anyone else having trouble getting their other children to understand?

Tammy - posted on 08/23/2011 ( 7 moms have responded )

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my daughter turned 2 in may, and will be over 2 1/2 when her brother or sister is born in Jan. she likes to crawl up onto our bed in the morning and play or plays with me like she is used to during the day. the only problem when she does this is that she either hits, runs into, or climbs over my belly. when she does i keep telling her to be careful that there is a baby in mommy's belly, but it doesn't seem to do any good. I have shown her some ultrasound pictures, the 3D ultrasound video and other pictures of when when i was pregnant with her or right after she was born but she either walks away uninterested or just asks if i see the baby. i would show her real living babies but my friends that just had children are several states away and there aren't any little ones in our apartment complex to show her either, so i am out of ideas on what to do to help her understand before the baby arrives so that she doesn't think its a magic doll or something since she has a few baby dolls she plays with.

Has anyone had to deal with this before or are you going through this now? if so do you have any advice on how i can help my daughter understand?

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Tammy - posted on 08/28/2011

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thanks for sharing how your times have been with your son, sounds almost like my daughter and how she is towards the whole baby concept. your son is about the same age as my daughter is now too. i'm not really trying to push her to understand just seeing if she will catch on eventually and wanted to see other people's experiences with getting their children to understand it.

Lexi - posted on 08/28/2011

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I don't think at this age there is always the ability or the need to fully understand. My son is just about 26 months now and I am due in one month. He's seen all the pictures, read the books about "so and so gets a baby brother" watched the Dora episode where she gets baby siblings, played with baby dolls, etc.... He still thinks I'm a jungle gym but the baby is very well protected. I anticipate when he's going to try to jump on me and interrupt it so he can't. I don't want to give him some sort of complex so I just tell him "that hurts mommys tummy, be careful." He can point to my tummy and say baby but other than that shows no signs of comprehension. I don't thinks it's necessary to push him to understand or acknowledge any more than that. I know it feels like we have to somehow for their sake but pushing more will just add too much stress. Especially if they are not quite to that level/age of truly being capable of understanding such a future/abstract/confusing concept. Everything I've read says that some kids, no matter the age, will be super interested and excited and others choose to tune it out, or they get angry, don't seem to care, don't fully understand, etc... At this age it's normal for them to mostly be clueless. When baby comes I'm sure your daughter will figure out very quickly that it's different than a doll. There will be some jealous times and some adorably sweet times and you guys will all settle in eventually. It's our job as the parents to just be on alert to protect the new baby from accidental roughness or jealous aggression. I get nervous and worried at times over how my son reacts but in the end, he'll do whatever comes natural and we will just have to go with the flow and take it as it comes. I do plan on making sure he's involved as much as he wants to be. He's already shown that he loves to help out with other kids younger than him. I also plan to make sure he gets special one on one time with both his daddy and I so he doesn't start feeling too left out. I am excited for all the fun sibling times that are ahead of us!

Tammy - posted on 08/27/2011

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i would love to do something like that with our daughter but being in a cramped apartment limits what all we can do. i was thinking of doing a gift exchange between the baby and our daughter. whenever she plays with her baby doll she acts like she feeds it since it has one of the magic bottles that shows the milk draining from it and she covers it up with her blankies, so i'm hoping that is at least a small sign she will be ok with a younger sibling. i've tried to read books to her but she will look at pictures for about a min or two then she will get up and play without any more interest in the books.

Michelle - posted on 08/26/2011

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I don't think at two she really understands there is an actual person inside of mommy she wants to play and that is what she will do.. My suggestion is to tell sweetie mommies tummy hurts when you do that please don't hurt mommy you will probably have more luck with that.

Nicole - posted on 08/26/2011

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You'll be fine. My 2 year old bops back and forth between being mommy's beautiful helper to a terror. :) One thing I forgot to mention is that I try to emphasize the role of big brother/big sister and what they can do with the baby. So again, a lot of repitition (see a pattern?) and it works especially well when you're role playing with a baby doll or reading a book that stars a child eagerly - or not so eagerly - awaiting a new baby brother or sister. Say more of what she can do with a baby than what she cannot do. Know what I mean?



One other thing I do with my older kids is to have them do something for the new baby. We've done t-shirts in the past, my boys made a light catcher mobile for my last one, and this time around we decided to make a big floor blanket together. Plus, I may do t-shirts again closer to my due date and include a little long-sleeve onesie for the baby. My kids LOVE making t-shirts. Simple and shirts are pretty cheap.

Tammy - posted on 08/26/2011

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thank you for sharing your thoughts, this is my second so i've never had to worry about a older child understanding something like this. i remind her to be careful and explain that she is hurting me but within ten minutes or so she is back to it again. she knows what it means to hurt someone because she will give whoever she hurt a kiss and hug as a way of saying sorry, so i'm just not sure if she forgets to be careful or what. she also loves to help out when i'm cleaning or something, even unlatches the gate to the kitchen to come help me load the dishwasher or put the tab in lol. i'm hoping that helpful attitude will stay once she becomes a big sister.

Nicole - posted on 08/25/2011

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Honestly? She's 2 and probably won't really get it, no matter what you do. I tell mine to be careful of the baby (she likes to shove at me too by playing rough) and I repeat it but I know it won't really help her to understand. We do read books about babies or that have pictures of babies. And she has her "baby" doll that she takes care of - or not. It's really a stage. I've been down this road before (this is #4 for me). You just have to watch the rough play. It hurts you, not the baby. And once baby is here, include her in taking care of it, and watch carefully that she's gentle and also feels included and not left out. Good luck!

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