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  • Introducing new sibling

    I expecting a baby in end June 06. Was wondering if anyone has experience/ideas on good methods to introduce a new sibling to existing child/children. Not that my kid is the jealous kind but it going to be something different for him as he will need to learn and live with another sibling.

    A friend has recommended getting books on silbings to show to my kid. Any other ideas? TIA

  • #2
    sorry, won't be of much help but here's my experience....

    hope i don't scare you but personally i found it very tough. lauren is very close to me so she found kirsten hard to adjust to. i bought books on 'being a big sister' to expose her to what being a sister meant, and bought a toy 'from the baby' to her when we brought kirsten home but they didn't seem to help much. it was harder that she was only 19mths then and not really communication. didn't seem to help at all. other than the initial 20 mins of interest, she completely ignored kirsten.

    i read so much on sibling rivalry and was so afraid she would hit or push kirsten that i ended up spending most of my maternity leave with her. also kirsten, at that juncture didn't really care who the primary caregiver was, as long as she was fed, clean and able to fall asleep. i ended up being heavily reliant on my helper to care for kirsten.

    for the first 3-4 mths, kirsten didn't get much of our time (which i will forever feel 'i owe her'). fortunately lauren was getting used to her, gradually she started kissing and hugging kirsten. i also slowly (really really slowly, like over 6 mths) tried to educate lauren that mummy had to be shared and my helper also engaged lauren to help with simply tasks with kirsten, i.e. feeding, wiping her mouth, etc. and now she's discovered kirsten can laugh and react to her, she's starting to enjoy her more. i'm most pleased that lauren will share her food and toys with kirsten, of course there's the daily snatching between the girls, but they'll cease when i stop them.

    i'm not sure that what i've done is correct but it was what i felt was the best under the circumstances.

    i'm so dying for kirsten to be 18mths, she'll then be able to play with lauren and hopefully life will get simpler?

    hth!

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    • #3
      not preggie yet but wondering when is the best time to introduce a new sibling. i have always wanted the two kids to be 3 years apart so that I can spend quality time with the eldest before she goes to school, rather than have to juggle both. nowadays my gal really enjoys make-believe games, she likes to baby her toys, helping them change into clothes, feed them food and water etc. everyone around me says she wants a playmate already, so I'm wondering if this is the best time or if I wait too long she will be over reliant on me and will not take too well to the younger kid? she really likes to sayang younger babies. when i brought her to see my friend's baby, she will actually hug and sayang him.

      she's already showing signs of terrible twos, afraid that if i want to achieve the 3 year gap then i will be running after a spoilt 2 yr old who is over dependent on me while i'm preggie, sigh...

      acidica, some of the books touch upon this subject and they basically recommend you get the older kid involved in looking after the baby, so he/she will feel included and not left out. simple things like fetching baby's diapers etc will make him feel important and grown up. but it depends on how much older the first child is though, probably not very useful if the older one is still quite young?
      Last edited by wanderlust; 06-02-2006, 07:06 PM.

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      • #4
        ..........
        Last edited by Medusa; 14-11-2008, 11:03 PM. Reason: ..........

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        • #5
          I bought a Barney VCD about sibling for iizen, hoping to prepare him for arrival of his sister. Friend told me to focus on him for inital 3-4 months as baby #2 is too young to know what is going on. This is so to let iizen knows that he is not forgotten when we have baby #2. And I am trying to tell him with my burging tummy that I am having a baby. .. doing all I can.

          Moo, thanks for advice. I am sure you did what you think best. Anyway, I think the kids are still very young, naturally they will fight for stuff. They just need time to adjust and learn to share. But when you mentioned tough - what exactly do you mean?

          Hi Crystal, I think a 2 or 3 years gap is a good age between the sibling. Importantly you and hubby are prepare for it.

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          • #6
            My 2 kids are exactly 2 years and 3 days apart.

            I did exactly what all of you have in mind, read books on newborn arrival, play VCD (the one on Caillou (this is good, short story, easy to understand....etc), involved my big boy with the new baby sister arrival...he choose all his little sister's clothing...baby shoes, dresses....etc He kinda of know that I'm having a baby and will be coming soon and he is going to have a playmate....

            ANd when the BIG day arrived, we got ready a present from little sister and him to exchange with one another. When he rush into the room, he stared at his baby sisters for the longest time.... (he just turned 2), he said, "mommy, sister so small..how to play with me?"

            He kinda of very protective over the baby sister...but when we got home... he kinda feel overwhelmed....

            He asked, "why sister cry?" "why baby cannot sit up?" Why baby cannot play with me? Why baby always sleep? Why must I keep quiet???? I really cannot remember how many WHY... he actually asked...

            The first 2 months were nightmare to me... I was trying to nurse my baby, (the door was closed). My poor boy was shouting outing and banging on the door.."mommy, I want to come in.!!".
            And when I open the door, he saw me nursing the baby..he got really upset...he try to push the baby away and then button up my shirt !!!

            So I have to expressed thebreastmilk out as much as I can, and get my maid to bottle feed the baby. So we tried to spent as much quality time with my elder boy.

            Everytime before I need to attend to my girl, I will quickly goes to my boy first, spent a short time (be it reading a short story, play with him or even just watch cartoon together), and I explain to him that I will be spending some time with him first after which, I will need to attend to baby sister. Its seems to help... I guess he feels good that I put him on priority first..

            After 2 months, things gets better....

            Well, soon, the bb sister learns to crawl...now my girl is already 2.. Did the sibling rivlary gets better? Well... the fight never stops. Their relationship is like LOVES & HATE... when my boy did not see his little sisters...he will tells me he miss her very much....etc and whenever they comes together to play..sigh.... is world war 3... Well, I guess this is part of growing up together.


            I have many friends's kids all about 2 to 3 years apart...well... is exactly the same. Endless fighting cases.

            But I have a cousin and a closed friends who kids are more than 7 and 9 years apart...WOW... ask me..I am so envious... the older child is like the mommy's great helper... They even babysit their own baby brother/ sister.. my cousin and my friend even gets to enjoy motherhood of a newborn baby again...with no fuss!!!

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            • #7
              Hi faith, thanks for sharing .. You really put it in a light hearted way but can imagine how tough it was then...

              Guess for me I cant wait for 7-9 years (if only I could, maybe for the baby #3 - My hubby wants to have 3 kids!)

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              • #8
                medusa, u're right in that ur elder child will still be too young to understand. my major dilemma was managing her "where's my mummy gone to" thoughts. thats why most of my time was spent with her instead of kirsten. all of us are sleeping in the same room (due to space constraint), can you imagine the symphony in the room! both are such light sleepers, it just takes a slight sound to set one and immediately the other off.

                acidica - my 'tough' was my constant worrying (totally self imposed) and guilt. these thoughts were always on my mind.
                - how is lauren (when i'm with kirsten)?
                - how is kirsten (when i'm with lauren)?
                - is lauren upset i'm with kirsten?
                - i'm not spending enough time with kirsten, she's too close to my helper, can't recognise me.
                - why is lauren having so many meltdowns, is she insecure?
                - i'm so tired
                - and on and on and on......
                i think i was trying to figure out how to divide my time between the 2 of them and learning how to cope, plus taking care of them, etc. hubby kept telling me to relax relax but for the first 3 mths, i just couldn't. mad right!

                faith - same. now i spend some time with lauren first, informing her that i'll have to go put kirsten to bed, then disappear to put kirsten to bed, then come back and play with her again.

                i read that the 'ideal' age is for the elder child to be 4 yrs old. he/she can understand, can help and yet the age gap is not too wide for them to play together. 2 yrs apart is the worst age cos the elder one will be going through terrible 2s.

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                • #9
                  ...............
                  Last edited by Medusa; 14-11-2008, 11:01 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Mel, I think for same gender 2 years is good too because they can enjoy the same things together. I had a friend who has one girl and one boy, 4.5 yrs apart and she says the gap is a little to big because they can't play together. On the other hand, it's good because the older girl helps to look after her brother.

                    faith, did you breastfeed your first child too? cuz i'm not even close to weaning and i'll probably only stop when i get preggie again. think my girl will insist on being nursed as well but the idea of tandem nursing is not really appealing to me

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                    • #11
                      Oh no!!!! Another worry to add on to the list. Mine will be 2 years apart, too! After reading about the challenges, I am feeling rather down already... Just can't imagine the hassle, somemore we are changing maid, too...

                      Wanderlust, is it possible to get preggie while still breastfeeding? I stopped Ep'ing because we wanted another child. Was initially hoping for one child per year, but this baby came late, so now the age gap will be 2 years. *sigh* Ideally, if time is on our side, I will want the children to be 4 or 5 years apart, so I can enjoy each of them thoroughly!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by wanderlust
                        faith, did you breastfeed your first child too? cuz i'm not even close to weaning and i'll probably only stop when i get preggie again. think my girl will insist on being nursed as well but the idea of tandem nursing is not really appealing to me
                        I only breastfeed my first child for the 1st two months only....for my 2nd child, I breastfeed my girl for 6months+. I cannot imagine how I am going to cope if I am still breastfeed my boy and a newborn baby....

                        My younger cousin has been breastfeeding her elder child all the way till her second child was born. Same as mine..her 2 kids are exactly 2 years apart. She was experience world war 3 between the baby and her elder girl. That was the initial 3 months.. My cousin almost go crazy!!! .thereafter lots of explaning, quality time... Now, she is able to breastfeed the 2 kids together. she is doing pretty well...

                        Take heart to all mommys out there.... I always believe that every child is special and not all child are the same like mine... sigh... Who knows you might have an Angel child who don't fuss over the new baby and loves the baby with his / her whole heart !
                        What can I say? Is never easy bringing up a children...for me at least now I really appreciate, respect and love my mother for all she has done for us.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Acidica
                          Hi faith, thanks for sharing .. You really put it in a light hearted way but can imagine how tough it was then...

                          Guess for me I cant wait for 7-9 years (if only I could, maybe for the baby #3 - My hubby wants to have 3 kids!)
                          Ha... is actually still tough now..cos' now I don't have a maid already, so I am actually fighting war with them every day!!! Really got to be really patience.... or not will go crazy.....
                          I'm praying each day for more patience and more LOVE........

                          You are right! My cousin's 3rd child and 2nd child is exactly 9 +years apart....the 3rd baby was unexpected surprise!!!! Can you imagine she almost faint when she found out she was expecting her 3rd baby! Her 1st boy was already 11 years old and 2nd boy was 9years old. And worst, she was hoping for a girll...after the 5months of pregnancy, the Gynae comfirmed that she is expecting another BOY! She almost faint...now she is the Queen of the family!

                          But she was sharing with me,...that this time round, she really gets to enjoy motherhood again...as compared to her first 2 kids (who were 2 years apart!)... She is able to spend quality time with her baby, and catching up with her 2 Big kids (Teenager already!) So envy.....

                          Given the chance for me...I would want a 3 to 3? years apart.
                          And NO WAY for a 3rd baby!!! Is like pressing the RE-BOOT button and start all over again.... breastfeed, diapers, sleepless nights....etc

                          Now, I can't wait for my 2kids to grow up fast...meanwhile, I'm enjoying them, watching them learning new things and having funs, fighting "wars"....etc

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Medusa
                            I was told 2yrs gap is great if both same gender, when they're past the toddler stage- closer bonding. It's really funny- I really thought the chances of me getting both same gender is higher! But I can't complain about a girl-boy pair either .
                            Me too - I thought 2yrs gap is great. And Medusa, guess what, I thought I will be having the same gender for both kids. Turn out, I had both boy-girl now!

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                            • #15
                              IMHO 2 - 3 years gap is not ideal. The older child is still not independent yet, you still have to feed and bathe her. Worst is if she is in the terrible 2 stage, very active, yet very difficult to discipline. It is also easier for her to be jealous of the younger sibling, because all along she has been enjoying all the attention, and now she has to share everything with her sister/brother.

                              The best is 6 - 7 years age gap The older child would have gone to playgroup/nursery/school, and would have learnt to share with other children. She will now yearn to have someone at home to play with. She can even help you look after the baby !

                              In my case, my girl and boy are about 17 months apart. It was quite tough at the beginning, taking care of a toddler and a newborn. My girl didn't like her baby brother at first. We have to be very careful when they are together, she will just push him or smack him. She will not share any toys with him, and will just snatch away anything from his hands.

                              My poor baby boy has learnt that he cannot touch Jie Jie's toys when she is playing with it. He will quietly sit at a distance, and observe her while she plays. Once she goes away, he will immediately run towards the toys and grab them. Well I can say that he has much better EQ then his Jie Jie, learnt from the hard way !

                              Fortunately my boy is very fond of his Jie Jie, despite of her behaviour. When she is not around, he will go around the whole house, calling "Jie Jie". My girl is slowly getting more fond of her little brother, and enjoys playing together with him, and is learning to share with him. She now understands our expectations, and will tell me that "I sayang Di Di, I am a good girl".

                              Although I would prefer to have 2 age 6 - 7 years apart, but due to my age I can't afford to wait so long. So the other alternative is for me to have 2 babies very close together. This way I only have to work hard for 2 - 3 years, after that both will be bigger and I can relax.
                              Last edited by tamarind; 09-02-2006, 10:12 AM.

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