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DS desperately wants a sister... but what happens if the baby is a boy?

(16 Posts)
Ratfinkle Tue 01-Apr-14 13:35:24

Our 5 year old DS is adamant that his new sibling is going to be a girl - he is absolutely desperate for a sister and refers to the baby as a girl all the time and has done throughout my pregnancy (in fact even before we told him we were expecting he said he was getting a sister confused).

We didn't find out the sex partly because we'd like a surprise and partly because we thought if we find out it's a boy before it's here he will be upset, whereas once it's here he will love it whatever.

Anyway, now I'm due in four weeks and it's really starting to worry / upset me that DS will be massively disappointed if we have a boy. We won't be having any more after this!

Anyone got any ideas for discussing this with him and trying to prepare him? I've told him that we'll have whatever we have, we can't choose it and we'll love it equally whether it's a boy or a girl. Also that there are lots of good things about having a brother, like being able to play boy games etc but he just says that he already has a boy cousin and he wants a girl sister!

Obviously this may all come to nothing and he will get his longed for sister, but we seem to have an awful lot of boys in our family so I would not be surprised if it is another boy...

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 01-Apr-14 14:03:21

Sounds like you've done all you can do to prepare him, I would also point out that it doesn't really make any difference, as boys and girls are really the same, they can wear the same clothes and play with the same things.

Do you know what it is specifically that he likes about the idea of a girl in the family? Does he have friends or family with particularly girly toys that he'd like but perhaps doesn't think are 'for boys'?

I'm wondering if your reference to playing 'boy games' might be helping to push the idea that some things are not for him and maybe if he realises that he can have a dolls house or some my little ponies without having to have a sister he might not be so disappointed!

mrsmalcolmreynolds Tue 01-Apr-14 14:18:56

Not much to add to the PP in relation to your question I'm afraid, but wanted to post our experience of going about this issue in a different way just in case it is of use to others who look at this thread.

Our DD (nearly 3 when I got pg with DS) was very insistent about wanting a girl, and in the early days when we mentioned the possibility of a baby brother instead was quite dismissive. We decided to find out what we were having at the 20 week scan precisely so that we could tell her and prepare her for it, and once it was presented as a fait accompli she was absolutely fine about it and got just as excited about a baby brother as she had been about a sister.

EyeoftheStorm Tue 01-Apr-14 14:26:32

Also had a DD who was 3 when DS2 was born. She desperately wanted a sister. She loved him from the moment she met him, but she did process her disappointment in an unexpected way.

She began to make up long, detailed stories about an older sister she had and another family she'd belonged to before us. So detailed in fact that her nursery asked us if we'd failed to mention that she was adopted. One day, my older son asked me in all serious: DD1 was born into our family, wasn't she?

This probably went on for six months, but all that time, she was a living, doting sister to DS2.

EyeoftheStorm Tue 01-Apr-14 14:27:27


LackaDAISYcal Tue 01-Apr-14 14:29:42

tell him the baby gets to chose what it will be, and once born tell him that the baby has chosen to be a boy?

He'll get over it and will probably love the baby, regardless.

LillianGish Tue 01-Apr-14 14:38:24

Too late now, but I'm with mrsmalcolmreynolds. We found out the sex ASAP for ds so dd could have as much time as possible to get used to the idea. We talked about him so much that by the time he arrived it was as if they had already been introduced. When I saw thread title I was just going post "he'll have a brother"! As you rightly point out, there are some some things in life where you get no choice.

jeee Tue 01-Apr-14 14:42:57

DD1 and DS were 7 and 6 when DD3 made her appearance. Like you we didn't find out the sex. DD1 wanted a girl, DS a boy (DD2 wanted a puppy instead of a baby!).

When DH went home and told the children they had a baby sister DS burst into tears, and said "a boy would have been fairer." In only a week DS doted on DD3.

It'll be fine, and your son will love the baby even if it is a boy. Even DD2 eventually forgave DD3 for not being a puppy.

Ratfinkle Tue 01-Apr-14 15:13:42

Yes sadly too late to change tack now - we didn't find out mostly for us because we liked having a surprise last time but maybe we should have done in hindsight.

I personally think he wants a sister because his close friends have all got sisters and he wants the same. I only mentioned the "boy games" thing to him yesterday (in desperation!) so don't think that isn't a big factor in his mind - I have constantly been saying that we will love the baby whatever it is and that we don't get to choose.

LackaDAISYcal I can see that DS would "get" that the baby gets to choose as an explanation so maybe I should try that tack.

Like people say, I'm sure he will get over it pretty quick but it seems to be one of those pre-birth things that i'm focusing and worrying about at the moment - I would love him to be happy when his new sibling is born so am dreading seeing his disappointed little face sad

LillianGish Tue 01-Apr-14 15:29:11

I meant to add that I'm sure once the baby is here there will be no problem.

LyndaCartersBigPants Tue 01-Apr-14 15:51:53

But even if he is momentarily disappointed I'm sure he will grow up loving his sibling regardless of gender. My DS2 & DD have always been closer than DS1 & 2, but now as they're growing up the boys have more in common.

The thing that will probably disappoint him more is how much babies cry and sleep for the first few weeks! Once he gets that first smile and realises that he can make the baby laugh by doing silly things he'll be happy whether its a brother or a sister.

Shhthebabyisasleep Tue 01-Apr-14 16:14:41

Well he'll just have to get used to it. And he will. Ds was furious that dd2 was a girl. All the special photos of her first few hours and days have ds in them arms folded, scowling and tripping over his lip. It took him less than a week to get swept away in everyone else's excitement about her, and they very quickly came to adore each other. They couldn't be closer now and it's just a funny story, how cross he was to meet her.

My advice would be not to deny his feelings. If he's cross don't tell him he loves her really, or is being silly; acknowledge his disappointment without pandering to it. Emphasise the good stuff - how they'll play football or whatever works for your family. Take a quiet moment to point out that girls and boys can do all the same stuff anyway. Plus all the usual stuff about new siblings - be sure to ake time for him and do stuff without te ably if you can.

It'll be fine :£

NotCitrus Tue 01-Apr-14 16:29:56

Ds wanted a brother like his friends had and his favourite book character. Not a sister.
I told him we were getting a baby at our house just like his friends had.

Didn't mention the word sister again until she was a few months old. She's our baby.

Worth asking why he wants a sister and pointing out babies are all pretty similar for ages and a bit annoying.

Ratfinkle Tue 01-Apr-14 21:09:53

Not denying his feelings but not pandering sounds like a good plan! And avoiding focusing on using the word / concept of a sister also seems like a good way to go. Personally I always think of it as 'the baby' so that works for me.

Thanks everyone for the reassurance, I do think he will be fine really- he's quite a level headed little boy usually. Some of the stories people have about siblings reactions sound like they could be quite entertaining in later life anyway, so every cloud has a silver lining!

I'm probably worrying about it more than I need to, maybe I'm transferring my pre baby nerves onto this...

sittingatmydeskagain Tue 01-Apr-14 21:16:35

Have you discussed names with him? We told my eldest the planned names, and said it was a secret as we would tell everyone else when the baby was born. We told him he could tell friends and family as soon as we told him whether it was a boy or girl.

He really wanted a brother, but played along and when the baby arrived (a boy!) he was just excited to know so he could announce the name.

badidea Tue 01-Apr-14 21:43:16

DS1 also wanted a sister when I was pg with DS2 (and we didn't find out the sex). I spent my whole pregnancy pointing out that we don't know what the sex is, that it might be a girl or a boy, but that whatever happens he'd be a big brother.

He would say things like 'well, I think it's a girl' - and I'd go well it might be or it might be a boy..

By the time I had DS2 he was chuffed he had a little brother and was over the moon (his face in the photos we took on the day he came to the hospital was glowing!) and he's loved him ever since (he's 10 months now).

I do remember worrying if it was a boy how he'd take it, but our fears were (fortunately) misplaced.

Oh, and we also got him a big box of lego from the baby (who had told me when it was in my tummy...) so I think that helped :-D (he was 3.5 yrs when DS2 arrived)

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