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How do you tell a 16 month-old that she's about to have a baby brother/sister?

(10 Posts)
MissM Fri 21-Sep-07 13:51:12

I'm due in 8 weeks but am expecting the baby to arrive early as my first one did. In the meantime I have a 16 month-old who still isn't walking alone and very demanding (although I'd be worried if she wasn't demanding frankly). I haven't been able to find any books for this age group about mummy having a baby, and although I show her my tummy and tell her there's a baby in there I have no idea what she understands. What should I be doing with her to try and prepare? Poor little thing, just keep thinking it's all going to be a horrible shock.

biglips Fri 21-Sep-07 13:54:20

have u said anything at all? "Whats in here?" pointing at your tummy...and then you say "its a baby".....she prob wont understands it all as she is very young....congrats on your pg btw!

belgo Fri 21-Sep-07 13:58:08

I was in a similar situation with my two dds. All you can do is try and keeps things as normal as possible for your older dd when the new baby arrives. Stick to her routine, try and give her one to one attention regularly - easier said then done I know!

My dd1 did display classic signs of jealousy and attention seeking behaviour when her sister was born and it was quite hard to deal it - but we've come through it and now they both adore each other.

Good lucksmile, it's so worth it in the end.

TheMadHouse Fri 21-Sep-07 14:04:53

There is 15 months between my two boys and as there was a chance that I would have a section (did with first) we thought it was imporatant that DS1 had some awareness of what was going on.

We went to the library and got books on mummys having a baby (although most are targetted at older children) we read them to him everyday and night. we told him he was going to be a big brother and we let him pick a teddy to give the baby.

We also put together a bag of toys from the baby for him as a present which we gave to him the first time he met his brother. Along with a t-shirt saying that he was a cool bro.

I think he did understand and we had no jelousy at all. In fact the opporsite really he wanted to kiss and cuddle his little brother all the time. we have jelousy now though!!!!

Good luck and enjoy

crawk Fri 21-Sep-07 15:09:30

There's 15 months between my two DDs. There's been no probs (so far!). DD1 fusses over DD2 (hugs, kisses, tries to hand her toys etc)

I would second Belgo's advice to try and keep things normal for your DD (stick to her routine, try to give her one on one attention) so she doesn't feel sidelined.

My MIL advised getting DD1 a baby doll a few weeks before DD2 was born. I do think that this helped her. She now mimics me looking after DD2.

I also agree with TheMadHouse re the gift from your second child to your DD when they meet.

One other thing I'd say is to try and make sure when people come to visit new baby that your DD doesn't get overlooked or left out. Try to make sure everyone remembers to say hello to her when they arrive.

Good luck - try not to worry!

MissM Sat 22-Sep-07 20:38:28

Thanks everyone. I really like the idea of buying presents for and from the baby - will get on the case! Have started talking more about the baby with my DD and telling her that it's in my tummy, and she's started to pat it and smile, so perhaps she's got some clue as to what's going on.

lenny101 Sat 22-Sep-07 21:11:03

There's 16mths between my two boys. Baby now 4mo. I tried the doll to prepare ds1 and toys too but I still think it was a complete shock to him. I notice you refer to dd1 as Poor little thing and just wanted to say I felt so bad that my first was not going to be an only one any longer. However I've focussed on the future and feeling good about this new, hopefully life long, relationship blossoming in front of my very eyes. Someone once said to me that they are very likely to love eachother with as much passion as, at times, they will hate eachother!

Also, ds1 started walking one week before ds2 was born... so there's still time. I use a wheelchair and was not looking forward to carrying two babies around!

It's tough at first, but you'll soon be having a great time.


fairyjay Sat 22-Sep-07 21:14:20

Ds was 15 months old when dd was born - not walking either!!

We spent some time teaching him to say 'aahhh' to the baby, so that was all he did when she was born.

He bought a cute little teddy for his sister, which she still has 14 years later.

He doesn't always say 'aahhh' now though grin although he loves her to bits really!!

Congrats and good luck!

fihi Sat 22-Sep-07 21:24:34

sorry have skimmed thread not read it all,we have book called "waiting for baby" and it's all in pics, no words, great illustrations. follow on book "my new baby" is also good. published by CHILDS PLAY INTERNATIONAL ISBN 0-85953-973-3 is waiting for baby. as others said our ds2 didn't understand much about arriving dd, but lifted my jumper each night and shouted "night night baby" (??) and went out and chose vests and sleepsuits the week before she arrived-early!! I think we stress too much about doing it right and preparing them for it, they just take it all on board much better than we give them credit for!

MissM Sun 23-Sep-07 20:19:32

You're right lenny - I do think of her at the moment as 'poor little thing'. I've never wanted her to be an only child, but I keep fretting that she has such a happy little life at the moment and it's all going to become so bewildering and frightening for her when mummy's not there all the time. I love her more and more each day and feel like my time with her is so precious at the moment. It'll never be like this for either of us again sad. Although of course it'll be a whole new adventure with number 2!

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