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Preparing first child for a sibling!

  1. #1
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Preparing first child for a sibling!

    Hi - I have a 13 month old boy and am expecting my second child in October when my first will be just about 19 months old. I'm looking for advice on how to prepare my son for the arrival of a sibling. I have been pointing for awhile at my belly and telling him that there is a baby inside...but at his age, I'm not so sure he knows what's going on. He's pretty clingy to me, so I worry about him being super jealous when his sibling is born. Any ideas on what I should be doing now to get him ready?

    Also, on another note - any other second time mommies find the second pregnancy harder than the first? I work full time and between work and a just starting to walk toddler, I'm wiped out all the time! Guess it's not going to get much better when the second one is born - I'll have even less time to sleep!

  2. #2
    louisouis is offline Registered User
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    hi, i am also expecting my second one, my first will be 2 1/2 when the second arrives. i kept telling my first about his little brother in my tummy and bought him a book "I am a big brother" I try to read it to him as often as I can, i also have a book on pregnancy which is suitable for very yound kids, which shows the different stages in which the baby is growing. I have also tried play acting with his toy eg. elmo, putting on a diaper and telling my son that elmo needs his milk and he is expected to help etc...

    i am also worried that he will be jealous but we can only prepare the first born as much as we can, the rest is up to them.

    the second pregnancy has its challenges especially when the toddler want you to carry him after a hard day's work.

  3. #3
    plumtree is offline Registered User
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    Hi FutureHKmom, looks like we'll have a similar age gap between children. It's not easy with two this young but I guess we'll get the hard part over and done with! :-)
    One little thing that helped is that No 2 'brought' a nice gift for No 1 when he came home from the hospital. It's a small thing, but it helps.

    With No 1, I was really keen to get out of hospital and go home and actually checked out early. With No 2, I thought hospital was a great holiday: nurses around to help do things, no housework, a welcome bit of time with my baby. I did miss No 1 but I stayed till the end of my package. That extra bit of sleep helps!

  4. #4
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    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    I'm 6 months pregnant and have an 18 month old - she'll be 21 months when the bub is born. I'm not really actively "preparing" her because she's still too young to understand. I do know that she will need to adapt when the baby is born - but at that age, you can't really explain to them in any way that they will really understand what it's all about. I do talk about the baby, and when we see other babies when we're out, I tell my oldest that we'll have her baby sister in our family soon. But really, I think that it's going to be a bit of a shock and a bit of adjusting no matter what you do to prepare, particularly when they're still too young to understand...

    In addition to the bub, we just moved homes last week, and we also have a helper arriving in 2 weeks or so, and also I want to transition my daughter to a big girl bed in the next couple of weeks (it's getting made and we don't have it yet). It's a lot of changes for such a little girl!! But I know that she's never going to be able to remember life as an only child - and I kind of think that's a good thing :)

  5. #5
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    carang is offline Registered User
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    nicole, you are exactly right. they are too young to "GET IT" still.

    buy them a doll. buy them a pram for the doll... when new baby comes home the older one gets a baby too. (worked wonders for my two, who are exactly 2 years apart.)

  6. #6
    LeahH is offline Registered User
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    Hi, mine are 19 months apart also and yes, the second pregnancy and working full time was much harder and more exhausting.

    In terms of getting her ready, we did the 'baby doll' thing, read special books about baby brothers. We made sure there would be no big adjustments made (school, new cots etc.) to coincide with the baby's arrival. Plus a big pressie (scooter) from the 'baby' when she came home.

    She was jealous at times, especially when I was BF'ing - but all in all it did not get too bad and passed quickly.

    They are pretty good friends now (1 and 2.5), she is quite protective at times and usually likes having him around. But, when she is feeling low or sick, she wants me or my husband exclusively.

  7. #7
    Suv
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    FutureHKmom, My #2 arrived as soon as my #1 turned 18 months a last week. I prepared as follows-
    1. I gave my helper responsibility of putting him to bed as #2 is on a feed on demand schedule and sometimes I need to feed the baby at the same time toddler is running around getting wound up in the evening. Till he was 15 months, I always put him to bed except when I was working late- after that I let the helper do so more and more often; and since then he is very comfortable with her.
    2. Try to keep as many things same for them as possible- specially the routine but also including the playschool, teacher whom he knows now, playmates he meets often through playdates or other activities.
    3. I felt around 18 months is a transition stage anyway so I have also been making a lot more playdates for him so that he learns to play one on one with other children rather than in a group setting like a panda junction or any other playgroup.
    4. Bought him a pram and a doll
    5. This one has worked very well- Hulda at Annerley gave me this idea. I have a box that I keep near me when I am feeding the baby. In this box are some small board books, a doll, crayons, big brother book and small soft toys. She told me not to ask the older one to come back or to wait. But to invite them in and join you and it slowly becomes their special time instead of again its baby's time. Its a little scary when you have a newborn at your breast and #1 sitting on your lap reading. For the first couple of times, I had another adult with me just in case #1 decided to be rough or throw something and I couldn't handle the situation. My #1 has responded really well to this strategy. He has been quite sweet and gentle with the baby when curious but also sits next to me engrossed with his new box.

    I have also just had a couple of days of frustrated screaming about every possible thing from him including trying to push his play stroller against the wall.... but it has passed.....:) I am more together this week so I can spend some more time with him and that helps too. I will know more as the weeks roll by.... Goodluck to us!:)
    Last edited by Suv; 04-26-2010 at 07:28 PM.

  8. #8
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
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    Thanks everyone for your responses!

    SUV - I like the idea of the box and will definitely try that!

    SUV, Louisouis and Leah - Also, was wondering what big brother book you bought? I'd like to buy one to start reading to my son.

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