time. I made her a baby blanket (a piece of fleece with crocheted lace around the edge) and he loved that. He went to the craft store with me and as I was looking at fabric, he grabbed onto a bolt of fleece and kept hugging it and saying how soft and pretty it was for the baby. So I bought it. Every time I'd work on the crocheted lace, he'd want to get up in my lap and feel the baby's blanket (he called it "helping"!). Then he was very excited when he got to give the blanket to her mommy and she immediately wrapped the baby in it. So I was thinking of taking him back to the craft store and letting him pick out some more fabric so he can help me make a blanket for "his baby". I tried to get him to pick a fabric for himself (the whole reason I took him with me to begin with!!) but he didn't see anything that struck his fancy, apparently. I think he'll be really happy to have a gift to give the new baby when he gets here. I've heard of people having a gift from the baby to the older sibling too...any ideas? I want to get him a shirt that says "big brother" or something...dh says it's cheesy but I've been telling him what an important job big brother is and what a good big brother he's going to make.

I'm just so scared because he's such a mama's boy! He really surprised me the other day because my mom was holding our friend's new baby and that didn't seem to bother him too much, he just wanted me. But when I tried to hold her for a minute, he went ballistic and even Grandma wouldn't do...I had to give the baby back to Grandma so I could hold DJ. And I'm sitting here crying right now because I'm happy he's such a mama's boy and I don't know how I'm going to handle having to choose! Gotta love these third trimester hormones!!

Anyway, any last minute suggestions for getting an almost 2-year old (and me!) ready for the new baby or ideas on how to ease the transition?

Thanks!

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Old 05-25-2006, 03:01 PM   #2
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Re: Prepping toddler for a new baby

Hmm...my ODD was 26 months when we had our second baby. Our new baby brough our oldest a present though....Aspen thought that was pretty cool. In all acuallity it wasn't that hard for her. I think she was a bit jealous for a little while but we tried to show her extra lovings and attention. Also she was given a book at my baby shower called "I'm a big sister" and she loved to read that. They make them for big brothers too!

Good luck! It'll be easier than you think!
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:27 PM   #3
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Re: Prepping toddler for a new baby

My dd was 25 months when we had ds. I didn`t do shopping or preparing a nursery. However, I spent a lot of time telling her that the baby will cry a lot, can`t play, talk, eat, dance, walk like she does. That he will sleep a lot, cry a lot (wah wah - I`m hungry- wah wah - I`m cold- wah wah I want a hug- ) because he doesnt talk like her and we`ll have to guess often, that he will make a lot of poopies in the diapers... things like that to make sure she understood that the baby would be needing a lot of attention.
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:39 PM   #4
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Re: Prepping toddler for a new baby

I've had lots of people tell me that their older children were excited about the baby but were expecting a playmate and were disappointed with how "boring" babies are. Luckily, DJ is used to being around itty bitty babies and understands somewhat, but when he told the baby in my belly to come out and play, it made me wonder.

One thing that scares me is that DJ can't stand to hear a baby cry. My mom does daycare and DJ stays with her while I'm working. Anytime one of the babies even whimpers, he goes nuts telling everyone that the baby's crying and if he can get to them (if they're in the same room), he'll start out patting the baby and telling them "don't cry" but he gets more and more upset if they don't stop. He was a very colicky baby and I'm terrified of dealing with the little one screaming and him telling me every 5 seconds that the baby is *still* crying, you know? (It's bad enough I have to deal with dh doing that!! ) It's cute...but it gets really old really fast. Also, he only weaned in January so we've spent the last few months talking about how boobies are for babies but I'm not sure how he's going to react when the baby starts getting his boobies.

I know it's going to be fine...I just don't have enough to worry about in my life right now so I figure I need a little extra stress!
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Old 05-27-2006, 08:57 PM   #5
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Re: Prepping toddler for a new baby

You are doing SO much that's wonderful -- kudos to you! You have your DS understanding that there will be a little baby, knowing what little babies are like, and excited about the idea, and wanting to "help" make something special. That's all fabulous. I guess my biggest piece of advice is that no matter how well you've done everything, there will be some difficult moments of sibling resentment and rivalry. It's gonna happen, no matter what. I think the big brother T-shirt is a cute idea, as are other little big brother presents. Having someone around to pay attention to his needs when the baby comes can also be a big plus (your mom, maybe?) There are a zillion books out there about becoming an older sibling; maybe you two could visit a bookstore and choose one or two. You can work on his anxiety about crying babies by doing a lot of pretend play of different situations with a doll or stuffed animal -- pm me if you want a more detailed explanation of this idea.

Botom line -- you're doing great, mama, and your kids will, too.
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Old 05-28-2006, 01:01 AM   #6
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Re: Prepping toddler for a new baby

My DS was two weeks shy of being 24 mts when DD was born. A few months before DD was born we bought DS a Shoo-Shoo doll. She would cry and make noises and we let DS hold her and he was very sensitive telling me the baby "needs" us and he would hold her etc. I also always refered to DD in my tummy as "his baby" and DS refered to her after her birth as his "babe". Another thing DS didn't lose his spot in our family bed when DD arrived. We added a twin to our king and bought a bed rail the fit about 5 inches on top of the matress so there was no gap. That helped for us by adding the bed insead of trying to move DS to a new spot, he didn't feel he was being replaced. (I was very concerned about that) I was also concerned the nighttime feedings (and crying) would wake or bother DS but mostly in the start he would ask what was wrong and watch me nurse but after a few nights it didn't even wake him.

I say just involve him as much as you can. DS loved helping give sponge baths, getting the diapers & wipes for me, rubbing her foot when she cried. He was very protective, now at almost 2 & 4 they fight but just normal stuff.

You will be fine, just follow your heart.
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Old 05-28-2006, 05:52 AM   #7
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Re: Prepping toddler for a new baby

DS was very excited with other babies & was excited when the new baby first came home. We still have times where he seems "down" or confused that the baby can't play with him like a "big boy" but for the most part he does well.

I do suggest getting a doll or something... it helped SOOOO much for us. I bought a water baby b/c they seem as real to life as a baby as you can get in a doll. DS helped me change the baby, put baby in the swing, crib, etc. I also pretended to nurse the baby and lots of normal stuff you'd do with a newborn. I know it may sound silly, but truly it helped tremedously. Also, he was able to practice holding the baby with mommy's help & learn to be gentle by making mistakes on a doll rather than a newborn. Another thing? It helped him get used to all the "special" baby stuff around like the swing, etc.
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