Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

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kelly w
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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby kelly w » Mon Jun 30, 637681 3:43 pm

Most of our kids have been between 19-24 months apart, and I think it is a great spacing! Before 24 months, kids don't have that much of a concept of the new baby "interloping". They just kind of go along with it " A baby. Would ya look at that?". LOL!

We have always referred to the new baby as "their" baby - and they are quick to become very possessive and careful about "their" baby. They love playing with the baby, touching gently [with supervision of course at this age!], and helping with the baby. For example, if you ask a 22 month old to go get the baby's diaper while you are changing him/her, most of them can and will do it proudly. Our kids have all enjoyed that type of "helping".

There are many cute books out on new babies, but I'm never sure what they really understand at this age. My current and about to be newest "big sister" is 19 months right now - she pats my belly and says "baby" because the other kids keep telling her there is a baby in there, but I don't think she really has any concept of what's really happening.

We have always been conscious of trying to make sure to keep the older sibling[s] involved. If the baby is nursing, I can sit and read a book to the older kids. If the baby is napping, I try to spend some one on one time with them. When the baby is awake, I let them be as involved as they can with caring for the baby. It works out fine.

I think sometimes people tend to assume that adding a new sibling is going to be a negative or bad thing for the older sibling, but we have not found this to be so. Our kids have all enjoyed each new baby and there has been no trouble until the "baby" learns to be mobile and do things like knock over the older child's block tower. Then there is some trouble. [:D] But all in all - they aren't *losing* anything by getting a sibling - they are *gaining* a great deal. And in our experience, when the kids are this close [less than 2 years apart] they become BEST FRIENDS. Its a really sweet relationship!

Good luck! [:)]


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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby heatedheart » Sun Jun 29, 637681 2:26 pm

I've written all the book titles down and will now start searching the library catalogue to see which ones are available. Thanks for all the advice [:D]

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby arj » Tue Jun 17, 637681 3:53 pm

I read Lizzy Rockwell's "Hello Baby!" every night to Evan before bed. He was so cute about it! I don't have a whole lot of advice, as it has been a pretty seamless transition. Very little jealousy, although it did delay the potty training a bit. Just wanted to share the book with you. It's a great one! Good luck!

Oh, we did get him a guitar from his baby brother. I do recommend giving Ava a gift from her little sister. I think it makes them feel really special. I think at 22 months, it will be a big transition for her.

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby caitlynsmama » Tue Jun 17, 637681 1:00 pm

My girls are 23 months apart and I just did as you were saying, kept talking about the baby in mommies belly. I remember the day they met (the day Genna was born) as Caitlyn burst into the hospital room and said "WHERES MY BABY?" It was adorable. She had a huge smile on her face. There have been many times though over the past year that Caitlyn has been jealous but be sure to spend some extra time with your oldest alone when you can and it will work out.

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby anathor21 » Fri Jun 06, 637681 12:15 am

We also had the "I'm a big sister now" book - and found it was a GREAT help for both our girls in adjusting to having a new baby in the house (helped #1 when #2 was born, and helped both # 1 and 2 with #3).

I think the talking about it in advance and emphasizing how much we love our family and that the new baby will bring more love into the family helped us get through things.

When it came to the actual introduction to new baby I'm not sure we did a stellar job introducing Elizabeth to Isabel - but the conditions were not exactly ideal either. Isabel was in the NICU, Elizabeth was 18mo and DW was barely well enough to get in the wheelchair and visit the NICU herself - we had to place Elizabeth in her lap carefully etc (and wiggling etc was hard on mommy.. ) So much had been going on. Then Elizabeth got to see Isabel in the loud (relative) confusing NICU with tubes etc, but not touch her (she really wanted to) and Mommy was touching her... then when E threw a fit I had to take her out of the room... you can guess the rest... anyway, that first meeting wasn't anything to brag about. However, she got over it like all little ones do and eventually we got into routines and she was able to visit (heck we had 6 weeks before Isabel came home) so by time she did, we had Elizabeth throw a big party and it went well...

With Isaac, we did better - Same talk it up in advance etc. But what we did different that I think helped was to let the girls come to Mommy first (kept Isaac away) and re-connect with her, then introduced Isaac to them. I think that helped a lot so there wasn't the competition to get back "in" with Mommy (afterall they hadn't seen her ALL DAY you know)...

Every situation is different and of course every child handles it different... my favorite story was a friend of ours who's daughter had said that the new baby wasn't going to be allowed to sleep in the house - "he can sleep outside" she said (was like 3 I think)... Until parents told her that the baby would be bringing a present for her... WELL... now that changed everything... suddenly baby brother could sleep in the house.. so they smuggled in a present to the hospital for baby brother to give big sister... bribery, heh... not sure I recommend the approach, but it worked to turn her around [:)]

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby mommajo » Mon May 26, 637681 2:37 am

My son who will be 4 in January doesn't really get yet. I have been reading a children's book to him called What to Expect When Mommy is Expecting and he likes reading about it but it doesn't all register. When I am vomiting from morning sickness he seems to want to watch me which is a weird feeling. He asked if I was sick and I said no the baby causes me to throw up so then he said "Oh, your spitting out the baby".

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby heatedheart » Sun May 25, 637681 9:00 pm

Kristen8843...that is just too funny. So far I've got some good advice to go on here. Thanks for all the entries. It should be interesting.

Tracey, CONGRATS on expecting a boy! [:D]

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby kristen8843 » Wed May 14, 637681 4:48 am

My daughter is now 4, and we just told her this weekend that she's going to be a big sister. This is her first experience with a pregnant person, and when my dh told her the baby was in my tummy...she proceeded to ask me if I ate a baby. We tried to explain things to her, but I think she's now convinced that I ate a baby and will somehow take it out of my belly when the weather is warm again. This should be interesting!!

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby alviarin » Tue May 13, 637681 11:42 pm

My son and daughter are 22 months apart. We referred to the baby as "his" baby sister, and he still calls her "my baby". His baby brought him a present when she came home from the hosptial.

My relatives were careful when they came over to visit to spend some time with my son before admiring the new baby.

We also use praise a lot- "Look how soft you are patting the baby!" We try to involve him in helping care for the baby, even if it is just something simple like handing me a diaper for a change. He loves to toss her dirty diapers in the diaper champ and turn the handle.

A book I found useful was "Siblings without Rivalry". It has commensense advice to help forstall jealousy- like don't say I can't do x with you because I have to do y with the baby.

Of course even though he is normally pretty good with her we still have to watch him carefully. The other day he said "want share, Claire?" and tried to pop a goldfish cracker in her mouth.

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Re : Introducing a new baby to her big sister...

Postby tracey » Tue May 13, 637681 8:55 pm

I am so glad you started this thread, as this is something weighing heavily on my mind as well. We are in a very similar situation, as Lily will be between 22 and 23 months when her little brother is born. Of course, we all want it to go as smoothly as possible, so I am looking forward to reading people's comments!

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