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Preparing for siblings - how much love bomb and how much getting them used to other carers?(4 Posts)
DD is 4yo and loves a lot of 1:1 attention (who doesn’t at that age!). She goes to preschool 4 days a week, but we also tend to have quite a lot of time just the two of us e.g. evenings and school holidays (I’m a teacher) and one day in the middle of the week.
I’m due to have twins in a few weeks, which will probably involve a bit of time staying in hospital - although with DD I was in less than 24 hours, I have to have a c section this time (several reasons) and there’s a reasonable chance the twins will need to stay in for at least a few days anyway (and obviously a chance it will be longer).
I’m about to have 2 weeks off with her for half term, and then I’ve got one week of maternity leave when she’ll be at preschool.
Any suggestions of how to balance:
- getting as much quality time with her as possible so she feels loved and secure
- encouraging her to spend more time with other care givers (my DH, who will have one of these weeks off) and my DMum (who is retired). If I’m in hospital for a while they will be looking after her and will be around to support me post c-section.
Is your dh her dad? Assuming he is or assuming he lives with her and is involved in day to day parenting, she'll be absolutely fine. Grandparents are also fun and a nice distraction from all the changes that new babies bring, so all will be fine. I don't think you need to 'do' anything exactly, other that maybe talk her through what things will be like in the first few days so she knows what to expect.
Mine was 4, just turning 5 when ds was born (obviously, different because not twins and we weren't in hospital - I had a home birth), but they adjust much more easily than you would imagine. In the months leading up to the birth, we talked a lot about what would happen on the day in various scenarios (if I had to go to hospital, a friend would stay with her, etc.). I made her a special gift bag filled with all sorts of things - a new dvd to watch (we didn't have netflix, etc. back then), a few new toys, colouring pens, special treats to eat, etc. And I planned favourite easy to make food that she enjoyed for the first few days after the birth, so I knew she would be taken care of and we had everything we needed in the house to do that, even if I wasn't around.
But I would assume your mum and dh are perfectly competent and they'll step in and sort it all out, so you don't need to worry about it too much. We had no help (it was just dh and I) and dh did everything, and it was all fine. Dd took it all in her stride.
Yes, DH is her dad. But he’ll be working on her “day off” from preschool and can’t do the school run most days (she used to do breakfast or after school club, but both are closed due to Covid so she only attends 9-3) hence my DMum being on hand to support quite a bit - she’ll be the one getting DD up and to preschool, and doing pick-up and entertaining till DH gets home, and possibly dinner some nights as well (DD usually has dinner at 5.30, which is when DH gets home, so somebody has to be home earlier to cook).
Between them I know they’ll manage all the practicalities, it’s more the emotional side - I’ve only ever missed 3 bedtimes in her life, she’s very used to me being the one that’s around. At the moment she’s being quite clingy - normally DH is the one that does bathtime, but she really wants me to be around too at the moment. All the things that they used to do alone together (swimming, day trips on a Saturday, he used to do school mornings) have been cancelled due to Covid.
Take some of her story books to the hospital with you and read them to her on zoom each night.
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