Baby Number 2 Advice
As you all know our home will soon (hopefully soon) be welcoming baby #2. We are all pretty excited about it and are looking forward to all the changes that it will bring to our family. They won't all be easy, but this life wasn't meant to be easy. One of the things that I have tried to be aware of is how it will affect Benton. He has been the only kid in the house for a long time and is pretty used to all the attention he gets. We have tried to do a few things to prepare him but not a lot. For example we tried to separate him from his crib with enough time so he doesn't feel like the baby came home and took over everything that was his.
I have had a few people give me some good tips that I think we will try. The first one I read online somewhere. It said that when the older sibling comes to visit you and the new baby in the hospital, you need to put the baby down and give them attention. I thought that was a good idea, they see the new baby in your arms and then see that they are still important. My visiting teacher said that she found herself often telling the older sibling that she couldn't play with them or help them because she needed to tend to the baby. She found it helpful during times when the baby was happy and she could put her down to say to the baby in front of the older sibling, "No baby, I can't help you right now. I need to play with your brother." That way the older sibling doesn't always hear "no" just to them, it goes to both children. I feel like Benton will respond to this one.
Another person mentioned bringing a gift for the older sibling when you come home from the hospital. Something like a book about having a baby brother and a small toy. Something to make them feel special. The last piece of advice someone mentioned (it applies to anyone having a baby), and I don't know why I didn't think of it before, was to buy paper plates and cups for the first week or so. Duh, that would be awesome! Less dishes to worry about.
So now I wanted to see if any of you had any advice you might want to offer. I know that many of you have two or more children and have been through this transition before. I do want to say though that this is not something I am really concerned about. In fact I lean more towards thinking that this is life now and Benton will have to get over it rather than worrying about his feelings every second. It sounds kind of harsh but really I think that being too concerned about it will only make it worse for him. Though I do feel that there are some simple things that you can do to make the transition easier for everyone involved and they are worth trying. So if you have anything to share, anything at all please do. Thanks in advance.
That all sounds like good advice. We did the toy thing, Jared didn't get it then but we told him that Novalee got him the toy (it was a spiderman toy) later he when he was older and we told him again who gave him the toy you could tell he was really touched by it. :) I like the "no I can't play with you" idea, I will have to try that one too. :)ReplyDelete
I think overall the most important thing is to just give them as much love as you can without over exhausting yourself or worrying too much how it will effect either of them in the long run. In the long run (from my experience) siblings always grow to love each other in between moments of jealously and irritating each other. :)
He's almost exactly the age ethan was when i had bennett. and all i can say is-he'll be fine. at that age, they take things in stride and they're young enough they don't really know any better. to be honest, we didn't do much different and ethan was just as happy as ever even after my attention was divided. you'll be amazed at how quickly he adjusts and welcomes the new baby. Ethan, even at 20 months, wanted to help me with the baby putting his pacifier in and singing to him. it's like they always were the best of buds. now we definitely had growing pains once bennett started TAKING ethan's toys from him (when he started crawling and could get them) but until then, i bet you won't notice much of a difference. granted, every kid is different, but i think it's more when they're older that you come into problems with jealousy.ReplyDelete
I'll tell you that I was *super* stressed for ME with having another baby. I knew Marin would adjust, I didn't have any concern with that really. I just made sure I took the time to hug and kiss her and tell her that I loved her. If anything, having Owen made me more conscious of how I needed to give Marin those verbal and physical reminders of my love. I knew she would love her brother :) I LOVE the paper plate idea! Don't be ashamed to ask for help/food. Having a baby isn't a small task for your body, and you will regret not having the help! I LOVED having my parents at the house, and when they left, Kris's grandmother stay at the house. I had about three-ish weeks with someone at the house, and it was wonderful. Mostly to get Marin ready in the morning and help with her...Owen kept us up for all nighters the first two nights and then was an every 2 hour feeder after that, so I slept when I could! Movies are your friend. It's ok to have movies on all day for those first few weeks. It's a big adjustment, and if you don't take the time to rest, you'll get sick...and a sick mama is not good! My sister in law told me, at three months it get easier, at six months it's a relief and at 12 months, it's a breeze. An lastly, just know that this is truly the way God meant things to be. Being a mother is by FAR the most challenging task on earth, and therefore will be the most rewarded. Good luck with delivery and everything else!!ReplyDelete
I know someone who would get their older kids specific toys to play with while they fed baby. Older child only played with them during feeding sessions, so the toys were a bit of a novelty and special. Maybe it'd work?ReplyDelete
I think you are on the right track! I got some good advice form a client saying to refer to the baby as Gus' baby so he felt compasion for him/her. So I would say "Look Gus your brother is here finally" or "Your baby is crying, what do you think we should do?" Gus was older than Benton so that may work out differently for you. I was pleasantly surprised at how well Gus did with Colton. I did the paying attention to Gus a bunch in the hospital thing when he was there. Having him up in my bed with me and playing with him a bunch while other people had the baby. I really think that helped. I'm so excited for you guys!! A growing family is such a blessing from God!!!ReplyDelete
One thing i found helpful was to have toys the older child could use to take care of a doll while I took care of a baby. doll swing, toy bottles, doll bed, stroller, blanket, anything like that, and of course a doll. Granted, I had girls, maybe a boy wouldn't take to it as readily as my girls did, but I'd say it's worth a try!ReplyDelete