Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Poll Discussion: Introducing a New Baby to Older Siblings

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Bringing home a new baby can be scary, for all involved. Life is going to change and no one really has a full grasp on exactly how that will look and how that will change life. When bringing home the second baby, many parents worry about how the relationship with the oldest child will change. Every new baby brings changes to the dynamics of the home. 

And so the question arises, how do you successfully bring home your new member of the family? How do you help older siblings with this transition? Please take a moment to answer the questions below. Doing so will help other parents in the future. It is very helpful for me when compiling answers if you at least number the answers you give. You can also copy the questions and answer them. If the question does not apply to you, simply put "N/A."


1. How old was your child[ren] when you brought the new baby home?
2. What, if anything, did you do before the baby was born/adopted to prep the older sibling? 
3. In retrospect, what do you think helped your older child[ren] with the transition?
4. In retrospect, what do you think did NOT help your older child[ren] with the transition?
5. How did your child respond to the change? Things like, how did the child initially react? What about a few weeks later? Did you notice any behavioral or sleep impacts? 
6. Any advice for parents about to take this step?


4 comments:

Krysten Traylor said...

1. My son was 2.5 when I brought the new baby, a daughter, home.
2. We read books about having a new baby and there was a new baby at church too that he saw in nursery.
3. I think spending time with my mom (we live on the same farm) helped him transition because he was still getting a lot of one-on-one attention. For the first few months I was homeschooling my 14 year-old brother and that helped a lot too.
4. I don't think that there was anything that didn't help.
5. Initially he was very excited but quickly became indifferent. There were some sleep disruptions during nap time but it was short-lived.
6. My advice to parents is to introduce your child to a baby before the new one arrives. This gives kids a visual and something you can compare your new baby to.

Kimberly Cartwright said...

1. How old was your child[ren] when you brought the new baby home?
2 years, 5 months
2. What, if anything, did you do before the baby was born/adopted to prep the older sibling?
We talked about the new babies a lot. We read books from the library. He saw the cribs and baby stuff coming out of storage. He also came with to some of the ultrasounds to see the babies. He actually switched rooms so all the kids could be in one bedroom.
3. In retrospect, what do you think helped your older child[ren] with the transition?
I think getting the baby stuff out early helped him get used to that before it was in use. He was able to explore it a bit and it wasn't a novelty he couldn't touch. He also switched rooms several months before the girls were born. That way we hoped he wouldn't feel forced to change because of the babies directly, they were separate events. We also had the girls bring him presents, which he really enjoyed.
4. In retrospect, what do you think did NOT help your older child[ren] with the transition?
I don't think anything didn't help. It was hard to see how much everything helped, but I don't think anything was negative or not worth the time.
5. How did your child respond to the change? Things like, how did the child initially react? What about a few weeks later? Did you notice any behavioral or sleep impacts?
My son did really well! He didn't want to be too close to the girls or hold them or anything, but that was actually nice. We weren't worried about him accidentally hurting them. He enjoyed helping by bringing burp cloths or giving them toys. He also loved to throw away diapers. He didn't seem to mind how noisy they were sometimes. His sleep didn't suffer too much. He did stall at bedtime a bit, but it wasn't too bad. We were tolerant of it a bit. He did act out a little by pushing buttons. Literally, he pushed buttons around the house and on the bouncers he wasn't supposed to. That only lasted a couple of weeks though. Overall it was a pretty smooth transition.
6. Any advice for parents about to take this step?
Just because the child doesn't seem to want to talk about the new baby or doesn't seem interested in it doesn't mean the child isn't listening and taking it all in. My son wasn't super verbal during the pregnancy (he was a late talker), so we were never very sure how much he understood. But he was great! He didn't really seem to have a problem with what was going on and is a great big brother. I would also say don't try to force the older sibling to do anything with the new baby he or she doesn't want to. We made it clear he does not have to interact with the babies, or really touch them in any way if he doesn't want to. We really praised when he did though, like when he gave them hugs and kisses. As parents we instantly love our new babies, but to the older child these are brand new people they have to get to know in their own time.

Sarah said...

1. My children were 5 years, 2 months and 3 years, 1 month
2. We read books, talked about baby, they went to the doctor appointments and sonograms. They went shopping and picked out presents for the baby, and the baby brought them a present at the hospital. The 5y/o and 3 y/o also transitioned to sharing a room and I think that transition also helped them knowing that baby sister would have the other room.
3. I think all of these things helped, we were excited about the baby and shared that with the kids.
4. I don't think anything didn't help.
5. Both girls did well! They were excited to meet her at the hospital and proudly showed her off to visitors when they came to our house. About 6 weeks in to baby being home, we had some behaviors from the 3 year old. Overall no sleep disruptions, a little trouble falling asleep at times.
6. My advice would be have as much done house-wise and meal-shopping before the baby comes. This allows you to focus on the new baby and other children without stressing about those things. Try to catch some one on one time with your older children so they feel included too(I.e. Books, coloring, playtime, etc).

Valerie Plowman said...

Thank you, everyone, for your comments!

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