Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Poll Discussion Post: Adding Baby to Family and Sibling Dynamics

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Today's poll is on the dynamics of siblings and a new baby. I think we all worry about how the child will be impacted by a new sibling, especially with the first baby. Here are some questions about the transition. You can answer for any child with any baby dynamic--for example, it doesn't only need to be first with second. It could be your 3rd with your 4th.
  1. How old was your child when the new baby came?
  2. Did you do anything to "prep" the older child for the baby?
  3. If yes, what did you do?
  4. How did your child initially react to the new baby? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
  5. How did your child act after about a month after the new baby was born? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
  6. Was there a point of difficulty at any point?
  7. Did you do anything to help the older child accept the new child?
  8. Any words of advice?
You can answer for each child each time a sibling has been born.

If you wouldn't mind, copy and paste the questions and then answer them. It makes it easier for me when tallying results. If you can't, that is fine.

4 comments:

hannah Wevodau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hannah Wevodau said...

How old was your child when the new baby came?
8 years old
Did you do anything to "prep" the older child for the baby?If yes, what did you do?
Lots of communication, setting a realistic stage on what to expect after birth and changes to be expected. Also had her be involved in setting up the nursery and reading books on becoming an older sister.
How did your child initially react to the new baby? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
A lot of stress and bedtime anxieties from about two months before birth and about a month or two after the birth. She internalized a lot of emotions so lots of complaints of "stomach aches" and generalized aches and pains instead of being able to stay she was feeling left out, etc.
How did your child act after about a month after the new baby was born? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
Around a month or two she finally realized the baby wasnt taking her place and she was still very much a important part of the family. Bed time anxieties and "stomach aches" went away.

Was there a point of difficulty at any point?Did you do anything to help the older child accept the new child?Any words of advice?
I think around a month and a half everyone was walking on egg shells, anxiety was high we had another long family time and went through a lot of feelings that were not being expressed. For example when we held the baby to bring him to another room that was being perceived as him being more important to her, or the baby being in parents room for the first few months with MOTN wake ups was being perceived as her not as an important part of the family. We just encouraged a lot of communication and explanation and around 2 months it seemed to Allen worked out.

Stephanie Kirby said...

1. Q: How old was your child when the new baby came? A: 5 years old.

2. Q: Did you do anything to prep the older child for the baby? A: yes.

3. Q: If yes, what did you do? A: We mostly just talked about it and tried to prepare him for the changes by explaining what it would be like. I also had a book that explained it in a good kid friendly way that we read together.

4. Q: How did your child initially react to the new baby? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress? A: He was very excited to meet her! His first words when he held her were: "Awww, I love her!" He did take some time to adjust to getting less attention. He would ask me to play with him a lot more often and he started to act out a bit because he just wanted more attention. He was from the very beginning VERY loving toward her and never tried to take out any frustration he may have felt on her. He continues to be a GREAT big brother!

5. Q: How did your child act after about a month after the new baby was born? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
A: He began to slowly adjust to the new normal in the house. I feel he handled it as well as can be expected. By a few months for sure he was adjusted completely. We were on our way at the 1 month point.

6. Q: Was there a point of difficulty at any point? A: The biggest challenge was the first few weeks. I personally felt so guilty at the lack of attention I was able to give my first child. I have also had a heavy dose of the baby blues with both my children and having the older child to think about made it a bit worse the second time around. Just something else to feel guilty about, I guess!

7. Q: Did you do anything to help the older child accept the new child? A: I feel like he was excited and accepted her immediately without much help from me. Funny story: When she was a couple weeks old, I asked him if he wanted Mommy to have any more babies, just to see if he really did like having a little sister. He immediately said yes. Then I asked him if he wanted the next baby to be a boy or a girl. He replied, "Well, we already have a girl! It has to be a boy. If you had another girl, that would be a CATASTROPHE!" He was totally serious.

8. Q: Any words of advice? A: This is probably obvious, but it's even more important to be ready for when the baby comes home(when you already have children). Have simple meals ready in the freezer. Line up some fun things the older kids can do without you, like a day with the grandparents, or a daddy day so they don't feel left out as much. I wish I had done MORE along those lines. I wasn't ready for the huge guilt trip.

babymama said...

1. How old was your child when the new baby came?
My son was 3.5 years and my daughter was 2y2mo.

2. Did you do anything to "prep" the older child for the baby?
Yes, but it was just due to some fortunate circumstances in our extended family.

3. If yes, what did you do?
There was a baby born in the family 2 or 3 months earlier, so we just pointed out lots of stuff about a newborn to our children when we were with that part of the family (how they need to eat often, be held a lot, how they are delicate, etc.). It made them baby experts by the time our baby was born.

4. How did your child initially react to the new baby? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
It was sheer excitement and absolute fawning. Both of our other children treated the baby like a little princess.

5. How did your child act after about a month after the new baby was born? Were there any regressions or jealousy? Stress?
Their actions toward her didn't change at this point, but they had started to feel the lack of attention by this time. They are often happy to play with each other, but I found myself breaking up more arguments, and doing more reactionary discipline...this was obviously due more to my parenting being spread a little thinner than to their behavior.

6. Was there a point of difficulty at any point?
Our new baby hasn't started crawling yet, but I think that once she does, there may be some issues with snatching, etc. We shall see.

7. Did you do anything to help the older child accept the new child?
I just encouraged interaction and helping. Before the baby had to be put in her room for naps because she was becoming more sensitive to noise (around 3 weeks), I just kept her downstairs with us and let the older two gives her kisses and caresses whenever they cared to. I think it helped them bond and feel a part of her care and understand that she is a family member, too.

8. Any words of advice?
Always supervise sibling interactions with the baby, but remember that "babies do bounce," so don't be overly protective. The other family members I mentioned with the new baby were SOOOO careful, that the older child now just ignores the baby and doesn't want anything to do with him.

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