Introducing new baby

(15 Posts)
LouisaJF Fri 14-Mar-14 11:03:43

DS2 is due in two weeks and DS1 will not quite be two.

We have obviously been trying to explain that he's getting a baby brother but I'm not sure how much he has understood.

When I go into labour he will be going to his grandparents until it's all over. I just wondered if anyone has any tips for introducing DS1 to the new baby? We planned that it should be daddy who brings him to the hospital and that baby should be in the cot, not my arms, but apart from that I'm a bit clueless.

DS1 is really easy going but it's impossible how he will react to this.

NorthEasterlyGale Fri 14-Mar-14 11:21:50

Well, I can tell you what we did and how it's going. DS1 is 21 months, DS2 now nearly 3 weeks. DS1 is a very active, smiley, lad that's quite good at sharing and quite independent - never been very clingy.

I had a planned c section and we decided that DS1 wouldn't visit in hospital as he'd just run round like a loon and everyone would be stressed. I was only in for 24 hours so it didn't really make much difference to be honest.

DH picked me up and we got home around tea time. Brought DS2 in, in the car seat and mentioned to DS1 that he was his little brother. DS1 carried on with his tea while DS2 was briefly passed round grandparents who'd been looking after DS1. DS1 then went to bed - seemed mildly interested in DS2 without being particularly bothered one way or the other.

Since then, DH has been doing most of the lifting / running round after DS1 due to me having a section, while I've been looking after DS2. Having said that, DS2 is quite a good sleeper so plenty of time to play with DS1 and I've just about mastered reading a book with DS1 while breastfeeding DS2!

We're not forcing any interaction between the boys, we explain to DS1 what we're doing when we're feeding or changing DS2. DS1 shows passing interest in DS2 - tucks him in when he's dozing in the crib downstairs, checks on him when he's sleeping occasionally, tries to rock the crib (which doesn't actually rock!), passes us the nappy rash spray when we're changing him, waves bit of lego in his direction etc. He has declined to give him a kiss so far (but then, we're rarely bestowed such affection either grin) and seems totally content with the addition to the household. We thank him / praise him when he helps with DS2 etc.

It hasn't really impacted him to be honest and we're quite happy with how things are going - he did get a present from DS2 as well, but at 21 months I'm really not sure that made a difference! Might all change but so far letting them adapt to each other at their own pace seems to be going well.

Good luck - I'm sure you'll be fine.

mummyxtwo Fri 14-Mar-14 11:27:09

We have a bigger age gap - ds1 was nearly 4yo when dd2 was born - but one thing I recommend is for your new ds to buy ds1 a present! Ds1 came to meet dd2 in hospital and we gave him a gift that we said the new baby had brought to say thank you for being her big brother. Ds1 happily played with his new tool kit on my hospital bed and I think the whole getting a present aspect made the arrival of dd2 even more exciting. He adores her and has done from the outset, but nothing like a little bit of present bribery to help the situation along!

findingherfeet Fri 14-Mar-14 14:56:57

I had my DS ten days ago and have a 2 year old DD. We came home the morning baby was born before daughter woke up and when she did I went and got her as normal and said the baby had come out of mummy's tummy and she asked to see him (he was in Moses basket so I wasn't cuddling him as we'd been advised against this too)

I absolutely second the present from baby idea, she was delighted! And told visitors with enthusiasm about her new doctors kit (and oh yeah my baby brother!)

I've really tried to keep her routine going, attending her groups and nursery one morning a week. She's accepted her brother far better than I anticipated and we've had no jealousy yet with me constantly feeding him, I do try to make sure I spend as much time with her as possible without him in my arms (which with a very hungry baby isn't often..)

Oh and I don't tell her off for being noisy/don't wake baby etc, I figure he just has to learn to sleep with her about, I don't want her to associate baby with being told off (I do step in if she could hurt him - mainly by smothering him with kisses and cuddles! But praise her for being gentle etc)

Good luck grin

LouisaJF Fri 14-Mar-14 16:02:20

The point about not telling him off for making noise is a good one, I hadn't thought of that.

I think a new addition to his Thomas collection from DS2 is a good idea too.

I'm due in 3 weeks, DD will be 2.7. We've bought her a doll & toy pushchair which we'll say is a present for the baby. She also loves helium balloons so plan to buy one from the hospital gift shop, and tie to the baby's car-seat so he can "give" that to her too!

JennyW1 Sun 16-Mar-14 17:10:17

I've a 2 yr old and a 3 month old and while I do agree with not telling off for being noisy while the baby is sleeping, I'm finding it hard to always avoid mentioning it. It is so frustrating when the baby had juuust dropped off and dd1 decides to play her drum or screech at the top of her voice. We have made her aware of being noisy around the baby and now she sometimes asks if the baby is sleeping before or during a noisy activity. But we approached it more like 'oh look, baby is asleep, let's try and be quiet so she has a good rest'.
We tried the present thing but got it wrong - gave her a doll thinking it could be her 'baby' but she's not remotely interested.
Haven't much to add to the ideas already mentioned, just that I try to talk to the baby about what dd1 is doing while I'm feeding/changing the baby, so dd1 still knows I'm paying attention to her too. No idea if it is helping though, she's still quite annoyed about the baby arriving and disrupting her 2 year reign as boss of the household.

MrsSpencerReid Sun 16-Mar-14 17:31:39

When ds1 (2 next month) met ds2 (9w) he wasn't really bothered!! Baby gave him some chocolate buttons and some little presents and he was more interested in them!! They are really good together now, ds2 gets lots of cuddles and kisses!! Good luck grin

kaymondo Sun 16-Mar-14 21:37:17

I have 2 ds, 2 years apart. Def present for ds1 but we also took ds1 shopping to chose a present for the new baby before ds2 was born. Even now ds1 likes the fact that ds2 sleeps with the toy rabbit he chose for him.

Ds2 is18 months now and the boys play really nicely together and I can start to see how well they will get on as they get older. I would say that the jealously I was expecting when I had ds2 didn't actually materialise until ds2 was around 6 months. I think at that point ds2 was doing more so getting more attention (not just from me and DH but also GPS) and also the novelty had worn off and ds1 realised ds2 was here to stay.

Good luck!

Timeforabiscuit Thu 20-Mar-14 07:43:20

Present from baby went down really well here, we actually held off getting her a scooter until dd2 arrived - so she got a special 'big girl ' present and lots of daddy time to practise on it ( it was a dry spring!).

Friends were also fantastic and made a big fuss of dd1 first, plenty of new born squidges after! and bought little gifts like a magazine or sweets which wasn't at all prompted by us but I think really helped.

mymiraclebubba Thu 20-Mar-14 10:24:37

I agree with the above, make it very much about ds1. Lots of "what a fab big brother you are/will be" in the run up.

I don't have other children but I have a dss (10) and dsd (7.5 when dd was born) and so it was different in so much they did understand but we did get them bothave a bag of pressies from dd - nothing major but a few toys and books etc and then made big fuss of how proud we were of how well they played with her etc, let them cuddle her on their laps. I bottle feed for medical reasons so that was great as they could really get involved and help out so it might be worth thinking about that.

My mum always had a box of my favourite books and toys when I was little and my dsis was born so that feeding time included me when she was bf - it meant I didn't feel left out

mymiraclebubba Thu 20-Mar-14 10:27:13

Ohh and make sure when visitors come round that they go to ds1 first and not the baby!! He needs to know he is still important.

Prime family to ask him who the baby is so he can show off how grown up he is when he introduces them and make sure they ask him rather than you if it is ok if they have a cuddle with the baby. My godson was 2.5 when his brother was born and this worked really well, and showed he had picked up on things like supporting baby's head etc as he was very bosy about it and told hos grandma off for not doing it right!!

Bumpsadaisie Thu 20-Mar-14 10:34:54

IME the arrival of a newborn wasn't such a big deal for my eldest. Baby was "easy" and just fed and slept so for Dd it was really like having a little doll in the house to coo over.

Sibling jealousy issues only really started arising when DS was older - crawling and able to intrude on DDs life much more. We've found that each time DS grows up a bit more and becomes a bigger personality (crawling, walking, talking, toddler behaviour) we have a phase of sibling angst. Then it passes and they get on well again.

Bumpsadaisie Thu 20-Mar-14 10:36:17

I did co-opt my Dd into a "caring for baby" role when DS was tiny - came quite naturally as I was 7 when my baby sibling was born.

Martorana Thu 20-Mar-14 10:45:04

I always say this, but it don't think there's any harm in letting your older one know that you think the baby's a bit of a pain in the neck sometimes- even if you don't. My dd responded very well to me saying"oh,no the baby's crying again! Here, you just sit and eat this chocolate biscuit [!] while I sort him out, then we'll do something more interesting" with a bit of an exasperated sigh and an eye roll. She enjoyed being part of the "shh, don't tell anyone,but babies are a bit dull, aren't they?" conspiracy, and I think it helped her to think she wasn't the only one with negative feelings.

Another thing- don't always make it the older one who has to wait. Make sure he has priority sometimes. It's easy and instinctive to drop everything when a baby makes a demand- but just sometimes let the baby wait a minute or two while you finish the story or the train track or whatever.

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