advertisement

Childhood Diseases

Question
Posted by: concerned mom | 2008/05/22

Q.

helping 1stbaby with arrival of new baby

Expert's Reply

A.

Paediatrician

I am leaving this question to be answered by our regular forum members.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

5
user comments

C.

Posted by: M's Mom | 2008/05/22

i think you should just try to include her in as much as possible. from handing you nappies to passing you the soap to wash the baby. she might not understand 100% and the chances are good that she'll get a bit jealous of the new baby but i am sure mine will be as well and she'll be 3 months short of 3 years when her sibling is born. i will be buying my daughter something that she really wants/likes from her brother/sister and once he/she is born, we will tell her "look how clever he/she is because its exactly what you wanted". i have also read not to disrupt their routines because of a new baby. so if she's making a bit of noise not to tell her to keep quiet. your new baby will adjust to the noise levels in your house. i think we often expect too much of our kids and forget that they are just kids and how they react is just what comes naturally to them - and therefor we should take it a day at a time. i am not sure if this is any help at all. hope so.

Reply to M's Mom
Posted by: concerned mom | 2008/05/22

my baby will be 18 months when the new one arrives, so she is too small to understand most of what is happening.

Reply to concerned mom
Posted by: m's mom | 2008/05/22

I read this article yesterday and found it very helpful.

Preparing your 2-year-old for a new sibling

How should I talk to my child about the new baby?

Once you've told your child he's going to have a sibling, you'll most likely have several months to wait before the baby arrives. During this time, you can follow your child's lead regarding how much he wants to talk about it or be involved in preparations.

Your child won't want to talk about the baby all the time, but you can continue to answer his questions as they come up. He may ask you what the baby is doing in there. "Is he moving around?" Or he may ask if she is going to come out: "Baby out?"

You can also ask him what he thinks: "What do you think she's doing in there?" Children usually have an idea about the answer when they ask the question. You don't always have to correct your child's "misconceptions."

Let your child feel the baby kicking once her movements are pronounced enough. You can invite him to sing to or pat the baby. Consider bringing your older toddler to a short prenatal visit to hear the baby's heartbeat.

Keep your talk about the new baby light and positive. You don't need to tell your child that you're feeling sick because of the pregnancy. Simply tell him you're not feeling well, just as you would if you were sick for another reason. If you want to explain your fatigue, you can say, "Growing a baby is a lot of work. I sometimes felt tired when you were growing inside, too."

How can I help my child understand what it will be like to have a new baby around?

Your 2-year-old may not be able to imagine what having a baby around will be like until the baby gets here. If your child is closer to 3, you can give him simple information such as, "The baby won't be able to play with you at first, but we will be able to kiss her toes or hold her hand. She'll spend most of her time sleeping, crying, and feeding. Sometimes babies cry because that's the only way they can tell us what they need."

At some point, you may want to show your older toddler some photos of what you looked like when you were pregnant with him. And of course, you'll want to go through his own baby pictures with him, tell him stories of what he was like when he was a baby, and explain how excited you were when he was born. This will help him understand that he was once the baby who got that special baby attention. It will also help him learn what a newborn looks like and how babies grow.

Visiting friends or relatives with babies is also helpful now. If your child is not used to being around babies or seeing you hold another child, he may have some strong reactions at first. It's great if you can spend relaxed time with other families so he can get used to the idea that even if his parents hold other babies, they still love him and will take care of him. Being around other babies will also give him a chance to see what they're like and to begin developing ways to interact with them.

How can I involve my child in the preparations?

If he's interested, invite your child to help you make simple decisions about the baby's room or possibly pick out furniture or supplies: "Where should we put the blanket?" "Do you think we should buy these white socks or the yellow ones?" Let him play with the baby's things and unwrap any presents that arrive for her. That will help him feel included and let him know that he's a part of the welcoming committee.

He may believe that all the baby's new things are his. But at this point, you don't need to convince him otherwise. The baby won't care about most of them for a long time.

If you need to move your child out of his crib or into a different room, this should be done as long as possible before the birth so that he doesn't feel displaced by the baby. Hopefully, there won't be many other things you ask him to share. Sharing is not a toddler's strong suit, so everyone will be happier if he's not expected to give any of his toys to the baby. Even toys he hasn't played with in months may suddenly become very valuable when you suggest that he share them with his new sibling.

How will things change as the birth approaches?

Your child may become anxious in the month or so before delivery. As you get bigger, less energetic, and more focused on the birth, he may become more needy, develop new fears, and even regress. This is normal. Acting like a baby may be his way of exploring how babies behave and what it felt like to "be your baby." Loving support and acknowledgement during this time will help him regain his confidence and prepare to be the big brother.

Try to avoid any major changes during this time, such as moving or starting a new daycare. Don't pressure your child to complete toilet training or ask him to give up security items like pacifiers, if he's still using them. Keep to his regular routine as much as possible.

Spend as much time as you can with him in these last weeks and try to stay present with your child when you are together. This can be a time to savour the special relationship that you've shared before things change.

Reply to m's mom
Posted by: J | 2008/05/22

My baby will be 23 months when our second one arrives. I think by letting them 'take part' in perhaps handing you stuff, ect. and letting them touch the baby gently and treating them exactly the same as before the birth will be helpfull.

Reply to J
Posted by: M's mom | 2008/05/22

how old is your baby?

Reply to M's mom

Want to comment?

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.