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Advice for helping toddler adjust to new baby?

Discussion in 'Parents Off Topic' started by HanksMom, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. HanksMom

    HanksMom Approved members

    Oct 25, 2010
    Completely OT, but on my mind...

    We're due to have our second child, a girl, in 7 weeks! :D Any tips on helping our son adjust to having a new sibling? He will be 2 in 5 weeks. They will ultimately be sharing a room, though Baby will be in our room for at least a couple months.

    Any helpful advice on things we could do now, in preparation of the big day to make for a smoother transition, or things we can do right afterwards?
  2. StillMamamia

    StillMamamia Approved members

    Nov 21, 2007
    I think you'll eventually find a groove when the baby is there. Extra cuddles for the older brother now and later help. I don't think there's anything extra you should do, to be honest. He knows there's a baby on the way, so he's probably excited and all that, right?

    One thing I do recommend is not shooing him away when you're holding the baby. I've seen people do this and I think it's sad and shows the older kid(s) they're not welcome in the presence of a baby.

    Sounds like what I went through. Oldest was almost 2 when his brother was born. I did keep the baby in our room for 9 months, but only because it was easier for the breastfeeding part. They have shareed a room til recently.

    Congratulations, btw!:)
  3. sarahspins

    sarahspins Approved members

    May 5, 2009
    My younger two (boy and girl) are two years and a week apart, and I have to admit that it was MUCH harder age gap than with my first and second (who are 4 1/2 years apart). The problem for me was that my 2 year old was not self-sufficient at all, she needed me for pretty much everything (snacks, drinks, help w/ potty, etc), and we went through a lot of major meltdowns in the beginning - she didn't really understand having to wait 10-15 minutes for something while mommy fed baby. It was very frustrating for me, and I think at times even moreso for her because she just didn't understand why I couldn't take care of her immediately. My 6 year old was fine (even when our 2nd was born because he was older)... he could pretty much handle things for himself just fine, but my daughter only wanted mommy to help her, so he couldn't really do much for her.

    If you are nursing (or even while bottle feeding), you can make sure you spend time with your older at the same time playing with small toys or reading books, etc. Keep them involved while you take care of baby.

    The first 6 months or so for me were really the hardest with my younger two.. after that it got a lot easier, and they started sharing a room when my youngest was almost two years old (when we moved him out of his crib), and that went fine. We made a good effort to make them both feel like sharing a room was new and exciting and that no one's space was being invaded. I'm not really sure how long they will stay together, but I am hoping we have at least another year or two before we have to figure out other arrangements - my boys don't get along that well and asking them to share will be very trying :eek:
  4. Charliesmom

    Charliesmom Approved members

    Jan 8, 2009
    My daughter had issues when Charlie was born. We did a mommy and me gymnastics class and Charlie had to stay home with Dad. It was her time. It helped. A lot. =)
  5. Denise

    Denise Approved members

    Jun 24, 2008
    I am afraid I don't recall having too much trouble with the adjustment stage for each of my kids. My two girls were all excited to have another sister and my son (oldest) was excited to have a sister (not so much now that he is 18 and she is 15 lol). Something I do remember is having Daddy walk in w/ the new baby when we entered the house and went to the older ones and sat with them while the baby and all of the hospital goodies were brought in. I have heard of others buying gifts for the older siblings when they come to visit. Just to show they aren't forgotten.

    In short, I do think that we tend to overthink things and worry so much. Good luck w/ the new baby and let us know how it goes!
  6. aslan1994

    aslan1994 Approved members

    Apr 2, 2011
    We have six kids and they're all about 2 years apart. One thing we did was have the new baby give a present to his/her older siblings. I would wrap the present, bring it to the hospital, and give it to the older sibling FROM the baby when they would meet for the first time. Everyone likes getting presents and it just seemed to start off the relationship on the right foot.:D
    Another thing we did was let the older sibling hold the baby (Obviously with help) and take lots of pictures of both kids together.
    We also would often refer to the new baby as "our baby" or "your baby" when talking with the older sibling. This seemed to make him feel important and proud of "his" new baby.
    As far as nursing goes, all my kids (including my boys) have held a doll up under their shirt to let the baby "drink milk". :D My kids were always fascinated by watching me nurse, so we would just talk about it and I would tell them stories of when they were babies.
    Congratulations and have fun with this new chapter of life!
  7. MamaBear

    MamaBear Approved members

    Jul 20, 2010
    I did all of this too. My daughter had just turned two when my son was born. Another thing I did was to let her help with things like handing me a new diaper for him, or getting the wipes, or his shampoo at bath time.

    The best advice I can offer though is to be VERY patient. Sometimes there is a little jealousy, sometimes the older sibling can feel a little left out, and may act out. Try very very hard to be understanding, and give those extra hugs!
  8. LizinTX

    LizinTX Approved members

    Sep 7, 2007
    My son was 3 when we had our daughter. We took him to most of the doctor visits, and he got to hear her heart beat. He was convinced I was going to have a train, and naturally he was very into Thomas the Tank engine at the time, so he was very excited; even though we tried over and over to get him to understand.

    Well, when the time came for him to come meet his little sister, he refused to acknowledge her at all. He would say, "there is no baby in this room". Woudn't even look at her. Nada. I was very worried, but I didn't push.

    It took a couple of days, before he decided that only mom should be holding the baby, and he would get upset if anyone else held her. He would sigh audibly when they handed her back and would ask me, "need anything?", it was so cute.

    Before the year was out, he was her protector. Now they are 15 and 12, and he is still in that role.

    All of this to say, it will be fine. With anything new there is always an adjustment period, just take your time and relax. Oh and congratulations on your new little bundle.
  9. HanksMom

    HanksMom Approved members

    Oct 25, 2010
    Thanks for all of the helpful advice!! I especially love the idea of the baby buying HIM a gift!
  10. Heather(CA)

    Heather(CA) Approved members

    Jun 18, 2007
    I made sure I was not holding the the new baby (Seth) when Jake came to visit at the Hospital. I greeted Jake first, loved on him...Then Introduced the baby. Also we gave Jake a present from the baby. I will never forget his first words regarding his brother "Baby Nice":D

    Once home I would say things out loud (for Jake's benefit) Things like, "Just a minute Seth, I will be right there, let me finish Jake's sandwich" You get the picture :)
  11. Teacups

    Teacups Approved members

    Jun 4, 2010
    I set up a loose routine w/ my older child/ren when a baby came home. We worked on getting into a groove in the weeks leading up to baby. We always included time for quiet play on their own (think room with a gate) and time with mom, plus TV, playdo, outside, rest time, etc.. It helped them know what to expect and gave them a sense of control in the midst of many changes.

    A funny memory is when ds#1 would play hide n seek with me at age 2.5, except I was on the couch with baby and he would just go hide. All I had to do was call out hiding places (are you behind the drape? behind the chair?) until he said "Here I am!!!" So funny! I didn't even move, just fed baby and let ds#1 do all the work, lol. Having a 2yo is so much fun! Your ds will be a great big brother!

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