Preparing Siblings for Baby!

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Registered: 07-05-2005
Preparing Siblings for Baby!
Fri, 07-27-2012 - 10:15am

The relationship between siblings is one that lasts a lifetime, and preparing children for the birth of a new baby is an important beginning.

Preparing siblings for new baby-

How have you been preparing your older child(ren) for baby?  Are you concerned about how they will do once baby arrives?

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Registered: 09-08-2007
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 2:45am

Funny you should ask, I just shared this story in my home-birth group!  

Since we are having a home-birth our prep is a little different.  We don't have to worry about a hospital stay or a lot of other things that some Moms might be concerned about.  Instead we have conversations like this: 

I'm almost six months along with number two. Jamey (my first son, 20.5 months), finally made the connection recently that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina. Since he has FINALLY decided to talk, part of that is wanting to know the name of everything. OVER AND OVER. So the other morning we were naming body parts and we got to Jamey's penis. Then Daddy's penis. And then he goes to look for my penis. "Nope," I said, "I don't have a penis, girls have a vagina." He confirmed this himself. "The baby is going to come out of Mommy's vagina!" I said. He seemed interested in this idea.
Later that day he once again went to look for my penis--or the lack-thereof known as a vagina. I reminded him I had a vagina and he patted my belly and we talked again about how I will push the baby out of my vagina. I happened to be looking for something to watch on netflix at the time and saw the Business of Being Born on my queue (I've watched it many times before). 
"Hey," I said, "do you want to see a baby come out of a vagina?" He nodded earnestly. So I found a part right where the baby comes out (water birth). He watched very intently and then looked amazed/bewildered/like most people who see a birth for the first time. I showed it to him again and talked about how the Mom worked hard to push out the baby. Then I asked him if he wanted to watch another Mom push out her baby. Again he nodded earnestly. This time I found a non-water birth and was able to show him how the head came out first and then the body. Again he was amazed and wanted to watch repeatedly.
Then he checked down my pants again. "It's not time for our baby to come out yet," I said. "Not yet. We have to wait a lot longer and then Mommy will push him out!" He patted the belly again. "Yep, he still needs to grow for a long time first." (3 more months!)

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Registered: 03-06-2012
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 1:38pm

We have been reading to our 3 year old just generally including her in discussions about the baby and letting her help put away the baby things we buy and such. She is also attending a class at the hospital for preschool age kids to talk to them about having a new brother or sister.

Avatar for thesunshinekid
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Registered: 09-22-2001
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 5:32pm

Both of our children are really starting to talk about the new baby sister and seemingly prepare emotionally for the upcoming event. 

For DS (12) - he just wants to make sure that we show up at football games and track meets.  He has expressed excitement about having a new little chub to hold and love all over.  He also appreciates the chick magnet factor of having little sisters.  His anxieties are minimal - he is more concerned for his little sister than he is himself.  We make sure that we talk to him about plenty of other things and engage him individually.  He's easy. 

For DD (4) - we didn't really "tell" her that another baby was coming until I was about 15-16 weeks along.  It was so obvious externally that it was getting rediculous.  She has expressed hesitation and a lack of desire to lose her spot as the "baby" in the family.  We have moved her beyond her replacement fears and allow her to talk about this as much as she would like.  She's super excited that she is having a little sister and she loves that the baby will use all of her things from when she was a baby. 

We're pretty "organic" when it comes to how things happen around here.  We make a few different plans and get it done how it needs to happen when the time comes.  I'm sure that, despite our conversations and preparations, we'll have an issue or two when the baby comes home. 

Jules - Happily married and Momma to DS, DD and expecting our Caboose Baby 11/24/2012

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Registered: 02-24-2012
Sun, 07-29-2012 - 10:00pm

Our oldest (5) is very interested and seems understand what is going on (makes sense, not her first time getting a sibling).  I have involved her from the begining by looking at the week by week in utero growth info with her and having whatever conversation that leads to or she comes up with at any time. Now that I am bigger she loves to put her hand or head on my belly and talk to her brother, give him kisses, yelling to wake him up, and imagines him kicking (she always wants to say hi when he is sleeping). She is constantly telling me how much of a help she will be and I believe her, she is a natural born nurturer. Fyi - I don't think we really talked to her much about what was going on before she became a sibiling for the first time, she just didn't grasp what was going on at 18 mos old.

Our youngest (3 1/2) is completly detached from everything. She knows what is going on (I try to involve her in looking at the in utero growth stuff) but she seems to have no interest in it. Every once in a while she will make a reference to the baby or ask to feel him but it is rare. I have actually been most surprised by her new found interest in baby dolls and talking about baby beds and taking care of babies. Guess she is more into it than I thought! Generally she is the kind of kid who likes to be on her own doing her own thing so I don't think it will make much of a differnce to her daily routine for a long time.

Surprisingly the baby reacts most to the sound of my youngest's voice over everyone else (including dh and myself). Whenever she is around he starts going crazy!!!! 

Proud Mom to Annika (4), Jamie (3), and 4 angels. Anxiously awaiting Baby #3!