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Tips for introducing a newborn to a toddler?

(30 Posts)
spritesoright Thu 26-Sep-13 22:36:02

DD will be 2.5 when the new baby is due. Does anyone have any good techniques they used to ease the transition? Like most 2 year olds, DD thinks the world revolves around her and I'm anxious to make things easier for all of us.
She can tell you that there's a baby in mummy's tummy but I'm sure she has no idea what this will mean for her shortly.

What worked for you and what didn't?

LoganMummy Thu 26-Sep-13 22:37:51

Getting DS a small present from DD for when they first met worked for us.

MaryPoppinsBag Thu 26-Sep-13 22:38:43

Have a present to give her from baby. Doesn't have to be big. We got DS1 a Thomas Tank sound book from DS2.

Locketjuice Thu 26-Sep-13 22:41:15

Just act normal, we brought dd2 in showed ds1 her told him she's little be gentle and carried on as before just making sure he didn't feel left out like when I was feeding her dp would get cars out etc she's 6 weeks now and he's 21 months and he adores her and she's only had 2 cars thrown at her and two smacks from him which I thinks pretty good as in sure in his little world she stole him mummy, myself and dp was talking about it last night and both agreed we make more of a deal about him feeling left out than what he actually feels.. I think its more our guilt iyswim

Locketjuice Thu 26-Sep-13 22:41:48

Ohhhh and the new kitchen I got him helped a lot grinwink

SaucyJack Thu 26-Sep-13 22:42:08

DD1 was 20 months when DD2 was born and it wasn't an issue at all at the age. She just came downstairs (homebirth), did a bit of "Ooooh baby!" and by the time she'd had breakfast I think she'd forgotton DD2 ever wasn't there.

She wasn't very bright tho wink

yummymumtobe Thu 26-Sep-13 22:44:48

I was really, really worried about this is dd1 was the centre of our universe! Couldn't imagine her having to share us and how we could divide our attentions. We spent a lot of time Talking about siblings in the run up - eg George is Peppas brother, you're go

yummymumtobe Thu 26-Sep-13 22:50:04

...going to have a little brother too etc. Also talked about how other people she knows are siblings and she will be getting a sibling etc. the nursery were good too and talked about siblings. Some books are good too ( though not za za's baby brother which is a bit sad!).

We had a present too which we took to hospital and put it in baby's cot just before dd arrived to visit. We have been amazed by how much dd loves ds. She really seems to be totally used to him being there and always wants to know where he is when I go to get her up in the morning.

CatFromAcrossTheRoad Thu 26-Sep-13 23:12:12

Don't have baby in arms when meeting older sibling. My eldest can still remember the visit to the hospital and how baby was sleeping on the chair next to me. I put baby down just before my eldest walked through the door and it seemed to have made an impact.

I agree that seeing baby not in mummy's arms the first time is good - not an immediate pfb-replacement.

We've focused on new baby being "your new baby brother" rather than "our new baby", and lots of "you used to do this when you were a baby, let's see if we can find a photo".

Andanotherthing123 Fri 27-Sep-13 08:12:02

Osborne do a good 'new baby' book which picks the story up from parents getting the nursery ready, to mum leaving for hospital, to baby arriving back home. I also talked a lot to DC1 about 'when baby arrives...' so he kind of had a sense of 'his role'. For example, we'd talk about baby crying and that we'll give the baby milk, or stroke the baby. He was 2 yrs 3 months when DC2 arrived and brilliant with his brother. He used to tell me when he was leaving the room, to make sure I knew to look after the baby!

I do think it does depend on personality though - my eldest, despite being a stick wielding, action figure playing, bike riding boy still loves babies and has been asking for another brother/sister for the last couple of years. All being well, his wish will be granted in January. He's 6 now and has been checking I've got nappies, car seat and clothes for the baby!

maillotjaune Fri 27-Sep-13 10:21:32

When DS1 came to the hospital after DS2 was born I came out of the section of ward I was in to meet him and DH went into the baby.

Once we'd had a quick
cuddle we went together to see the baby in his cot.

Not much help if you're immobile for any reason but it worked for us.

Littlemisstax Fri 27-Sep-13 11:37:23

As well as the ideas above, when DS was born my DPs picked DD up from nursery and took her to buy DS his first teddy. She gave him this and he 'gave' her some Thomas trains. We had a big sister t shirt for her and a little brother one for him.

None of the family had been told DS's name as we wanted DD to know first. we then let her tell her grandparents. We also banned all visitors until DD had met DS.

DH then sat in the chair with DD next to him and DS on his lap so she could cuddle him. We have a gorgeous photo of the two children together.

4 weeks on and DD worships DS. I hear her when I go to pick her up from nursery asking if DS has come to pick her up. The staff always have to add 'and mummy'.

DD is 2.11 and DS is 4 weeks.

freemanbatch Fri 27-Sep-13 12:48:27

DD2 was born at home and DD1 was present when her sister was born at her request, we had enough people here to take her out if she wanted but she chose to stay.

I never talked about me having a baby I talked about DD1 getting a new brother or sister and she was involved in everything even down to helping choose names. The bond between the two of them is very strong and we have never had an issue between them.

This time DD1 is focusing on teaching DD2 how to get ready to be big sister and I'm trying to involved DD2 as much as possible. She comes in to my room in a morning to talk to the baby or to tell it stories or sing to it. I have no idea how its going to turn out with her but i can only hope it works as well as last time.

ButterMyArse Fri 27-Sep-13 14:11:12

Great suggestions. I'm also concerned about this and the age gap will be the same as the OP's.

How have you all dealt with the moments when mummy absolutely must be with the baby (ie, BFing) and toddler is demanding attention? My toddler is something of a whirlwind and likes to involve me in all her play.

maggiethemagpie Fri 27-Sep-13 14:24:17

I've just had a baby and my toddler is 2 and a half. It took him a few days to get used to the baby. At first he was not interested (he was far more interested in his new toys!) but we didn't try and push the baby on him, just let him take an interest when he was ready. Now, four days later, he is obsessed with the baby and wants to know where she is all the time, watch her have her nappy changed etc and keeps trying to touch her, we are having to say 'be gentle with baby' every two mins!
I'm aware this stage may not last though and he may get bored with her before too long.

Another good bit of advice I was told was to not be holding the baby the first time the toddler meets him or her. And to make them feel the baby is theirs too, by saying 'our baby' rather than 'your sister/brother'.

DropYourSword Fri 27-Sep-13 14:33:27

I think the suggestions for preparing the child for the new arrival are great, along with a gift that the baby brought for them.

But the best piece of advice I heard was when you get home just put the baby in the cot and sort of "ignore" it past feeding, changing etc. Let your child approach it and discover the baby in their own time. To many people shove a new baby in their existing childs face and make a big deal out of it. Fact is that the parents chose to have another baby, but the child had no choice about it (certainly not suggesting they should!).

This came from a family with seven kids. It really worked for them because there was no pressure on the child to instantly "love" their new sibling, and their lives weren't completely turned upside down by the new arrival. The kids approached the child in the cot in their own time and made friends with them at their own pace. If you think about it, you wouldn't like to be forced into a new friendship!

RIZZ0 Fri 27-Sep-13 14:47:23

At first the baby was in her hospital cot purposefully away from me so my arms were open for DS when he visited the first time.

Back at home, I used to 'impersonate' the baby and say things like 'yes I wonder where DS is too! Yes I wish he was here" when I heard him coming in to a room, especially when I was breast feeding. Then when he walked in "hurray, he's here! We were missing you" etc etc.

Worked a treat as DS swelled every time he heard it and felt special. Also, any treat, from an ice cream to his daily box of raisins was 'from the baby' and often I'd leave them resting on her and say looks what she's got for you etc.

FobblyWoof Fri 27-Sep-13 14:53:50

Good advice dropyoursword

I've been wondering about this as dd will be almost 23 months when dc2 arrives but I don't think the present idea will work for us as my section is booked two days after Christmas and dd will have had a present overload from relatives grin

helebear Fri 27-Sep-13 15:13:39

I agree with most of the things already suggested like buying a present for & from the baby, talking about being a big brother/ sister & reading books etc.
I'd add that once baby is at home I found it good to say things like 'dd2 just wait a moment for your milk I'm helping dd1 with something' of course dd2 has no idea what I'm saying but I think it helps dd1 to feel like there's some give & take and she is being prioritised too and it's not always me asking her to wait for my attention if I'm doing something with the baby. Dd1 then seems quite accepting if I have to give dd2 my attention but I try to involve her as much as possible too like at nappy changes dd1 helps by getting nappies & wipes and they take turns and she gets to decide who is having their nappy done first. When I'm feeding dd1 likes to sit next to me & we read a book or watch the gruffalo or something.
I was worried that dd1 would be jealous but she adores her sister & is so gentle & affectionate with her.

Rusulka Fri 27-Sep-13 18:28:13

I'm really interested in this too- the gap between mine will be I think 18-19 months. At the moment DD is obsessed with poking her 6 week old cousin right in the eyeballs, given half a chance... and she was furious when she saw her in my arms the first time!

There were 3 years and nearly 2 months between me and my sister and although I used to help change her nappies (ok, just the wet ones), once we were bigger we fought like Tom and Jerry and I don't want that with mine. My parents bought me a present from her, but I was asking how come it wasn't all icky if it had been inside mummy's tummy with the baby... lol.

I just really hope DD gets over the eye poking phase quickly.
Think she's too little to explain the concept of a brother or sister, but I'm trying to get her to touch my stomach, and as I get bigger and movements can be felt from the outside I would like her to know something's in there.

Tinyflutterby Sat 28-Sep-13 06:43:26

Hi, I'm really interested in this too as I am due in November and my DS will be 2 years and 3 months. I have already bought him a special teddy bear from the new baby, but other than that am not sure what to do.

I am lucky in that he is a gentle affectionate little boy and he comes up to me regularly and says 'cuddle baby' and cuddles into my tummy and now he can feel him kick he's quite interested in feeling it.

My main concern is I am hoping to breastfeed, having been unable to do it first time around, however my DS is very clingy, being used to me as his main carer and he won't play on his own or sit quietly to watch TV for example, so I'm just not sure how to keep him entertained during the long hours of feeding, so if anyone has any tips on this specifically I would be really grateful.

Dd got ds a present. I really worried about the introduction - it was fine, he wasn't bothered. However it was the subsequent weeks and months which were tricky, so you'll need techniques for coping! I remember it all seemed ok at first then got harder but now (3&1) it feels like they just "bicker" as you'd expect with siblings but fundamentally they love each other grin

Oh with bf, i gave ds a little snack or had some special toys he only saw when I was feeding etc. dd never feed for as long as ds anyway, thankfully!

spritesoright Sat 28-Sep-13 20:02:39

Thanks, this is great advice. I think that's a really good point about not forcing the baby on your toddler and letting them take it in at their own pace. It would be so easy to do the opposite.

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