Saturday, September 20, 2008

Calling in the troops

Ok, you guys with 2 or more kids...I've been mulling over this a lot in my head and reading some internet stuff too, but, honestly, I think your real life experiences will help me even more so...

I would really love to hear how you helped your first born (or older kids) transition to having a new baby around.

I just don't feel very prepared in this area. I've read about buying Isaiah little presents to give him (while he's watching the baby get tons of stuff) and even giving him a present from the baby, letting him "help" as much as possible, giving him a lot of special time with us, etc. Most of these suggestions are coming from secular websites (and still may be great advice) and I'm just not sure how to sort through it all.

So what did you do???


Unknown said...

Dana, first of all, I don't think it's as big a deal as the websites make it out to be. So much of our kids' reactions stem from our expectations of them. If you and Josh are celebrating with Isaiah the birth of his sibling, then he's going to be excited about him or her.

With our kids, we tried to concentrate on talking now and then about how good God is to have given us a new baby, and how sweet the baby is, etc. David usually took them out for a shopping trip to Target to get the baby a present, but they also got a little something for themselves (mostly to keep them busy in the hospital room while visiting Mommy and baby).

We also tried to orchestrate some special meal (usually canned cinnamon rolls!) for the morning they woke up to find that Mom was at the hospital. That went a long way to making it feel like a celebration, because we only have those on special days like birthdays or the first day of school.

The Bible says that children are a gift, so make it a party! I think you'll find that he really enjoys it.

Down the road, it does go a long way to have him help...he can fetch the wipes for you, or learn where you keep the burp cloths and get one for you. Make a big deal out of it and tell him what a big boy he is and what a great helper he is to you.

And once the baby starts to smile and laugh at him, he or she will be Isaiah's new toy, I bet. "Let's try to make the baby laugh" will be his favorite game.

meghann said...

Dana, I honestly don't think the amount of attention Jake gets has changed much. Seth sleeps soooooo much right now..and i make sure to put him in his bed, so Jake and I get play time or special time with each other. While nursing, I am trying to read with Jake more and such. Jake has done really well with the transition and he is just going through the typical 2 year old challenges. I also make it a priority to be the one to get jake out of bed in the morning before i get seth up so i can hug and kiss him uninterupted....then i try to get him pumped up to go get the baby up! I;m border line obnoxios thanking Jake and telling him what a kind big brother he is when he helps do the little things like putting paci back in seth's mouth or handing me a not a pro, but all this has seemed to be working:) You will do great!!!

Spirit of Adoption said...

I agree w/ Kelly! ; ) And we just talked a LOT about it the new baby coming and prayed a lot w/ them for the new baby, etc : ) Isaiah will be fine - you love him, and you will love him even more after this baby b/c you'll see how amazingly unique he is to your family : ) And the baby will be a joy to you all - he's going to LOVE 'his' baby!!! : )

Anonymous said...

Dana, I think Isaiah will be busy with his attention on the baby too. I remember Serenity wanting to hold and hug on Evan. The people around you will help to make Isaiah feel special because most mothers know to pay special attention to the siblings. Your family dynamics will change, but for me it was just better and for me I felt more complete. It was as if we had gotten the other part of our family that God had intended us to have. Isaiah may miss all that attention, but remember his focus will change too. He may go through an adjustment period as will the whole family, but things will settle into a routine again and he'll be just fine.

My concern was being able to love another baby as much as I loved Serenity. I was/am in love with her and in awe of what she did on a daily bases. Of course, when Evan came along it was a no brainer. How could you not love him (ok, I know I'm biased...) While I was in awe of him, Serenity was too. Her attention was on him and everytime he would do something new she would tell me all about it.

I think I got a better understanding on a very small scale of how God can love each and every one of us.

Don't forget to laugh,