Wednesday, August 02, 2006

How to make sure your firstborn child accept the new baby

Our kids are 2 years apart. Born on the same date but a month short of 2 years apart, my girl was almost 2 when her baby brother was born.

To me, there is just one word to describe how we made sure our firstborn child accepted the new baby. And that word is "INVOLVEMENT". We made sure she was involved every step of the way.

We talked to her about the baby and referred to the baby as "our baby" to include her. We took her to EVERY doctor visit (also due to the fact that we didn't have anyone to watch her so she always tagged along with us everywhere we went. Lol!). She looked at the baby ultrasound scans together with us. We took her shopping for baby stuff with us.

And when the big day came (the delivery date), we took her to the hospital with us. Again, it was because we had no one to watch her for us. My sisters helped us watch my girl during the birthing process when hubby was in the labour room with me but she stayed the nights with us at the hospital. We requested for a double bedded room at the hospital but they were full so we had to opt for a single room with a request for an extra mattress to be placed on the floor. She and hubby slept on the mattress throughout my hospital stay which was about 2 nights due to my emergency caesarean birth. The nurses were amused with her antics when we were there.

Hubby took her out for meals during those 2-3 days, mostly fast food meals, (men!) and at night when she had trouble falling asleep because of the new and strange surroundings, hubby carried her in his arms and walked her till she slept before he laid her down on the mattress. She was tired from the excitement so she slept quite well, thankfully. (Even with the baby crying at the top of his lungs)

Back home, whenever I breastfed baby, she would usually be beside me, especially during bedtime, when I would chat and sing to her or tell her stories. So she never had a chance to feel left out. She accepted the new baby very well. I did not detect any jealousy even though she had been princess of the house for almost 2 years. :) Whenever baby cried she would tell me "Mummy, baby is crying. Carry baby/Feed baby."

They are 4 and 2 now and sibling rivalry has kicked in. Lol! Sometimes they are the best of friends and sometimes arch enemies. However, I never had any trouble with my then toddler accepting her newborn baby brother. And it was all due to that one word "INVOLVEMENT"

Another thing I want to share. I have a friend who did the same thing with all her four kids. Her husband tells me that for every birth in the family, he would bring sleeping bags and they all camped out at the hospital and turned it into a family event. Their last baby was a girl so all her brothers tagged along during the hospital stay. I think its a great idea. Turning the birth into a family event. Getting everyone involved helps in acceptance and its a great opportunity for all to bond with the new baby.

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  1. I think our involvement for elder girl was not enough, that's why she felt left out, keep trouble me when newborn arrived..*sigh*
    ok, for my 3rd bb, i am going to make sure fully involvement from the 2 girls. Wish me good luck then! :P

  2. When is 3rd one Jesslyn? Hehe...Does the hospital actually let men and children stay overnite? If it's ok, I don't mine bringing Keith when I am on my way to deliver my 2nd bb ;b.

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  4. Heya MG,
    Yeah, involvement is a very important thing. My older girl has no problem accepting her little one. However, there are still times when she will act up a little to gain a little attention..I suppose that is sibling rivalry, but it is normal. haha..Take care!

  5. jesslyn,
    All the best!

    Maybe you need to check with the hospital first eh? You'd have to get a private single room or pay for a double one though otherwise you'd be disturbing other patients and they won't allow that now would they.

    Yes, somehow the toy the other one is holding always seem more interesting then their own!

  6. I agree getting the older sibling involved from the very beginning is important. Also I heard that the parents can first buy a small gift meant for the older sibling. Upon bringing the baby home from the hospital, give the gift to the older sibling and tell him/her that it is a present from teh baby. A few friends of mine tried that and it worked.

  7. Involvement. Good word. I have been using this idea now for my new baby. I tell my son that we are going to have a baby soon and he seems to understand it. He even place his toys and books on my tummy for our baby to play. He also kiss my tummy often. I hope that when baby arrives, my son will accept our baby and share his love unconditionally.

  8. Wow, the hospital allows ur girl to stay overnight? Here in the states, they only allow the husband IF (and only if) the mom gets a private room. Private rooms are usually reserved for c-sect moms. If share a room, the hubby can't stay overnight. Thanks for the tip, we will make sure Belle is involved in the pregnancy progress.

  9. wmd,
    Yes, I've heard those who tried it say that it works.

    "He even place his toys and books on my tummy for our baby to play. He also kiss my tummy often. I hope that when baby arrives, my son will accept our baby and share his love unconditionally."

    Thats so sweet. I think it sounds like he accepts it, even now. :)

    Well, I don't think they will allow it here if you are room sharing too. And if you want to request for a private room its ok as long as you pay for it.


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