Y.L. asks from Glen Allen, VA on December 20, 2008
Going to Have 2Nd Baby Soon and Would like Some Advice
My son is 25 months old. I am due to have another son in about 4 weeks. I was wondering if my husband should bring my son to the hospital to see me and his baby brother or wait till we bring the baby home. My son doesn't actually get that he's going to be a big brother. I know there are other toddlers his age that get it. Probably they've been around friends who become older siblings. But my son either gets it and doesn't acknowledge it or doesn't get it. So I am not sure if it would be better to bring him to see the baby in the hospital or wait till we bring the baby home. Also, any other advice on how to deal with how jealous he'll be would be appreciated.
So What Happened?™
Thanks to everyone! I got some great advice. I will make sure someone bring my older son to the hospital once I'm no longer hooked up to the machines. I was already planning on involving him as much as possible because he really loves to help so I believe that will work out really well. I worry a little about him asking to nurse as well because he only stopped nursing like 3 months ago. But I think if he asks to nurse I'll just let him and see what happens. He probably won't even remember what to do. About a month ago he asked to nurse and I told him he can go ahead but that the milk was all gone and he got close to the breast but didn't know what to do anymore. I think we'll just take it one day at a time and give him lots of attention and have a bunch of little presents ready so that if people come with presents for then baby, we'll have something to give him too. And we'll make sure to give him a present from the baby as well. Thanks again to everyone!
S.M. answers from Washington DC on December 22, 2008
I just had my second child and my other daughter is 3. My best advice is to explain to him where you are going before you go. Tell him mommy is going to have the baby. He may not fully understand but that's ok. We didn't bring my daughter to the hospital until the day I came home. She is really attached to me and we knew she would get upset if she came to visit and saw that mommy wasn't leaving with her. I cried the day I went home, she was so excited to see me.
A.K. answers from Washington DC on December 21, 2008
We have always had the older kids come to the hospital at the same time as there grandparents and aunts. They have always enjoyed getting a I'm a big brother/sister present then.
S.C. answers from Norfolk on December 21, 2008
We have had 3 hospital births and 3 home births. I definitely prefer homebirth because it eliminates this question. However, I would recommend bringing your son to the hospital once you are cleaned up and not attached to every machine the hospital has to offer. As for dealing with jealousy I believe that can be minimized by including your son as much as possible. Let him hold the baby and give the baby kisses. Tell him how much the baby loves him and how important he is to the baby. let him help pick clothes for the baby to wear and bring you diapers. Breastfeeding comes in handy because you can feed the baby and have a free hand to read a story at the same time. You can't do that with a bottle. I would also expect him to take a developmental step back in some area i.e. sleeping on his own or potty training or whatever his most recent milestone was. Don't worry about it. things will be crazy for a bit just like last time and then you will all find your new normal. Merry Christmas! Enjoy your growing family.
1 mom found this helpful
B.W. answers from Washington DC on December 21, 2008
I was told by the nurse at the hospital that it was very important to have siblings come in while you are at the hospital. They also suggest you go home from the hospital together, so you are not bringing a new child into his space, but rather the whole family is bringing the baby home. They also recommended they sibling be involved with the first bath if possible. My son was 23 months at the time we had our second. He is a bit busy, so he ended up running around (w/ grandma watching) while we did first bath, but he was there and helped a little bit. Good luck it is definately a little crazy until you get into the groove of things with too :)
M.P. answers from Norfolk on December 21, 2008
Congrats on number 2!
I would encourage you to bring him to the hospital for visits. It will be hard for him being away from mommy as it is and it will be a little bit of reassurance when he can visit you. Just be prepared that he may not want anything to do with the baby.
My two boys are 28 months apart and the older one not only didn't care to meet his brother he actually told us to take mommy home and leave the baby at the hospital, lol.
It was a big adjustment and although he loves his brother very much now we are still dealing with sibling rivalry and jealousy.
Just remember, NEVER leave him alone with the baby. I made that mistake when my 2nd was about 7 months. He was in the baby swing and I left the room for about 4 min. My older one came to me and said, "Joshie fell down". I ran in the room to discover that he had pushed the baby swing over! Thank goodness it was positioned near a large overstuffed chair and the swing was pinned between the wall and the chair so it didn't fall over and baby was just fine. Needless to say, I thought we were through the jealousy phase and we were definately not. I still can't leave the two of them alone together because my 3 year old will try to "help" the baby crawl or try to lift him up and he would accidentally hurt him.
Enjoy this exhausting, wonderful and crazy time!
J.V. answers from Washington DC on December 21, 2008
As a doula and working with families a lot, I have seen it done both ways. I would suggest that you have him visit first in the hospital. It give him time to adjust before you bring the new baby home. It can be a hard adjustment don't lose heart. I would also suggest that you take your son to buy the baby a birthday present and let him pick it out. I also bought my 1st son a gift from "the baby" and he loved it. Make sure to have alone time with your first son so he still gets that one on one time with you. Ben (my first) did a lot better when we had Mommy time once a day.
Hope this helps. If you have any questions let me know.
S.W. answers from Norfolk on December 21, 2008
We had the same concerns when we were getting ready for baby number 2. Here are ideas to help smooth the transition for your son. I would say yes, do have him come to the hospital b/c it involves him a bit more. Also, get a special gift that you 'have the baby' bring him when you come home with babe, so right of the bat he associates baby with a 'good thing' for him. Also, take him shopping and let him pick out a special toy or blanket for the baby. Make sure that life stays as 'normal' as possible for him after baby comes, maybe friends can take him for special playdates or have friends over for him to play with. Your time is going to be focused on new baby naturally, just try to keep him occupied, and include him in being a helper as much as possible, have him bring you diapers, blankets, etc. Most little ones like to be helpers. Also, just try to remember that this is a HUGE transition for him, there are bound to be some bumps in the road, don't get mad at him for showing his emotions over it all, he's going to need extra love and attention too. And for yourself try to take extra good care of yourself, eat well, stay hydrated, sleep when the baby does, so that you have reserves to handle it all too :)
Take care, S.
C.S. answers from Washington DC on December 21, 2008
When I had my first i had step daughter that was a little over three we took her after the baby was born so that she was involded I also before time got her a litlle pin that she worn that day that says I'm a big sister... She loved it to be there to see her sister. I am a mother of 4 three my own and of course my step but everytime i had a Baby they all was there waitting to see there new brother or sister it keep them close and makes them feel your not pushing them out the door. My last to was 10 months different and she was there to see her brother and I even let them all hold the babie of course with help.. Hope it helps....
A.N. answers from Norfolk on December 21, 2008
I don't have my second yet (she is due this Friday), but we are going to bring our 29 month old to the hospital. (well, father-in-law is after the baby is born). She knows she is having a little sister and I want her to understand that mommy had her little sister and that we are going to bring her home. I don't want to just bring the baby home to her and make it seem like an intrusion into "her" house. We are also going to have her ride home from the hospital with us so that she feels more included and that she is helping. Another thing we are doing is getting a little present from the baby to my older daughter. Just a little stuffed animal or something. When she gets to the hospital and meets her sister for the first time, we will give her the stuffed animal from the baby.
L.W. answers from Norfolk on December 21, 2008
We had our second this past October and our older daughter was 30 months at that time. I had my mom bring her to the hospital after the baby was born and everything was settled in our room. Kate got to see me, get a hug, meet her little sister, and have some special alone time with daddy as well. It worked for her. I think it would have been too drastic to leave one day and return the next with a new baby who would rock her world - and she has :) Kate needed a little something to process before it all changed. As far as the jealousy goes, you just have to roll with it. The first month was unbearable for me because I felt like I was neglecting the older one because the baby needed to much of me. Kate tried many times to take advantage of things, and sometimes she got her way. My suggestion would be to always have something for your son to do while you are feeding the baby, and keep him with you in a section of the house where he can't get into much - I had to shut all of us in Kate's bedroom while I nursed her sister for a few days just so she wouldn't flush things down the toilet. On a bright note, baby sister Jess is now 2 months old and we have all adjusted. Kate didn't have any major regressions, she's still a little jealous, but overall things are good. Make sure you put the baby down as much as you can and spend good quality time with your older son while your hands are free. Good Luck and Best Wishes to you all :)