OK…veteran parents…I’m talking to you!!! I need your help!!! I’m an only child so this is SERIOUSLY uncharted waters for me! I’m so excited to hear your responses… What did you do to make the transition easier from 1 child to 2!? How did you help prepare/transition your sweet first born? Did you do any special activities or events to make it better for him?
OK…veteran parents…I’m talking to you!!! I need your help!!! I’m an only child so this is SERIOUSLY uncharted waters for me! I’m so excited to hear your responses…
What did you do to make the transition easier from 1 child to 2!? How did you help prepare/transition your sweet first born? Did you do any special activities or events to make it better for him?
You know what--I think every single child is unique even regarding this aspect. Reid was only 2 and had just turned 2, so I think you might have a bit of an age advantage going on. A good book to start reading to Quinn is called, "Peter's Chair." I honestly think conversation, etc., is the best, but in the end, it will rock Quinn's world a bit, but in the end it's a good thing--he will end up being super close and proud of baby Nash. Remember that. Can't wait to see you in just a little over a week!
Our second (Chris) had a present for our oldest (Zach) to "give" him at the hospital when he arrived. It made Zach feel special, and feel like his little bro was already thinking of him. I have had friends who would start getting their "only" into a habit of sitting and reading stories to prepare them for breastfeeding. When the baby came, and it was time to feed him, she would sit her eldest down with her and they would read books so that he was still involved and felt special even when the attention was given to the baby. Ultimately, no matter how hard you try, there seems to be some backsliding point. Zach's was much later than I expected, and not for long, but it does eventually happen, I think, and it does NOT mean you are a bad mom!!! You will do GREAT!
It was so different for all of us, to add another person to the mix. Beth was almost 3.5 when Jacob arrived. Before J arrived, we read books about being a big sis. There was a good one, I think my Dr.Sears that even mentioned breastfeeding. However, it was very forward, so we just summarized some pages. While J and I were still at the hospital, Kevin and B had some dates- picking out flowers for me, going to ChuckECheese, etc. They still try to go do, just the two of them, even if it's just Home Depot. I tried to keep as much normal for B as I could with playgroup and outings. The best thing ever was a sling! I had my hands free for B, and J was contendly "held". It's still hard for B, that J requires more attention. There are still jealous moments (from both of them). But, there's such joy in having two. Watching their relationship and love for each other is just precious. You should hear J when B gets home from school- you'd think he'd won a trip to Disneyworld! It's good stuff, worth the trials.
I know this isn't possible for everyone, but my husband took a month off work and I think that helped hugely. Our son was sad for two weeks, now he and his sister are absolute best friends! It will be somewhat a difficult transition, as we even have a third now...3 in 3 years...ha! But honestly just making sure you and your hubby have little one on one times with Q helps the most I think. The baby will probably sleep a lot at first, so that will help! :)
The month before our son arrived, we did everything we could to give our daughter (2.5 at the time) lots of special one-on-one time and had her help get ready for her baby brother. Two weeks before our son arrived, we started Mommy & Me swim lessons, which were every day. Because we knew the little one may arrive before the lessons completed, we had my mom come with us so she could take over if I was in the hospital ~ turned out that was a good idea as he arrived on our second to last day! Our daughter enjoyed it so much that the next week, my husband took the class with her ~ she loved her one-on-one daddy time! She helped us design a t-shirt for her to wear to the hospital,she picked out a present for him, drew him a picture, etc. We also got her a couple new books about being a big sister. The night before our sweet boy arrived, we had a feeling it may be our last and took our daughter out to Chuck-E-Cheese and talked about her being a big sister. The next morning, my folks brought her to the hospital to meet her baby brother and he gave her a personalized backpack with some essentials for her dolls and a sucker ~ she still talks about that!There were moments of tears in the weeks after he was born but we made sure to give her lots of snuggles and reassurance. Now that he's almost a year, she thinks he is great fun :)
We were soo with you guys! I'm an only too and was soooo worried about Landen before Leighton got here... And once she did get here I made sure anytime Landen was around he got my attention first. We also had him pick out gifts he could bring to the hospital, clothes for the pictures, a toy we used in the picturem a blanket she laid on in the pics -- things to make him feel really involved... It's hard at first -- Landen had jsut turned 3 - 3 days prior to her arrival :) Good luck you will be a great mommy of 2 (or 3)!! Hugs
One thing we did that I think helped was to look back with Blake at the hospital pictures from when we had him. We showed him what mommy would look like in a hospital bed, with wires, and a hospital gown. I think this helped him not be scared when the grandparents brought him up to visit. He adjusted very well to his new brother. We just carried on with life as normal as posssible. We didn't make the new baby an overly big deal. We kept things as consistent as possible. He adjusted well and never acted out or did anything alarming.
Camden wasn't even 2 yet when Claire was born so she was really still a baby herself. We talked about being a big sister and read some books, but I'm not sure how much she understood. At least Quinn has a good understanding of his baby brother. I just tried to spend alot of time with her after Claire was born. When Claire would nap, Camden and I would do special things, like play-doh, read books, etc... Just spending that time together really helped her adjust I think. They are BEST FRIENDS now and I am so glad that for the most part they get along so well. Camden starts Kindergarten in the fall and I know that Claire is going to be so lost without her sidekick! But, that will give me more time with her. Congrats and I'm sure Quinn will be a great big brother and will adjust great!
My guess is that you will naturally know what to do to make Q feel as special as ever! Honestly I didn't have things planned ahead of time, either time a new sibling came home,) but when I'd pick up on an insecurity I'd act on it. With my son it was acting out when he felt left out. With my daughter it was being more clingy than usual. I tried to put the baby down to sleep instead of holding her which is hard to do! I think that doing that helped them see that yes there were times when mommy held/fed the baby but that mommy is still mommy-I would be able to still help them or play even with the new baby there closeby...mine seemed fine with the new baby...until the new baby wanted to be awake more often! Honestly that was when it got tricky! By then I was getting more sleep and could think if more things to do that included all of us. Q seems like such sweet boy that I bet he will enjoy helping you with Nash. He can bring you things and sing for the baby, etc. To be totally honest my hardest thing about bringing a new baby home was the guilt. What if I am not paying enough attention, what if someone feels unloved, stuff like that. A friend reminded me of a very true thing-God will always be enough to fill in for you when you are tired and empty. He will help you sense what your kids need and when!
My oldest wasn't even two yet when my second son was born so I'm not sure he understood what was going to happen! We read a lot of books about being a big brother and talked to him about babies. We were very lucky in the fact that we had some friends with babies and Spencer loved the babies so he was very excited to get one of his own! I also had Spencer help me out with Collin when he was born. Nothing big just getting me diapers and wipes and stuff like that. Our sons are two and four now and they love each other and get along most of the time! Now we are expecting number 3 so hopefully we will have another easy transition!
this is still super close to my heart! we talked about it before g was born but a actually handled it a million times better than we imagined. i still had/have plenty of guilt about not being about to do everything at the same time with both of them, but a mentor once told me you are giving her the best gift ever- a sibling. i try to remember that when i am being hard on myself:) and while i nurse g, a and i do puzzles or read books. she loves to get his diapers for me or pick out his shirt and really, really loves "matching." every kid is different but it's hard to imagine right now, but your heart will grow and burst even more and so will quinn's!
i have not commented on here in forever but i still read!! one thing i think is so cool to do is take quinn to build-a-bear right before nash gets here and let him pick and build a bear just for nash to bring him at the hospital. then of course at the hospital have a gift to quinn from nash. a special box of toys/movies/etc JUST for when you are nursing. writing quinn a letter the night before nash is born about the special years you had just with him and what a great big bro you know he will be! special nights just you and quinn while hubby watches nash once nash gets here. it will be GREAT!! your heart will simply double in size and you will be giving quinn the BEST gift!!
I am an only child too and the BEST thing I did for my first born was have him help out in the decorating of the new nursery, also we made a big brother canvas for the new brother too! We bought canvas at Hobby Lobby, put oldest son's handprints in shape of a heart, wrote Big Brother Loves You, and then Love, Jacob at the bottom. Very precious, my second son is almost a year old now and every time we go into his room, Jacob shows me what he made for his baby brother:), so sweet! Then once they adjust to Mommy having two babies to love, it's like they forget what life was like without baby brother! SO PRECIOUS to watch their bond, it's like no other...GOOD LUCK!!
From reading your blog I know you will do a terrific job with two! You are very tuned in to Quinn and are full of great ideas. Our transition to two wasn't that bad. Babies sleep so much in the beginning that I was still able to give my 3 year old plenty of attenion! When she would nap I would do one on one things with him so he got that full undivided attention! And...in those first few months you may have to let him watch more TV than usual and that is ok. That is how I was able to put the baby down for naps, etc. I also had planned for my husband to do a lot with my 3 year old while I was in the hospital and it was really too much. I would suggest having the grandparents keep him while you are in the hospital because as much as I wanted my son up there with me and to not feel excluded he really just didn't like being up there! Good luck! Can't wait to see pictures....I love your blog!
We constantly talked about being a big brother and how special that would be. We let Preston tell us things he wanted to teach his sister, trying to give him ownership in the process and in his ideas. Other than that, we didn't do anything out of the ordinary. We knew the transition would be enough change, so we didn't add anything else to his already "unsure" emotions. While I was in the hospital, he stayed with grandparents the first night. The 2nd night, my husband went home and they had a special date night and then got dressed up to come pick up the girls and bring us home the next morning! He felt very special having his boy time and then being responsible for bringing his sister home! (PS...He was 3 1/2 when Presley was born)
I so appreciate that you posted this question, as I am also expecting my second. I have been asking people a lot about what they did that worked. One thing I didn't see posted here was advice from a good friend of mine. She said they put a little stool next to the changing table, so her older daughter could help/be involved with diaper changes and clothing changes. I liked that idea a lot!Some of these comments were awesome!
When Quinn comes to visit Nash in the hospital for the first time, it would be great if he is in the bassinet and you are not holding him. Let Quinn visit with you first and then introduce the baby to him. My friend gave me this advice.Also make sure to involve Quinn with everything that you need to do for Nash - it will make things slower but its key to helping him feel that he hasnt lost his place in the family.We also had lots of offers to help keep big brother so we could have time and get some rest with baby sister, but I chose to keep big brother with us cos I didnt want him to feel that just cos a new baby came into the house, we were constantly sending him away. I wanted him to know that this was going to be our new norm. We didn't have any adjustment issues. Its been a year now and its been really great watching them together. Good luck you 4 will do just great!
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