Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Preparing a toddler for a new sibling

Does anyone have any advice for preparing Porter for his new brother? Any neat things we should do for/with him to get him used to the idea? Any tips/tricks to making the transition from a 3 person family to a 4 person family after we bring Hudson home?

We talk to Porter all the time about his baby brother, how he'll come out of my tummy and he can help feed him etc. I ask him what he'll do if Hudson cries and he says "Want a sucky? Want a sucky?" HAHA!

He knows where Hudson's room is, knows we've bought him some clothes and that he has some toys in there. We've looked through Porter's old scrapbooks when he was a baby and told him that Baby Hudson is going to look like that when he comes out of mommy's tummy and that he'll come home with us and be a tiny baby just like Porter was.

I just am not so sure he understands, really. I mean, he's a smart kid, but I really don't think he can put the concept together that my huge stomach is going to produce a BABY and that he's going to come home and live with us. I'm afraid Porter is going to have a huge adjustment and I'm nervous that he'll react negatively to everything.

I'd like to make the transition as smooth as possible... what else can I do to help prepare Porter? What can we do when we're all home from the hospital to make things easier on Porter? I know we will definitely need to make sure we still try to spend one on one time with P-man as often as we can once we're home, but... anything else?


kimca01 said...

Well, ya know we are in the same boat!

What we've really been trying to emphasize with Morgan is that because he is big, there are lots of things he can do that the baby can't - go to the park, eat ice cream etc.

Also, the baby will be giving him presents at the hospital and I'm going to take him shopping so he can pick a present out for her.

I think making them important and getting them to help as much as possible is the big thing. We talk about all the things M can do for the baby, how she will be little and unable to do anything, about how crying just means the baby needs something etc.

So weird that we are doing this again, huh!!!

lina said...

Let me check my video cabinet, I might ahve a Sesame Street video you can have if interested (not sure if P is into SS or not.) It was given to Lydia when I was pregnant for Isaac it is the episode about Baby Bear becoming a big brother. If I still have it & you would like it I can drop it by Dave & Cathys, just let me know.
Otherwise, sounds like you are on the right track of just letting him know his baby brother is coming home soon & he will be the Big Brother & let him be a big help :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you are already off to a good start! My biggest suggestion is to keep things as normal for Porter as possibly - both when you go to the hospital and when you come home. Hubby was there for Maren's birth and for a couple hours each day, but he stayed with Cooper at night and was there for meals and bedtime to help maintain his schedule and to lessen the disruption to him. We also tried to keep things the same when Maren came home - she spent the first few months just getting moved around the apartment in her bouncy seat to accomodate Cooper's play. We also set-up a feeding station for those long nursing sessions that included a basket of books that Cooper and I could read together while she nursed - quite time for all of us. I really think that Maren is the mellow, laid-back child that she is because she just kind-of had to go along with the flow of Cooper . . . so far that is a good thing!

I am sure Baby #3 will arrive and throw my world into complete turmoil!

Katie Mohr said...

I've read about a "You're a big brother" party where you honor P's new 'very important' role in the family. It's like a birthday party for him but an actual celebration of his new role.

Zoe said...

cade was less then thrilled to be having a sister. in fact he kept telling everyone i was having kittens. nice huh. we ended up giving him a plush rabbit that had been a gift for ava. we had him "take care of it" for her until she arrived. he did and was so proud of himself.

heather said...

We had a couple of really good books I loved about a new baby joining the family. I'm a Big Sister (Brother) by Joanna Cole was one of my favorites. There's also a great board book called My New Baby.

I think you guys will be fine. He's used to sleeping at grandma's so the hospital thing won't be any big deal... he'll love to be the helper at home I'm sure!

Michelle Leigh said...

Well, I never really did much to prepare Annika either time. She was pretty young when B came along. We talked a ton about Bennett and while I wasn't too sure how much she really understood, when he came, she showed us that she truly understood everything. In fact, she was so upset when he didn't come home. I think that was the confusing part for her. I think Porter really does understand. Just wait and you'll be surprised.

Jaime said...

I guess this may sound harsh, but I in means feel harsh about what I'm going to say.

This will be Porter's first real experience in realizing that the world does not revolve around him. It's good for kids to know that:) Otherwise we produce self-centered children. hehe... Not that you are AT ALL DOING THAT! I'm just saying.

So I think the most rewarding situation for Porter is to have him help, with praise. It always feels good to "earn" praise. It's just instilled in us!
And also, you are right about spending some one-on-one time with Porter to ease the transition.
However, my kids are 18 months apart and my elder is more high maintenance. Who knows if I went wrong somewhere but... somedays it's so irritating!
You're going to do great! It won't take long to transition! After a few weeks, y'all won't even remember what life was like with just 1 baby! hehe...