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First born not wanting a sibling

(28 Posts)
MrsVMorgan Wed 01-Jul-20 08:03:19

I just wondered what people’s experiences are with this. Has anyone had their first born (3) not wanting a sibling because they feel like they will be replaced? (To the point where they were very upset and promising to be good so we wouldn’t need a new baby).

No second baby yet, it was merely triggered by a discussion after a friend had a second baby and we were saying how lovely it was to be a big sister! (Apparently it’s not!)

Many hours of reassurance were needed after that and I’m wondering if maybe waiting another year or so would be better.

Anyone else experienced similar?

OP’s posts: |
Halo1234 Wed 01-Jul-20 08:20:11

She is too young to decided. Her logic is she will be replaced you know that's not true. So don't base such a massive decision on the misinformed opinion of a three year old. She/he will be fine with a new baby should u have one. It could be the best thing you do for her. Dont involve her/him in the decision too young to grasp the significance of what they say.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 01-Jul-20 08:26:35

It's normal for children to be very anxious about it.

But facing the pain of it and learning to share is also a great drive to emotional growth, if the child is supported too.

Children feel love for a sibling but also great rage and jealousy. Powerful intense feelings are normal. Your eldest is still too young to really be able to talk about it.

If she sees you able to hear her negative feelings and not too shocked about her aggression/anxiety then it will contain it for her and make her less scared of her own intense feelings.

Perhaps a way to talk about it is to be more realistic with your eldest. You might feel you are losing mummy but mummy's love grows and there is enough for everybody. And your little sister will love you so much too.

9 months is a lifetime for a child and she will gradually get used to the idea as your bump grows and her curiosity will develop about who is the little person inside!

This stage also stirs up for us as adults all the difficult unprocessed young feelings we had as little children about siblings /sharing.

Bumpsadaisie Wed 01-Jul-20 08:31:36

Ps I get the sense that her reaction is making you feel v anxious.

I didn't have much experience of siblings as mine is very much younger. With my two who are close in age I always felt quite shocked about their jealousy and competition but also delighted at the power of their love and bond.

My dh is one of four close together boys so I was glad to have him. He could say to me of course they hate each other they're siblings! They love each other too. It was uncharted territory for me to some extent and I would have been more anxious than I needed to be without my DH to help.

userabcname Wed 01-Jul-20 08:46:36

Does she understand what it means? She may think if she has a sibling that she'd have to go and live elsewhere or that you wouldn't be her mummy anymore or that she'd have to give up all her toys or something. Children get the most peculiar notions sometimes and really worry about them! I wouldn't be too concerned. If / when you do fall pregnant you can reassure her and make it really exciting for her! I know a few 3yos with new siblings (mine included) and they absolutely adore the babies. My 3yo gets upset when his baby brother has a nap because he "misses him"!

Notashandyta Wed 01-Jul-20 08:49:01

Our boy didn't want another one when he was 3. Now hes 5 hes always asking why he hasn't got a brother to play with!

Listening to a 3 year old is no way to make life decisions for your family

blackcat86 Wed 01-Jul-20 08:56:10

You have to do what's right for you as the adults. DSS (then 14) tried to veto us having a baby because it wasnt what he wanted - I had always been clear with DH I wanted at least 1 child of my own if we were able to. Even at that age, my view was that DSS wasnt really able to weigh up the long term consequences. He was thinking about the noise, mess, sharing his dad, trips to kiddie places etc. He wasnt thinking about the fact that I would likely have divorced his dad and moved on to a relationship where I could have children. He also wasnt thinking about the decades after he was grown up and doing his own thing where we would still be living with not having had a child on his say so. DD is nearly 2 now and I'm so glad that she came into our lives. Maybe we'll have another and maybe we wont but either way I certainly would let a child decide. It's too much responsibility to put on them. You as the adults have to make the decisions and help them through it as best you can. That doesn't mean you cant take it into consideration and work to build her self esteem etc but dont put that all on her to live with forever.

blackcat86 Wed 01-Jul-20 08:57:18

*wouldn't let a child decide (sorry, said DD was awake for ages last night!).

timeisnotaline Wed 01-Jul-20 08:58:09

Goodness. Do you think she has done a balanced outcome analysis based on siblings and single children comparison over the first 30 years of life?

Napqueen1234 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:01:28

I understand your concerns but please don’t let it put you off having another. A sibling is the most wonderful thing you can give a child (I say this as mum of a 3 year old and new baby!). Mine was v excited but we helped by reading lots and lots of books about being a big sister/new baby, spending time with friends who had little siblings, dollies as toys for birthday and Christmas so she could join in (she wasn’t fussed on this tbh and uses the pram etc for her toy dog). Ultimately you have to decide as parents and then approach it super positively until she comes around. Bear in mind you’re pregnant for 9 months so she’s likely to feel differently after that long time. Hopefully things will have settled by then and you’ll be able to get help to look after baby so you can have 1:1 time with your DD. That was my plan but lockdown happened and I had them both on my own but she coped brilliantly. Got v good at waiting for me to sort or feed baby first and already the interaction between them makes me heart melt. It’s so so worth it.

NeutralJanet Wed 01-Jul-20 09:02:08

DD is an only and has always said she doesn't want a sibling. I hated pregnancy and childbirth and have no desire to go through it again so that's worked out fine for both of us.

Ulrikaka Wed 01-Jul-20 09:02:47

I didnt want a sibling but got one anyone - it is an adult choice not a family consensus.

Sunny4876 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:03:55

My daughter was 6.5 when her sister was born and she told me "I'd ruined her life" 8 years later and little improvement,they fight constantly because she is so jealous of her sister getting any attention,speaks to her like dirt etc,which obviously she gets reprimanded for so we end up arguing and you get back"well I didn't want a sister but nobody asked me" she says this in front of dd2 constantly,so I have dd2 constantly wanting reassurance that she is wanted and loved too from me,to be honest it's a nightmare.
I'd definitely wait a few years to see how she feels then.

ThatBitch Wed 01-Jul-20 09:04:27

My dd was initially like that age 18mo. 'No baby, NO!' was shouted often 😂 as my bump grew we talked about how lovely it would be to be a big sister, read loads of stories with siblings having adventures and getting along together and by the time I was 8mo pregnant she was getting impatient to meet him! She helped loads in the early months with her baby, getting nappies, wipes, bringing snugglies and blankets when he was sad and 'reading' him stories. They get on ok now, play together quite a lot.

Read some stories with siblings, my two loved the Alfie and Annie-Rose stories when they were little smile

Enb76 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:04:49

My child is an only, she never wanted a sibling which is a good job as I never felt the requirement for a second.

user1493413286 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:05:50

I don’t think you can live your life by what a 3 year old wants; my DD was not convinced by having a sibling (also 3) and neither was my stepdaughter who is quite a bit older but once siblings arrived and they had told to adjust they have loved it.
I realist it’s not quite the same but there are many things such as nursery that my DD will say she doesn’t want to do but does actually love.

firstimemamma Wed 01-Jul-20 09:07:28

I agree with most of the other posters. If you want another baby and are in a good position to have one then go for it and have a try regardless of what your first born says!

A 3 year old cant really think logically and deeply and it's down to the parents. My friend recently had baby number 2. Her first born wasn't impressed initially but guess what she adjusted and is now happy.

FelicityPike Wed 01-Jul-20 09:09:06

If you let a THREE year old make decisions for your whole family then more fool you.

NameChange30 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:14:21

DS is 3. I'm pregnant with DC2. We didn't consult him before deciding to TTC grin

I was nervous about telling him I'm pregnant but he has actually been very positive about the whole thing. It helps that he likes babies and is generally very affectionate. Occasionally he does say things like "I don't want the baby", "I don't want a baby sister", "I'm going to put the baby in the bin" grin But mostly he says positive things like "I love my baby sister", "the baby is very cute" and talks about sharing his toys, giving baby his old things, showing baby how to do things etc.

I don't know if this is right thing to do or not, but I have told DS that we are having another baby because we love him so much and we thought it would be nice to have another one. We've also said that when baby is bigger they can play together. So it's not so much about replacing him but adding to our family.

So far he doesn't seem anxious about being replaced - not like your DD - but perhaps that will come when baby arrives. He has been quite needy and clingy though (which is a bit annoying during pregnancy when he wants to paw at me and climb on me all the time!) but I am just giving him lots of cuddles and reassurance.

I know you can't take children to NHS scans but we did have a private scan at 16 weeks and took him with us - we didn't have a choice (it was just before lockdown and we didn't have childcare) but actually it was good we took him because he was interested and talked about loads.

For ages he asked WHY is it a girl, cue repetitive explanations about the baby having a fanny not a willy, and repeated conversations about each of us and our genitals, who's a girl and who's a boy grin

But however they react i think it's an important learning experience for them, if they find it challenging then our role is to help them work through it, not just avoid it.

NameChange30 Wed 01-Jul-20 09:15:18

Oh and I've also told him that his baby sister can hear him and she loves it when he talks and sings to her.

Ghostlyportrait Wed 01-Jul-20 09:22:10

Left to make important decisions many 3 year olds would opt for a diet consisting wholly of chocolate and ice cream, stay up till midnight, kick or bite anyone trying to play with their toys and spend most of each day poking the cat in the eyes.

If you want another child then lots of gentle groundwork, books, tv programmes, dolls to look after. Helping to choose clothes and toys for a new baby plus lots of reassurance as to the fact they will always be loved, important etc. There is often jealousy and vying for position once a baby arrives. It’s to be expected but I’d not let your 3 year old choose here.

MrsVMorgan Wed 01-Jul-20 09:34:39

Thank you for the reassurance. DD won’t be making any of the decisions, I just wanted to know if people had experienced similar and then found their dc handled it better. It’s been helpful to read lots of positive stories and advice on handling it though so thank you all, I was only expecting a couple of replies! smile

OP’s posts: |
fuckinghellapeacock Wed 01-Jul-20 09:41:04

I imagine a lot of 3 year olds never want to go to bed and only want to eat chocolate too. They aren’t really the ones to go to for advice and sensible decisions are they. I find it absolutely bizarre that ‘wanting’ or ‘not wanting’ a sibling is a discussion point with any child, let alone a toddler!

fuckinghellapeacock Wed 01-Jul-20 09:46:20

Oh and when DS was concerned about DDs arrival - we told him we had arranged a lively, home, a lovely bedroom and other nice things so he should assume it’ll be a lovely sibling because we know what is best for him and love him and will ensure he is happy.
When she was born we let him cover her white baby grow in stickers every day for until he was bored of it - they he’d enjoy showing visitors - ‘his baby’ and the delightfully bizarre outfit he’d chosen for her.
Another recommendation is have a ‘special box’ full of slightly illicit toys/games - so if screen time is limited - maybe an iPad, a comic, a happy meal type toy, something small and new etc. This is the “feeding box’ and is only opened when you are feeding. By day 4 DS was whooping with happiness when the baby was hungry because he could watch tv or read a comic or some other crappy thing I normally limited.

Ulrikaka Wed 01-Jul-20 10:03:53

One thing I will add (I am in my 40s and this still pisses me off!!) was that all my stuff was taken for the baby. Oh, you are a big girl, you don't need that anymore, it's for the baby! I didnt want a sibling and hated the one I got, so having to give my things to him didn't help matters.

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