Best way to prepare toddler DS for the arrival of a baby brother?(13 Posts)
Would appreciate views or experiences from other parents.
We have a lovely DS who will be 2 in february. If i had to define our parenting style it is very much AP. He is happy, content little boy and he does get a lot of one to one attention from both myself and DH, and lots of family time. I am concerned he will feel pushed out by the arrival of DS2 in May. for example If either DH or I give any other child attention he does get possessive saying MY mummy, MY daddy etc and though he won't be agressive he will push his way between us and other child.
We've a number of stories we read him about the arrival of a baby, we talk about mummy being pregnant and he understand there is a baby in my tummy and for his birthday have brought him a dolls house in which we've made a family to match ours with a little baby and a crib etc.
What else can we do to support this change for him before baby arrives or do we just take it as it comes?
Think you are doing everything right. Have you thought of a basket with some special books and toys that he can have while you feed?
I now have 4 with 2 years approx between each so have done this a few times. Below are some of the things we have done in addition to what you have already done;
- got older siblings to do a quick visit to hospital even when I was in 24 hours or less so they had context of where baby came from,
- made sure DH phoned from car park so I made sure I wasn't holding baby when they arrived so I could cuddle them
- had a packet of sweets for them to eat in hosp. Tried a gift from DC1 from DC2 but she was only interested in the packet of milk buttons. Whole packet was a treat then!
- had the baby car seat in the car for last 2-3 weeks before baby arrived and they got to pick a teddy or dolly to ride in it each day to make sure it was safe for the baby
- made sure DH carried baby into house for 1st time so I could cuddle them
- my mum took them to a shop to buy a rattle for the baby coming home from hospital
- have a changemat etc downstairs so you don't need to leave them to change nappies etc
- baby slept in carrycot downstairs for first 8 weeks or so, so you weren't away from them for long settling etc
- put a baby gate on main room so when feeding the toddler is stuck with you in the same room and you can read stories, do puzzles, chat over tv. Saves running round house after a toddler whilst feeding.
- never stop toddler touching baby but always encouraged them to stroke feet and legs instead of around the head
- sometime baby had to cry for a minute or two if I was dealing with toddler as they notice if you always jump to deal with baby before them
- slings can be used in the house
- get out with both on your own ASAP as the fear of doing it worse than reality
- if out and baby needs fed car always a good option as toddler is confined. Mine loved playing DJ putting on cd's!
It is lovely watching them interact together even from a young age.
Alright, have DS who is 2.5 and little DS2 who is due in March.
I'm here to absorb all your wonderful advice along too!
Thanks Fresh! have printed off your list! Great advice and some little, but significant things I wouldn't have thought of!
Am soon to be in same situation (DS will be 25mo when DC2 is due in June), so thanks Fresh01 for the awesome list!
Watching with interest too - great list. DD will be 2.3 when DC2 arrives - hormonally irrationally terrified that DD will never forgive me...
I have 2.4 year old and 9 month old.
We found useful;
- 'I'm a big brother now' book
- Got DC1 a 'blue' baby doll and stroller - copied with nappy changing etc before DC2 came along.
- Choose a present with DC1 for baby and get DC 1 a present from baby
- Make the most of baby nap times to do 1-1 with DC1.
- showed Dc1 lots of photos of when he was a baby.
Good luck x
Thsnk you everyone, really appreciate the input.
It is just me or do others parents almost feel guilty for having (a very much wanted I must add) DC2, and potentially upsetting DC1's little world?
I felt hugely guilty at first but now I see my DC play together I know that a sibling is actually a good thing! Some great tips here. Just a couple more:
- Ensure DC1 understands that babies are a bit boring but get more fun as they get older
- Lots of "Aren't you clever! The baby can't do that yet!"
- Ask DP (or friends / family) to take DC1 on some nice 'grown-up' outings
- Don't feel too bad if Haribo and CBeebies become substitute parents for a short while, you'll start to get things together again soon!
Fresh I am expecting DS2 before long and the thoughtfulness of your list just made me want to cry. I especially love the idea of the car seat/teddies. Thanks so much.
I am touched so many of you found my ramblings helpful. I always worried bout the others missing out but they really don't seem to have. DC4 gets constant attention from me or a sibling, even the 3 year old. We have been very lucky apart from the odd brief moment we have never had any jealousy over new siblings.
You cant really prepare them - he's young and will forget from one day to the next.
I found that keeping it factual and quite simple - we only told ds if he spotted my bump but that was it. As the due date loomed we mentioned we'd be bringing home a new sister but that was it. He then took it in his stride when dd was born. We've had the usual fighting for attention etc but we made sure we stuck to his routine at first (he was 2.2 when dd arrived) which massively helped.
Now, a year later it's all good mostly! Dd adores her brother and he loves "his baby"
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