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Old 07-24-2014, 12:06 PM   #1
aristocatz
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Advice on prepping a baby/toddler for a new sibling?

My DD is currently about 22 months old & she will be just over 2 years old (27 months) when our second DD is born.

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to start prepping her for a new sibling? I've looked around for books to read to her (she loves books), but most of them seem to be at a higher level than I think she will understand at her age. She is not really into dolls quite yet, but loves playing with her stuffed animals. She currently attends a fantastic home daycare, where there are some kids younger than her, but she is not overly interested in the babies-especially when they cry lol She prefers the kids who are a bit younger than her, around her age, or a little older.

We are planning to buy my DD a gift to give her "from her new baby sister" when she is born to help her associate her new sister with positive things. We did this with my niece when her sister was born & it worked out very well.

Any advice/suggestions on how to start prepping a 22 month old for the arrival of her new baby sister? We still have plenty of time to work on this, I just wanted to start thinking about it now.

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:03 PM   #2
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Just talk about it frequently. It may be helpful when you're doing something to prepare for baby's arrival to talk about it then, so that she has some visual cues to associate with it -- washing up baby clothing, prepping the nursery, etc.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:04 PM   #3
PrincessShmoo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aristocatz View Post
My DD is currently about 22 months old & she will be just over 2 years old (27 months) when our second DD is born.

Just wondering if anyone has any suggestions on how to start prepping her for a new sibling? I've looked around for books to read to her (she loves books), but most of them seem to be at a higher level than I think she will understand at her age. She is not really into dolls quite yet, but loves playing with her stuffed animals. She currently attends a fantastic home daycare, where there are some kids younger than her, but she is not overly interested in the babies-especially when they cry lol She prefers the kids who are a bit younger than her, around her age, or a little older.

We are planning to buy my DD a gift to give her "from her new baby sister" when she is born to help her associate her new sister with positive things. We did this with my niece when her sister was born & it worked out very well.

Any advice/suggestions on how to start prepping a 22 month old for the arrival of her new baby sister? We still have plenty of time to work on this, I just wanted to start thinking about it now.

Thanks!
Well our oldest is only 18 months older than our next child. Not really much they can "understand" about the process at that age. I just made sure she was aware that there was going to be another child in the family.

I had her "help" when setting up the new crib (they would be sharing a room initially). I didn't exclude her from any discussion about the upcoming addition.

Just take it as a matter of fact, not anything different or something to have to adjust to helps.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:15 PM   #4
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We had a couple cute books. I'm a new big brother (there is a sister version of this one and the next) and best big brother ever, I think. There was a section at Barnes & noble. Mine were that distance apart and I found it to be great. They are both boys, and currently playing and fighting (because they do fight) with a castle playset. We didn't do a ton of prep because we moved the week after my oldest's second bday, I was finishing the school year, and I just felt rotten during my pregnancy. It was fine. We taught him how to touch his brother after he was born and he was always very sweet, although I didn't trust him at all!
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:45 PM   #5
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I think I would agree with most everyone else - not a lot you really need to do other than make sure she knows that a new sibling is coming. Even then, it'll probably still come as a surprise My DS8 was 17 months old when DS7 was born, and DS7 was 1.5 years old when I had DD5, and all we really did was tell them that there was a new sibling coming and whether it would be a boy or girl. I think we did do some sort of gift, but it was from the new baby to the older sibling, not the other way around.

And we also tried to keep their daily routine in place 100% during the first few weeks. The older kids still went to daycare, even on the day that their siblings were born. They still were home with dad in the evenings while I was in the hospital, although they did visit me a few times. And once I was home we tried to do the same things that we did before once I recovered from my surgeries.
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Old 07-24-2014, 01:45 PM   #6
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Thank you! Am I over-thinking this? She doesn't tend to do well with changes, unless she is prepped (I'm guessing this is every kid her age) & I'm fully expecting jealous moments and difficulties along the way-I just want to try to make sure we are doing what we can to help transition her & make this is a positive experience for her
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:00 PM   #7
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You may get lucky OP. My son was 22 months when my DD was born. He took it all in stride when she came home. Just kept going about his usual business. Beforehand, he just didn't understand what was going on, didn't seem to notice I had a big tummy and couldn't hold him well, or anything.
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:39 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by aprilchem View Post
I think we did do some sort of gift, but it was from the new baby to the older sibling, not the other way around.

And we also tried to keep their daily routine in place 100% during the first few weeks. The older kids still went to daycare, even on the day that their siblings were born. They still were home with dad in the evenings while I was in the hospital, although they did visit me a few times. And once I was home we tried to do the same things that we did before once I recovered from my surgeries.
That's exactly what we plan to do (re:gift). Thank you for the tip about keeping her daily routine. We were originally going to have my parents stay with her while I am in the hospital, but now I am rethinking this..... obviously that may not be possible while I am in labor, but for the day or two after while I am recovering in the hospital...

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You may get lucky OP. My son was 22 months when my DD was born. He took it all in stride when she came home. Just kept going about his usual business. Beforehand, he just didn't understand what was going on, didn't seem to notice I had a big tummy and couldn't hold him well, or anything.
Wow, that is lucky!!!So far, my DD has no clue, but I'm also not that far along. We are renovating our guest room at the moment. As soon as the construction is finished and we are ready to decorate, I think I will have my DD "help" me decorate
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by aristocatz View Post
Thank you! Am I over-thinking this? She doesn't tend to do well with changes, unless she is prepped (I'm guessing this is every kid her age) & I'm fully expecting jealous moments and difficulties along the way-I just want to try to make sure we are doing what we can to help transition her & make this is a positive experience for her
Are you overthinking it? Probably a bit. Is that entirely normal? For parents going from one to two children, absolutely.

At the end of the day just remember it's part of life and she'll roll with it. Will it be bumpy sometimes? Sure. Will it be more complicated? Sure. When they get older, will they argue sometimes? Probably. More likely than not they'll get along more often than not. Mine are sisters about 4 years apart & they've never really fought -- although we frequently referred to them as the Bickersons in their younger years.
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:41 PM   #10
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Truthfully, the only thing you can do to prepare her is to prepare yourself for the fallout from her whole world being rocked. It's a huge adjustment for an egocentric 2yo to suddenly have to share the people who love her most. It won't be all bad, but you will most definitely see some acting out and other behavioral changes. Be patient. Make sure she gets alone time with mom and dad. Give her special jobs to help with baby and make her feel included.

Good luck. My oldest became a big sister at 3 1/2 and again at 5 1/2. She did great except when it came to sharing grandma. My middle child became a big sister at 2, and it was rough. She was just completely hacked off that she had to share mommy and big sister with the baby. Honestly, she's just getting over it one year later!
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Old 07-24-2014, 03:54 PM   #11
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Our 2 oldest are 23 months apart. Really the work needs to be done AFTER the baby arrives. Sure, you can read books and talk about it. But it's very important to find a way to carve out one on one time with your oldest after that needy little bundle arrives. Resist the urge to send the oldest off with grandma. Instead consider sending the baby off with grandma (even if it's just to the next room) so your older child knows they are still an important priority.
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Old 07-24-2014, 04:08 PM   #12
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My "baby" is 15 so the experience is a bit dated.

My dd was four when her younger brother was born so she was very aware of what was going on. One piece of advice that went around back then (but I didn't need) was to make sure you transition the older child out of the crib with time to spare. My understanding was many kids took issue with a newcomer stealing their bed. DD had been using a regular bed long before DS came along so that point was moot for us.

The one thing we thought was great was that our hospital did a big sibling night in conjunction with the refresher childbirth course. All the older siblings came to class and the nurses spoke to them about having a new baby in the house. Each child got to use a doll to practice touching carefully, holding the baby, diapering and how they could help. The nurses were great, they went around to each sibling and demonstrated "how to" with the dolls. My daughter thought it was really cool.

My ob was great as well. He encouraged older siblings to come to appointments and would let them listen to the baby's heartbeat and talk to them about what was going on.

DD did well becoming a big sister, except for the first hour. I called her at Grandma's to tell her that she had a baby brother and she cried for about an hour. She really wanted a sister. She had calmed down before they got to the hospital to visit and ds's first present from his sister was a Pink Pony balloon. Yes, I did save it when it deflated and it's in with all of the other keepsakes. LOL
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Old 07-24-2014, 07:49 PM   #13
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From what I've gathered from friends who have welcomed child #2 is keeping the rhythm close to what she is used too. If she goes to daycare, keep doing that, etc. A few extra cuddles and hugs won't hurt. She should be fine. You are giving her the greatest gift a girl can have!
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:13 PM   #14
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My older nephew was 2.5 years old when his brother was born. My sister talked about the baby a lot with my nephew while she was pregnant. He was all sorts of excited about having a baby brother. Until he actually had a baby brother and he stopped talking to my sister. He was fine with everyone else.

So a couple of days after she brought the baby home she took my older nephew to the park and it was all about him. She never mentioned the baby the whole time they were there. It must have reassured him that he wasn't being replaced and he was fine after that. There was still typical jealousy when the baby required extra attention, but that's to be expected.

My cousin also told me when she was having her 3rd baby she bought a book about being a big brother to prep son number 2. They read it hundreds of times and she thought he was ready. She brings #3 home and #2 is all excited and about an hour later he asked when the baby's mother was coming to take him home. He was about 2 -3 years old too.

I think at that age you can prepare all you want, but they don't really get it until the baby is there. Then it's just a matter of reassuring them that the baby is not taking their place.
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