my daughter is 31 months old and I took her to my doctors appointments... when we first found out about the pregnancy We asked her do you want a baby brother or baby sister and she was so excited she wanted a "bradder" When it was time for the sonogram she told the doctor that is my baby and you can't have it! I have just included her in everything during the pregnancy and let her know that it is her baby too!
my daughter is 31 months old and I took her to my doctors appointments... when we first found out about the pregnancy We asked her do you want a baby brother or baby sister and she was so excited she wanted a "bradder" When it was time for the sonogram she told the doctor that is my baby and you can't have it! I have just included her in everything during the pregnancy and let her know that it is her baby too! I also let her know since i've spent every waking minute with her since her birth that we would have to share mommy and jaidyn time with the new baby, i assure her that she gets her alone time too, and that she gets to be mommys big helper.
Tell all well wishers that come for a visit to make a fuss also over the first child!!
It makes a difference.
My daughter was 22 months old when I had my son, to prepare, I read stories to her about getting a new brother or sister, and let her feel my tummy whenever the baby moved, which always seemed to be when we read those stories. I let her help me decorate the baby room with me, I kept telling her how much I loved her and how she was a big girl who was going to be a big help to me and the baby. When I went to the hospital I made sure she got one of those "I'm the big sister" pins the hospital had. I also had my husband go to Kroger with her and let her help pick out some balloons to put on the mailbox, and then when they got home they put the balloons on the mailbox together. My elderly neighbors said that was the cutest sight they ever saw when she got out of the car with all those balloons. She was so excited when the baby got home and I'd let rock (with me close by) the baby in his carry-cradle. She would sit close when I'd give him his bottle and afterwards I'd cuddle them both, when the baby was a little older, I'd let her hold him (again with me next to her). It created a close bond between them. She was always hugging & kissing him until he was old enough to do the same to her. It was so cute. Ahhh, those were the days. Now they are 18 and 19 almost 20 yrs old. I miss when they were little. It goes by so fast. Enjoy those babies. Good Luck.
I had my second child when my first was 20 months old. We got a nice gift and when we brought the baby home from the hospital, we got the gift out of the trunk and said it was from the baby who was so excited to have him for a big brother. I also had some very kind friends who brought small gifts for him when they came with gifts for the baby. They also visited with him first and then asked him to show them his sister. I really found no jealousy until the baby was old enough the be mobile - he seemed to see her as competition at that age since we were all so excited to see his little sister learning new things.
Here's what worked with my two kids. I have a 19 year old boy and a 16 year old girl that get along great.
While I was pregnant, I let my son sit with me in my recliner. He would "talk" to the baby all the time calling it "sweetheart" and "angel". I told him how much me & the baby would need his help with feedings and changing diapers. If we happened to eat at McDonalds I would tell him how lucky he was to be a big boy because the baby couldn't eat french fries or how lucky he was to be big enough to play on the slide or play ball because the baby was too little to do those fun things. I took him to the doctor's office for one visit and let him listen to the baby's heartbeat. We even got a book showing what the baby looked like and how big it was month-by-month. It gave him a much clearer image of what was really happening inside mommy's "tummy". We also read (many times) the Bernstein Bears book about getting a sister.
On the day we brought the baby home from the hospital, we gave my son a gift "from the baby". He was so proud of it, he'd tell everyone his little sister got it for him. Also, I encouraged anyone bringing baby gifts to bring my son a small gift. I kept small gifts (toy car, ball, etc.) in the closet just in case.
I worked outside the home and I arranged different daycare situations for each child. My son was in a preschool setting which was wonderful for him and my daughter was with a woman in her home. It took a little extra time in the mornings, but it was worth it. Each child got exactly the attention they needed. A bonus was that since they hadn't spent all day together, they were loving to each other and played together very well in the evenings. It helped me when I was trying to cook dinner or clean house. I later became a stay-at-home mom and the brother/sister bond really made it alot easier. It's much more pleasant when you don't have to play referee to constant squabbles.
Hope some of this helped. You'll get lots of parenting advice. Listen to it all and file it away. Because each kid is different and what worked with one child may not work with another. I heard several tips when I was pregnant that I immediately thought, "I'll never.....", "It'll never work...." well when my usual didn't work, I suddenly became alot more open minded. You just never know what will click with each child.
My daughter was 26 months when my son was born. One thing I realized was that she would be self-conscious as to her acceptance or lack of acceptance, of the little one. So I tried nonerbally reinforcing her positive feedback to the situation. For instance, when she would come up close to me and the baby an show interest in the baby I would gently rub her shoulders or back and sometimes even give her a hug. This was not a verbal, "Good girl honey" telling her that her openess toward the baby and the baby and my relationship was good behavior. This was nonverbally telling her so, so that in a subconsious way she could feel good about the direction she was going. It took the pressure off of her and helped her accept the new situation in her own timing and measures. Sneaky, huh? It worked like a charm! Also, if you're breastfeeding, let the toddler sit on the arm of the chair or as close as he wants. It may be uncomfortable and cramped but can make him feel a part of it and cause you less grief in the long run.
This worked for our family. I purchased a doll. When I brought the second child home from the hospital, the doll baby wrapped in a blanket, came home too. Whenever I went to check on the infant, my first born checked on "his" baby. When I fed the infant, my first born fed "his" baby. We did this together. Yes, the changes were difficult for my first born but he also felt proud that he had a baby that he needed to take care of too. Soon he started to want to help with infant. My sons are now 5 and 7. There is no resentment between them and still help each other. I hope this helps.
Until the birth of the new baby,your firstborn has been the center of your attention.Children recognize right off the bat that this new little stranger is an invader of privacy.They will however react in different ways.Some will feel jealousy and don't be surprised.The key to dealing with this is to let him know that HE is still #1.(That little one doesn't know that!!)Encourage him that he is the BIG BROTHER and you NEED his help.Let him do things to help--go for diapers,a bottle,etc.Watch closely that jealousy doesn't lead to mistreatment,but the more you allow him to help provide care for his sibling the closer the bond will be between them.
People don't really mean to be thoughtless but they often ignore the older child in the excitement of the new one.My oldest was so pitiful when his new brother was born.When others came to visit the baby,he'd sneak off to his cousins next door,feeling rejected.I sat him down and explained that he was SO SPECIAL to me and and he'd always be first in Mom's heart. He's 32 and his brother is now 24 and there has never been a rivalry problem.Incidently,he never threw it up to his brother that he was Mom's favorite.We Moms know that we have no favorites,but it worked at the time.Let the older one play a big role in the care of his sibling and there will always be a close bond that time-or NO PERSON can separate.Good luck with the new baby.God bless you ALL!! (p.s.--don't forget the much needed I'M THE BIG BROTHER SHIRT for the delivery day--make that HIS special gift at baby's shower.)
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