My second baby is due in June and my daughter #1 will be 22 months. At the moment she has no idea another baby will be joining us and i have no idea how she will react. I am sure she will be pretty peed off for a couple of months although we will be involving her in everything and doing all the right things - i hope!
Anyway, my husband and i want to buy our first daughter a newborn doll with accessories like nappies/bottles/clothes so she can feel involved with my newborn. But my question is, when do we give it to her? Before #2 arrives and if so how long before.....or when she comes to see me and #2 in hospital...or when we are all home together?
I have no idea what to do for the best?
Also, any tips on how to introduce #1 to #2 would be very much appreciated!
I got my dd1 a Baby Stella doll with a changing bag and a pram and we gave it to her when we brought dd2 home. I don't think it matters too much though. My dd was very interested in the actual baby and would get her nappies and fasten the poppers on her babygros etc.
I would certainly get her a newborn doll now and start playing with it - you can show her some of the "proper" things to do like nappy changing etc and talk about what the baby will be like. Also let her play out her feelings the way she wants to. I did this with my DD and she had really bonded with the doll by the time DS was born. She used to "change" and "feed" her doll while I did the same with her brother! I think it's also time to start discussing the new baby. There are some really good books you could probably find at the library (or maybe buy) like "I'm a Big Sister" by Joanna Cole and "My New Baby" by Rachel Fuller. These will really help too. And remember - don't let her think she'll be able to play with the new baby! And don't expect her to be thrilled either. Getting a gift to give her "from" the baby, is also a very good idea. Have it bought and ready to hand over when she see the baby for the first time. I was also careful not to be holding the baby when they first met. Hope all of this helps - good luck!
If it helps when my little sister was born mum and dad did the same for me. They spoke months hospital and the nurses set up a second crib for the doll. She was given to me as a present from the new baby. Maybe try that?
We are trying to work out what to get for dh's existing kids for when new baby arrives in August
The gap between my DDs is about the same. DD1 was involved in the preparation for DD2's arrival - she "helped" me sort out clothes and put them in the wardrobe, "helped" make the cot, chose some blankets and new clothes etc. We talked all the time about "when the new baby arrives...." and I think all that helped. She was my little helper, and helped change nappies when DD2 was born - her job was putting cream on DD2s bum (whether or not she needed it!). I think that the sooner you introduce the concept of having a new baby, the better. Talk about being a big sister and sharing toys, helping Mummy and Daddy etc. NB, we didn't provide any new toys, baby dolls, presents from the new baby etc. No problems at all.
Mind you, DD2 was only a few weeks old when I left her in a moses basket on the floor in the living room while I did something in the kitchen. She started crying, and I went back in to find DD1 force feeding her a crisp to stop her crying! We had a long talk about babies only ever having milk for a long long time, and never any other food!!!
My dd was 2.5 when I had dd2. She was fine with all of it. We stayed at home quite a lot at first and she really liked the helping out. Dd2 was our baby right from the start, rather than just mine I mean, and I don't think her ever felt left out. She's still a great big sister six years later.
my nephew was 2.5 when my niece arrived and we were all worried how he would take to it because he's such an attention seeker. but he absolutely adored her from the minute she came home. he used to cry at pre school because he wanted his sister to stay with him!! so she might take to it very well!!
I might be repeating somone else but I have read that when you introduce the new baby it's a good idea for mammy to have her hands free to give dc1 a big hug and for the newborn to be either with daddy or in the crib. I'm due dd2 in August and dd1 is gong to be three. We have read loads of books and they seem to be helping.