I need advice!

Jenny - posted on 12/04/2009 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 12 month old & am due with my 2nd baby in 7 weeks, which will make my babies 14 months apart. Any advice? I'm so excited to meet our new baby, but am trying to wrap my mind around how to handle everything. And my 12 month old is still my baby & I'm worried about her feeling upset when we bring her sister home. How do you prepare a 12 month old that she's having a sister?

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April - posted on 12/19/2009

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I'm in a similar situation. My daughter is due in 6 weeks and, though my son is 2 1/2, he's got some developmental issues that make him more like your daughter's age in terms of communication and understanding. So, I don't really have any expectations of him becoming my "big helper," but it's something we'll hopefully use as a learning tool. We did get him a baby doll to try getting him used to the idea of a baby and, mostly, he just ignores it. Occasionally, he'll find her bottle and feed her (which is so sweet to watch!) and sometimes he pokes at her eyes (so, we know he's still got a ways to go in terms of learning be gentle). It has helped us to see what areas to work on before the real thing arrives!

As far as practical advice for making it day to day, I'll share with you some tips I have found that I'll definitely be using: preparing and freezing meals before the baby is born, using plastic/paper cups/plates/utensils to cut down on dishes for the first 4 to 6 weeks, using a baby sling to free up an extra hand. Also, by having a special basket of toys (pick some things your daughter really likes!) that only comes out when you are feeding the baby, it makes it a fun time your older child will look forward to, and hopefully keep her occupied while you are stuck in one place. For those times when you need some rest but your oldest doesn't, pick a child-proofed room that you can block off with a door or baby gate and a place where you can lay down with the baby (bed, floor, comfy chair...) and let your daughter have a snack and some toys or books that don't require much interaction. I think the biggest thing is going to be accepting any offers that people make to help out. Even if it's just them coming over and holding the baby so you can have some quality time with your oldest, it's sure to help. I think it's natural for all of us to have some confusion and frustration when things change, but kids usually adapt pretty quickly. It won't always be perfect, but just the fact that you're worried about her feelings now says that when she needs that extra time with you, you'll know.

And, don't forget to take time out for yourself!

Good luck!

Casandra - posted on 12/06/2009

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Oh, I also have my 14 month old see my belly and have her feel when the baby moves, I know experts will say she is too young to get it, but some of it definately sticks. trust me.

Casandra - posted on 12/06/2009

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With each of my children I let them know that the new baby wasn't just mine, he/she was ours and let them be as much a part of everything as I could. 12 months, they are too little to do a lot with the baby but why not have her help get a diaper or a toy and have family time where you all spend time together. It was really important for me to make sure my older kids knew they were still just as important and loved as they were before baby.

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