March 2019 Moms

Transitioning the LO's

I hope i am not messing up board organization bc i have gotten anal about it myself in some ways LOL. but i figured this was a topic that could spread across multiple people. I tried to go through the pages so hopefully this isn't a dupe post either! 

 I had my last therapy session this week and my therapist told me to start doing things with my DS because once i have the baby he will no longer be an only child. Are you guys doing any significant (or insignificant) things with your current children to guide them into not being the only, or becoming big sis or brother? Looking for some ideas and maybe topics...he is 9 so he is old enough to have conversations, and i also want him to go into this change still feeling important to me. My sister is 18 years older than me, so i never had that change myself to have to do any kinds of adjustments. I know that it will be a transition for him but would love some ideas and tips and even books if you guys have recommendations! 

Re: Transitioning the LO's

  • Well, my daughter will only be 20 monthsish when this baby is born, so there's not much I can do to prep her. We've told her there's a baby in Mommy's belly. She seems fascinated by babies particularly when I'm holding them. I've thought about getting a child's book about getting a new sibling, but idk if she's too young to understand. 

    In general, I'm not too worried about the transition. I don't want her to be an only child, and I don't want her to expect she'll always be the center of attention. 

    I took care of a tiny baby for a few hours a little while ago, and it was interesting! The baby cried a lot, and she would cry too. And she wanted to crawl up on my lap and be held, which was hard to do, both of them! It might be interesting the first few days, but H will be there too. And I can pop the baby on a boob to sooth them instead of just having to walk around and change positions and do the best I can! 
  • We've been doing some things to transition my toddler into the idea, but moreso to free up the stuff we will need when the baby comes without her feeling like we're taking it from her. I mentioned elsewhere that we moved her into a big girl bed and that we've been potty training her all summer (with varied success). We started talking to her about the baby and she has a doll that she feeds and gives baths to and we tell her to be gentle with. She's never really been upset when I hold other babies, possibly because she goes to daycare with some little babies. I think she finds them interesting, but that could change when the novelty wears off.

    I need to move her bed out of her room (I might do that this weekend. I have to take it apart which is the only reason we didn't wheel it out already). I've been meaning to get some books but I figure she'll get some for Christmas. We've got a few friends that just had babies, so I'll probably try to hold some of them while she's around to get her used to "sharing" me with a baby. Otherwise we're working on patience and the idea that sometimes Mommy is busy and you need to wait and helping her understand what she can do by herself.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
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  • My son is 3, will be a month shy of 4 when baby is due to arrive, so we’re definitely trying to prepare him. Making extra effort to get good family time in and remind him how much mom & dad love him before baby arrives (I’m trying to make a family getaway happen this winter, just the 3 of us). We’re talking about how his old nursery will be baby sisters room, and try to discuss where and how she’s going to fit into our lives/family - her sitting in the high chair at dinner, in the seat next to him in the car, etc. Planning to involve him in getting the nursery ready, let him pick out a stuffed animal to be his sisters first toy, and just do some stuff along those lines. We’re also working on fostering his independence, so hopefully once baby is here he’s more comfortable doing little stuff for himself.
    His cousins have siblings, and the most recent additions have been in the past year, so I’m hoping that will also help prepare him.
    It’s definitely going to be a big adjustment for all of us for him to no longer be the only, but hopefully it will go smoothly enough.
    Any tip or tricks from mom’s who’ve done this before are certainly appreciated!
  • Our situation is similar to @lovesclimbing but our daughter will be 4 months shy of 3 years. She loves singing "rock a by baby" to her baby doll, and rocking it (and then violently throwing it across the room :lol: ). We got her a book about being a big sister, but I'm not quite sure how much she understands. She too is very interested in babies and will cry if she hears or sees a baby cry.

    I am worried a little because she is such. a. mama's. girl. My husband can't put her to bed, it has to be me if I am around. My husband has been doing more activities with just the two of them. They are out of town this weekend together, they will go to our friend's house for play dates, etc. I think she'll be okay, but it will definitely be an adjustment for everyone!

    I'm looking forward to additional insights others may have, so I love this topic idea!
  • Ok, I know it's not the same so is it weird if we expand this topic to include pets? I've heard of plenty of pets developing behavioral issues or depression after the arrival of a baby (especially if they have not really seen one before) because suddenly their schedules are different, they aren't getting as much attention, and there's this foreign creature now living in their home.
  • @mayoduck I’m in for including fur-babies! My pup is definitely a bit mopey since DS was born (3.5 years ago now). Pup has been awesome with our son, but is definitely more anxious and mopey that before DS was around.
  • @zionsmama85 This is a great topic & something I’ve been thinking about with my toddler. When she was born my first child had just turned 18 (like you & your sister) and I was SHOCKED that my first-born felt jealous and replaced! She didn’t bond with the baby until she was about 3 months old,when she could really smile and start responding to her big sister’s presence. 

    With your son it will likely be important to still have some mommy-son time without baby always around. Not sure how close your SO is with your son, but maybe they can develop some cool guy rituals to do together. Haircuts, baseball games, video games—anything that makes your son feel like the focus. 

    My LO is 2: she wanted a baby brother so she had huge eyes when we told her it’s a baby sister in mama’s tummy. :o:# Now she’s warmed up & wants to talk a lot about how baby sister will drink mama’s milk and sleep in her old baby bed. It’s very sweet. We will likely read books about siblings & growing families in the next few months. She will be three & four months when this last one arrives, I’m really looking forward to it. <3
  • @mayoduck my best advice for conditioning a pup is to stop walking around them and start walking “through” them so they learn to get out of your way instead of vice versa. When you’re tired and have a baby in your arms you don’t want to trip over a dog, and eventually when kiddo starts crawling and walking you want your dog to know if they don’t want to get touched, crawled on or run over with a walker they need to move.

    If there are specific areas you don’t want the dogs in at all, start enforcing that now. Otherwise unless your pup is particularly sensitive to sudden noise I wouldn’t worry too much. Obviously don’t leave them unattended, especially when LO’s start to crawl and walk.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • On the furbabies- great advice from @meggyme. Our pets have long since gotten used to being moved down the totem pole. They were pretty nonplussed around babies (except one of our cats- she loves to lay at a baby's feet while they're on their back and kicking their legs, so she can have a gentle massage. She did that with both our babies!) We let them sniff the baby's blanket when we brought them home from the hospital. The dogs didn't care. However, once the baby became mobile/toddler then it was on! They learned to get up and leave if they were being bothered (our pets are all older) and the toddlers were taught to be gentle. Now that one is school aged and one is 3, they help with feeding, brushing, walking and they know how to play and give treats.

    For transitioning our DD to being a big sister. She was about to turn 3 when DD2 was born. She had been prepped by easing into bedtime/storytime with Dada. Special outings with just Dada to grandparents and BOOKS. Our older DD is a big bookworm and she really takes things from books and applies them to life. However,  since I'm a SAHM, we already spend tons of time together and had special outings all the time and she was a cling-tight mama's girl and I was nervous how she would do. She got plenty of individual attention already from being the first grandkid on both sides of the family. But, she did have 2 little friends that had older sibs and were each getting a younger one, coincidentally, at the same time she was! 

    DD did better than I could have hoped when baby came home. She got lots of mom snuggles but had to learn to "wait her turn" when it came to some things and then I made lots of things work while I was nursing baby, like reading whatever she brought me, snuggling up and watching her favorite show on TV. She understood that many times, baby needed mom first. She was also given "mamas helper" jobs. That helped her to feel pretty big and important. It helped that she really loved baby sis from the start.
  • My son will be 22 months when this baby is born. I’ve told him that there’s a baby in my belly and now he lifts everyone’s shirts and says, “baby?” Soooo, I probably just confused him more.

    Because he’s so young, I don’t think he is really going to understand until his sister is born. We plan on bringing him a toy “from” his sister when we bring her home from the hospital.

    He goes to daycare now and is around babies often. He seems to like babies now, but we’ll see if that changes at all. He loves to help take care of the dog and cat so I’m hoping he’ll feel the same about the baby. 

    @mayoduck  Our Aussie is so personable and was the baby before DS was born. He definitely feels bad for himself sometimes, but he’s gotten used to DS and is wonderful with him. We make sure to give him attention still  so overall he’s happy. Before our son was born, we did have a trainer come over because at the time, our pup was still young (under a year). It was helpful to get some tips from the trainer. If your dog is still young and you have any concerns, I’d look into getting a trainer.
  • I’m with some of you with the very young children DS will turn 2 around 20ish days after LO is born. I don’t think there is much I can do to prepare him. Like @chocolatelemons I introduced the idea to him that mommy has a baby in her belly and now he lifts his own shirt and says “baby” lol whoops! Thankfully he doesn’t walk around (yet) telling other people they have a baby in their baby. He does hug and kiss the baby aka my belly which is very sweet. When he sees the ultrasounds he says “baby”. I’m not sure he has any idea the impact of what any of it means. He is very close to DH and I. He is good with either of us putting him down at night, giving baths, etc. I mean we have our “usual”  but he doesn’t get upset if it’s mixed up at all (thankfully he’s pretty easy going). We have talked about getting him a “I’m a big brother book” and we probably will but haven’t yet. Like many of the other moms have mentioned he’s obsessed with babies and regularly plays with the baby dolls at his babysitters and my moms. I want to get him one for our house but DH isn’t having it (I’m hoping to find a boy doll he might be more okay with for Christmas). 

    The only thing we are looking into changing in his world is taking the paci away completely. He still will only use the one from the hospital (which I know it’s not good on his teeth). But he only uses it for naps/bedtime (and he spits it out as soon as he’s asleep) he knows it stays in the bed as soon as he comes out of the bed. His pediatrician recommended taking it away before the age of 1 or letting him have it until the age of 3 when you can “negotiate” with it. We wanted to take it away when I’m home from work the entire week of Thanksgiving... so we will see. I just think if we wait too long he’ll be taking the baby’s and he’ll be upset the baby can have one and he can’t. We won’t start potty training him until next summer when I’m off work ideally anyways. 
  • Thank you for starting this topic.  My son just turned 9 as well and he isn't thrilled about having a little sister.  My husband and I have been involving him in everything with hopes he will become more excited over time.  He has helped us pick paint colors for her room and he is going to help his dad paint the room. I think getting him involved in all the baby stuff will help and make him feel included. My son loves music and art so I was telling him today he can teach her all about his favorite music and how to draw.  It has been just the 3 of us for so long so it is going to be an adjustment. I know he is going to be a great big brother it is just going to take some time. 

  • Moved the crib out of DD1's room into our master. I plan to move the glider too, but I don't want to steal all of her furniture. I might get a bench seat with storage to still have a place to sit in her room. DD1 did pretty well with "sharing her bed" with sister. Just ordered some big sister books to meet the $10 requirement for my amazon registry.

    Also, I asked my midwife recently if there was a specific appointment she recommended I bring DD to in order to hear/see her sister. She said NOT an ultrasound, which kind of surprised me, but any other appointment was probably fine. She also said probably not the 36 week GBS swab but that was up to me.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • @mayoduck Thank you for including pets. 
    @meggyme That is a great idea about not walking around the dogs. I often do that with our pup (6 months) probably a good idea for him getting used to be the one moving. 

    We are a little nervous about our older dog. He's an ex field trail pointer (bird hunting dog). We got him when he was about 2. Its not that he necessarily had bad living conditions when we got him but he was not raised as a pet. He was raised the the old school ideas that better hunting dogs are not house dogs. That is not how we treat him. Hes about 6 now and is very loving except with children. Hes scared of them... Like he goes to hide in his crate. We are probably going to get a trainer involved. 
  • We bought DD1 a bunch of books about babies and started talking about DD2 as soon as we felt comfortable (which, for us, happened after we got the NIPT results).  About 2 months before DD2 was born we moved DD1 into her new room (still in a crib, as she was only 17 months old). We didn't transition her from her pacifier or anything at that time because she was still awfully young and I didn't see the need (which worked fine because DD2 has never been into pacifiers so there wasn't a regression issue when we finally did take the pacifier away from DD1, right after her second birthday).

    The transition from two to three should be interesting. We're moving next week and I'm going to tackle potty-training DD1 HARD after she's had some time to adjust to the new house.  DD2 is pretty go-with-the-flow, and since she's never been an only child - and she's younger - I'm not as worried about her.  It will certainly be interesting to see how this all shakes out!

    Oh, and the dog.  I definitely agree with @meggyme about getting your pets used to having to move out of the way.  Our 9 year old mini dachshund still struggles with that almost 3 years after bringing DD1 home.  We also brought baby blankets home from the hospital so she could get used to the smells.  She LOVED our girls when they were newborns . . . she's not so much into toddlers.  :-)
  • @bluebell08 I think a trainer would be good. You will definitely want supervision at all times, to the point that you might want a baby gate to keep the dog out if you can't provide the needed supervision (making dinner, going to the bathroom). I'd also suggest making a safe space for them where your child is absolutely not allowed, like a dog bed in a spare room or even a crate somewhere. That way when they get overwhelmed and scared they can retreat somewhere that they know will be safe and you can protect from the kids for them.
    DD1: June '16 DD2: March ‘19 :::: Married since 2011 :::: USN Wife ::::
  • @zionsmama85 This is a great thread, thanks for starting it. I am really enjoying reading what everyone has to say. 

    My daughter will be just over 3 when baby boy arrives. She has been asking for a sibling since before I got pregnant, although she insists (still) that it will be a girl. 

    She has always been a really empathetic and nurturing kid. She is always pretending to be the mom/doctor/teacher of some stuffed animal or baby doll, and she has a laundry list of big plans for what she can do to take care of her baby brother. She is also already potty trained and sleeping in her own big kid bed. So for us, the preparation part seems easy and she is super excited and wants to be a big helper to the family. 

    I am worried about the reality not matching her expectation. She has no sense of time and can’t understand why her baby is not here NOW. She is also completely spoiled for attention at home, since she has two involved parents that she doesn’t have to share. Her patience and ability to wait for one of us is minimal. Any suggestions on how to teach patience to a 2 year old? 
  • Visiting back on this thread, I'm glad pets were brought up. Those of you who have Amazon Prime, there is an album you can stream for free called Baby Sounds for Pets. My DH thought I was bonkers, but we have 3 larger dogs who have never been around infants. I would randomly play the sounds throughout the day just to get them used to the noise. I'd play the sounds in all rooms of the house since the baby would be in all rooms. When the crying/upset track came on, I would leave the dogs. I would come back and act like nothing was amiss when the crying was over.

    Now, all that being said, we have severely limited the interaction Ada has with the dogs. Not that they are evil, but size is a factor (smallest is 50lbs), and their personalities and temperaments are so different. I've also liked keeping them separate because of the cleanliness factor. We have clay not dirt, so our house and dogs get very sticky and dusty. One of the dogs, Dakota, is a husky, so twice a year (usually winter into spring and summer into fall, so now, ugh), she blows her coat. We have dust bunny Dakota fluffs everywhere. I brush when she cooperates, but it doesn't help too much. 

    I also keep them separate for safety reasons. I saw an episode of "Dr. Jeff: Rocky Mountain Vet" where the family golden retriever had a blocked intestine due to ingesting a pacifier. I forgot to close the dog's baby gate the other day, so the oldest dog, Layla, got hold of some magnetic numbers, and colored markers. No damage done, but it makes me nervous because DH and I are outnumbered with the dogs and DD. There are only so many sets of eyes. Luckily we have a large fenced in yard with lots of critters to chase, so the dogs are able to play outside safely.

    What we've been able to do is incorporate the three dogs into different activities with the family. Layla, the oldest, is a lab mix and DH's dog. She loooooooves the water, so we take her with us when we go to the lake. Dakota, the middle pup, is my dog through and through. Because of her working background, I take her when we go hike or walk. Bonus: because she loves to pull, I hitch her up in her harness to the front of the stroller so she can take most of the load. Freya is the youngest, more my dog, we think she's a Husky mix. She's not very gung ho about men or children, but she'll play fetch until her heart explodes, I'm almost certain. DD is getting to the point now where she likes to throw the ball for Freya. If the dogs get treats, DD gives them. I want the dogs to associate DD with positive things.

    I didn't really do as much preparation with the dogs that I wanted to. I did make sure they were all up to date on vaccinations, on their flea/tick preventative, etc. I wanted a healthy household.

    Sorry, I'm a novel writer. :lol::grimace:
  • DS will be 2 in December and thus is completely in the dark about the big change that is coming his way. We talk about the new baby a lot but it doesn't mean much to him. I want to get him a baby doll to "practice" with, either for his birthday or Christmas.  We also have some big brother books he likes to read.  New baby is getting his own room so that won't be a transition at least. DS will get to keep all his stuff.
    I'm hopeful it won't be a terrible transition since he has been fairly adaptable so far.  But he is also a huge Mama's boy so jealousy will be a factor for sure. He did not react well when I held my friend's new baby a few weeks ago.
  • @dtspmama that is so sweet! I’d like to copy your idea but we already have so many dolls around here I’m not sure it would have the same effect.  :D
    Me: 30 DH: 31
    Married: 2012
    BFP #1 Sept 2014, MMC Dec 2014 | BFP #2 May 2015, DD Jan 2016 <3 | BFP #3 May 2017, MC July 2017 | BFP #4 Jan 2018, MC Feb 2018 | BFP #5 July 2018, fingers crossed
  • @dtspmama That's so cute. I read the Little Golden Book "Baby Dear" to my DD when I was expecting last time - it's all about that. Sister mimicking momma with her own doll. So sweet. We did they same thing but DD preferred her little cheapy Walmart doll to the newer bigger one we got her! Go figure.  We kept all her accessories but donated the doll awhile back. This time we have so many dolls, I'm about to do another purge. DD2 just got a new dolly for her 3rd bday that moves it's face, makes newborn noises and "sucks" on its binky and bottle. I'm waiting for LO to get here and see if DD2 pretends to "nurse" her dolly like DD did after she was born. Yeesh, I hope she uses a different doll for that! :D
  • @mamakate1616 yea the affect may not be the same if you're already surrounded  by dolls!  Though I'm laughing at the thought of your daughter looking at another doll and being like nah and tossing it aside (which is totally what DD1 would do with an additional doll if I tried it again.  LOL)\

    @Lbloom LOLOLOL!  I've seen a couple of those dolls online; are they creepy?  I have visions of Chucky.   :D
  • @dtspmama - this one is very tame compared to some other more "life-like" dolls I've seen. I think it came from Walmart. It has a sweet face and when you put the binky or bottle in her mouth then her face moves and she makes noises. I actually doubt it would do anything if you tried to put a finger in there.
  • My son is 4 so he’s super excited to be a big brother and actively trying to accomplish all the big boy things he wants to learn to do to help before the baby (washing himself, getting dressed without his head getting stuck in his hoodie, etc) but the biggest issue is that I can’t carry him as well anymore if he falls asleep in the car. Has anyone had this issue?

    He is not pleasant when he is woken up at all. I feel so bad but he’s about 42 lbs now and over half my height (I’m barely 5’ he is already 46”). 
  • @PhillyBelle yay for kiddo independence! Last night I was feeding DD her spaghettios and she asked me about feeding the baby. I said she has to learn to do it herself *without making a mess* before she could and she quickly was like ok get outta here mom I can do this! (mild success)

    DD would never make it from the car to her bed still asleep (and no chance would she go back to sleep if anything less than perfect conditions) so we have started not letting her fall asleep in the car unless we can commit to her taking the whole nap in there. 
    Me: 30 DH: 31
    Married: 2012
    BFP #1 Sept 2014, MMC Dec 2014 | BFP #2 May 2015, DD Jan 2016 <3 | BFP #3 May 2017, MC July 2017 | BFP #4 Jan 2018, MC Feb 2018 | BFP #5 July 2018, fingers crossed
  • FTM here. Nervous about our pup. She's a super friendly dog, but has always been really unpredictable about kids. We don't have many friends with kids, so she hasn't been around them much. She's done ok at the few family parties at my parents' house where my cousin's kids have been there, but the kids haven't really been that interested in her. Any time I've tried to let a kiddo meet her in public she sometimes starts off ok, but it almost always ends in her growling/barking. I'd like to think this is because it's out in public and maybe we're putting her out of her comfort zone in too many ways. If it's in her own home, and she's able to get used to the baby from the beginning, she'll hopefully be sort of desensitized over time.

    I volunteer at the shelter we got her from, and plan on talking to the behavior specialist at some point for more advice. But their newsletter had an article a few months back about dogs and babies that had a few helpful insights. Many things have already been mentioned (letting them sniff baby's blanket from hospital, playing baby noises, constant supervision, creating a safe space). One other thing I took away from the article was about baby & pup's first interaction. They said don't force the meeting, but when pup gets interested in baby, let them sniff baby's toes and give them lots of treats and positive reinforcement.
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