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How do you make your DC1 feel as special as your newborn? Share with Fairy Non Bio for chance to win £300 voucher NOW CLOSED(237 Posts)
Fairy Non Bio is sponsoring the Mumsnet Talk App, and in light of this, they’d like you to talk about your experience of making your DC1 feel special after you bring your newborn home.
Bringing a new baby into the world is always special but, when it’s your second bundle-of-joy, it’s possible that your DC1 will feel left out. Fairy Non Bio would like to hear about the ways that you’ve ensured your child continues to feel special following the arrival of their little brother or sister. Maybe you set aside a weekly block of one-on-one time with them? Perhaps you let them have some responsibility when looking after the baby, so they can feel like they’re involved? If there’s anything you do to make sure your DC1 knows they’re just as special to you as your newborn, share with Fairy Non Bio below.
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This was something that I was acutely aware of having seen examples of jealous behaviour in friends children.
Whilst I was in hospital after the birth, we gave dc1 a small gift "from" dc2 which they loved.
Once we were home we got dc1 involved in the basic care, emphasising how helpful they were being, fetching nappies, choosing clothes (within reason, "snorkel masks are great, dc1 but as it's snowing we'll go with the snow suit" type of thing) and letting them know how dc1 was influencing and helping to raise dc2. " you're making her laugh", "did you help her play with the toy", "did you teach her to say 'Mummy'?"
I think this really helped dc1 to feel involved and important and in a way, that they had a hand in caring for their sibling.
I only have one child but friends with more than one made sure the eldest got a present from the baby when it was born as a thank you for being their big brother or sister which seems to help from the start!
We bought a present for DS1 from DS2 so when DS2 came he gave it to DS1 after a few hours of a new baby wearing off lol.
We also did not discourage or stop DS2 giving DS1 hugs, he would constantly go up to him and hug him or put his cheek close to DS2's cheek. We thought if we stopped it then DS1 would get jealous and angry and found that once we said good boy well done he would move away from DS2.
When people come over and he hugs DS2 in front of them they will move DS2 away but we explain he just wants to hug him and explain that once you say good boy well done then he will move away
To date he has not been jealous or angry at DS2 being around and it has now been 3 months
We also let DS1 help with DS2 ie getting nappy and putting dirty clothes in the washing basket, getting the muslin cloth he has been very helpful and he was only 17 months at the time.
We felt that by making him more involved he will not feel left out and he will not think there is a new baby on the scene and he is forgotten
I currently have a 6 week old and a 2 year old. I make sure I get plenty of 1 on 1 time with my eldest, even if it's just doing puzzles. We also involve her in caring for her brother so she helps with nappies etc.
Me and my dh 'date' our kids to make sure they all get 1 on 1 time with each of us. So ds1 goes out with me alone one week then next week he goes out with dh, next week ds2 comes out with me and so on. Every 7th week is mammy and daddy's date night so we get some time too. We still do things as a family but this makes sure that they all get that special time. Have actually just got in from the cinema with ds3 for our 'date'
Before the baby arrived, we had a lot of conversations with my son about what to expect when the baby was born. Baby also bought him a gift, a leap-pad toy that he could play when I was busy breastfeeding etc. We got him involved with helping, like passing nappies or putting the blanket on baby, or helping to prepare dinner together.
When my youngest arrived just before Christmas we made she she brought with her the present we knew she really wanted. Now 5 months down the line we are seeing the jealousy with the eldest as we are needing to do more with the youngest however we still make sure that bed time is family time so it's story and cuddles we try to include her as much as possible.
When dc 3 was born, luckily there was a 4 year gap so it was quite easy for my DDs to understand that they were older and 'in charge'. They liked that they were not considered equal to the baby.
My DC1 was five when I had my second child. Prior to the baby, we would do a lot of activities together, baking, swimming, gardening etc. So I purposefully made sure that we alway had some one to one time together after the birth. Also giving him a lot of praise for being a good big brother for times when he helped out looking after his brother. Despite the age gap, their bond is quite close and they get on well with each other.
We got dd a present as did a few family members. Also I made a real effort to always do her bedtime story each night as I felt it was important we had some time just us.
At the moment, because ds is just a baby, everything we do is still pretty much focused on older DD as ds just comes along to all our usual activities so dd hasn't had a huge change. We also make sure that her toys are her toys and ds is only given them to play with if DD says it's ok so she feels like she has things of her own and she doesn't have to share everything now (although some sharing is obviously encouraged!)
As we've had each DC, I've made sure I still have bedtime individually with each DC, even 5mins of story is important.
To be honest, I find its the baby that gets less focus as they just need to fit in to existing routines.
I like Alexandra's idea of the 'dates' with DC
We have special things which only come out when the baby is asleep. Older DC helps with batting, with dressing, with anything they want to be involved with.
Every smile from the baby to big sister is reinforced with "they really love you, you're their favourite person", bigging up the relationship they have. She helps push the buggy, introduces the baby to family and friends, and is just generally included, not excluded, in the baby's life.
We got DD to help bath her little brother and to get to choose his outfits for the day. When he came home from the hospital he arrived with a special present for her.
We made a lot of our special time together when he was asleep, playing games that wouldn't normally be possible when he was awake.
As much as we could we kept DD's routine the same - she went to the same toddler groups, kept the same days at nursery, same bedtime and bath time etc so that our newborn fitted in with her.
We also bought a present for DC1 "from the baby” and made sure we set aside time to do things just with her. Asking her for help getting nappies and toys and doing things like reading books with her during feeds.
We got our DC1 a present from DC2 and made sure that he still had designated one on one time with each parent so he didn't feel left out. As there is quite an age gap between my too, he understood quite a bit and there was no jealousy. He is an awesome big brother
I felt so guilty when number 2 came along so organised a day out just me and dc1 and another where Dad came too. We had a Mummy and dc1 date night and when dc2 had a nap dc1 and I did nice things like bake and paint.
The best tip I was given was to make sure I wasn't holding the baby when DC1 came to visit in the hospital. I asked DH to text me when he arrived so I was prepared and could focus on DC1.
The best tip for us was to make sure that grandparents spent lots of time focussing on our DD when her brother came along. When DS was tiny it was relatively easy for us to focus on DD, unless he was crying right that second there was always a way to talk to her or include her. Visitors on the other hand tended to want to cuddle DS and pay attention just to him so I used to give a gentle nudge of "I bet DD would really love to do this jigsaw/etc with you Grandma", to remind them to spend time with her too.
When our daughter was born our son was 2.3. The whole pregnancy we had referred to the baby as his. We said we made her so he had a special friend to play trains with. When she arrived she was very much his. He got involved in choosing her outfits, winding her etc, & we constantly told him how much she loved him. I think this helped. He had nothing to be jealous of because he had a new baby and knowone else did. Worked for us
Good thread! Am following with interest.
My second baby is due in November and our first DD will be just over 2 years old.
So far our plans are to have a "Big Sister Party" when the newborn comes home due to the inevitable onslaught of visitors. I want DD to feel that the focus is on her and not just the new baby.
We will take DD shopping for a present for the baby, and will get het a present "from the baby" too.
For when baby is here, I have a predetermined list of little things DD can do to help with the baby, just as passing wipes and nappies, and helping me sing songs to the baby. I can't wait!
Maybe I was wrong and a bit too matter of fact about it, but i talked to Ds1 as much as I could to warn him that I would have to cuddle his little sibling a lot and prepare him for not being the centre of attention.
I'm thankful that Dh treated him to special days while the baby and me got through the early days of sleeping and feeding. Now, they beat the hell out of each other and then roll around laughing (or crying..they're still little ish). Happy days!
I'm due in 4 weeks and we've planned from the very beginning how to integrate a new baby in an established family set up. There are almost 8 years between dd and this child so it will be a massive upheaval for her. We've started by giving her more responsibility and an important role of chief cuddler of the baby so that dd stays valued and feels part of everything. The baby will be bringing dd a gift (NOT the iPhone she so desperately wants though!) and we're ensuring the dd is the first visitor after the baby is born and is the first to hug the baby aside from me and her dad. The role of 'big sister' is so important to dd and she's already taking it very seriously so I'm hoping a new baby won't be too traumatic for her.
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