Prepare Attachment Parent Daughter for Birth of Sibling

Updated on December 02, 2008
E.P. asks from Glendale, CA
4 answers

I am planning on having my second baby at a birthing center and I would like to get advice on how to prepare my daughter for a new sibling and also to view the birth of her brother/sister. We are a very close family and I cannot imagine her not being there, it feels like the most natural thing in the world for her to be part of the birth. Most of the time she will be w/my Dad, but I would love for her to be there for the birth. So far, she says hi to her baby brother/sister in the belly and gives little massages to my belly. Have any of you attachment parents had your other children witness the birth of their siblings? How did it go? Any additional tips to help with the transition? Thank you for your help.

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answers from Los Angeles on

My son was 22 months old when our daughter was born and he was not in the room because I ended up having a c-section, but in hind-sight I think that was good because I think looking back on the whole situation he probably would have not "gotten" at all what was going on and would have been kind of freaked out.

I'm an attachment mommy too - I think the BEST thing I've done to help with the transition from singleton to sibling was to carry the new baby in the sling every moment of the day when she wasn't nursing, so I could have my hands for my toddler. With the baby tucked into the sling, he would almost forget she was there and that actually helped I think. Also, this helped the baby to be happier and not cry hardly at all, which was good for me too.

Also, and this will probably be unpopular...but I HIGHLY recommend that you begin co-sleeping with your older child so that you can recharge her battery at night. You may already be cosleeping since you are an attachment parent, but if not, I can attest that this practice really helps the older child to get the snuggles they need - and that you need too. It actually works really well to have both kids in the bed - baby on the outside next to you and either the wall or a bedrail, older sib. in the middle of you and hubby - or just over on the outside next to hubby with a bedrail.

Enjoy every minute of this time - your life will never be the same when baby #2 gets here, but it only gets better. After a week or two you'll wonder how you ever lived without and were happy without your new baby!

Good luck, and just know during the hard times that it does get easier as they get older.



answers from Los Angeles on

My daughter was in the room with us up until the time of the actual delivery and she came back in right afterwards. We thought it would be too much for her to witness. As wonderful as a birth is, it's hard for little ones to understand it, it can be a scary thing for a child to see.
My daughter brought her bother a present and her brought her one too. My hubby also took her to the gift shop to buy her a big sister shirt and stuffed animal.
We tried as much as possible to have one of with her while one of us with the baby. Read to her, sing, play little games, etc. while you nurse.



answers from Reno on

I gave my son a teddy bear to change diapers, feed, put to nap etc. while I was pregnant so he knew what it would be like. A girl would do well with a baby doll!



answers from Honolulu on

At 16 months old, just be sure that the birth won't "scare" her... or at this age, they can sometimes think that Mommy is being "hurt" or harmed. Think it out first... and ask the Doctor is it's fine having her there... remember, a birth can look scary to a very young child. How old will she be when you have your baby?

For us, me and my daughter (who was about 3 at the time) took photos of my tummy, and her with my tummy each month.. .she also sang to her brother in my tummy, she liked to massage my tummy and talk to it... I even took her to my OB/GYN appointments and my Doctor taught her how to put the heart monitor on my belly, and at each appointment she got to do this... is was a real treat for her, and very kind of my Doctor. My Doctor always thought it was great for siblings to come to the prenatal appointments as well.

We also read "sibling" books together and she got to choose baby gifts for her brother too.

Your daughter is only 16 months old... so keep everything age appropriate....and mindful of the "emotions" a young child has at this age. Or, do your pre-natal yoga exercises with her "shadowing" you. Get her a dolly to "take care of" etc.

Congrats and good luck!

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