The Adventure of Parenthood: Preparing to be a Brother

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Preparing to be a Brother

Dylan has spent nearly 18 months as an only child and has been spoilt in the process. I spend my days doing activities specifically designed around him.  He has kisses and cuddles whenever he wants them, we went to baby groups when he was little and now go to toddler groups designed speciically for his age group.  We see friends with children his age and at the weekends he has both mummy and daddy wrapped around his fingers.  There has been no doubt since the moment he entered this world who was in charge!

He is going to be in for a shock when the new baby arrives and he has to share my attention all day long.  There will be times when I am busy feeding a newborn and cannot help him with his puzzles.  There will be days that I am too tired for early morning groups and he has to make do with an extra dose of cbeebies.

How on earth do I prepare him for this change?

preparing a toddler for change, preparing for a brother,

Still my baby!
He will only be 18 month when Squish arrives and although I have tried to talk about the baby as much as possible, he doesn't really seem to get it.  No matter how much I tell him there is a baby in mummy's tummy - when I ask him where the baby is, he looks around confused that he can't see a real baby.  

I think he knows things are going to change as his behaviour certainly has these last couple of weeks.  He has developed a very clingy side and doesn't want to be out of my reach.  Suddenly I cannot leave the room for a second without a full blown tantrum!  We have the moses basket in the living room already and when I mention that it is for the baby,  he brings his football over and puts it in.  He has a bit of a thing for pushing the football round in his pushchair though so maybe it is his baby?

I am trying to make the most of these last few weeks when we have whole days together, just the two of us by going for walks without the pushchair, knowing I can carry him when he gets tired, and doing lots more drawing and crafty bits that involve giving him my full attention - unfortunately it won't be so easy next month!

I would love to hear how you helped prepare your children for the arrival of  brother or sister and any tips for these last few weeks to make things easier on the little dude?!

22 comments:

  1. My little girl is 22 months older than her brothers. With hindsight I don't think she understood until they arrived what was going on. She was loving and caring towards 'the bump' but the situation was a little different as we went from daddy being at home to mummy, so she was dealing with a lot. My personal view is that you will have a great age gap for acceptance. In the early days I wished the age gap was greater, her language came on so much by 2 years, but it's swings and roundabouts, she accepted her brothers so easily into her life, which in spite of the early stresses of toddlers and babies, I imagine to be so much easier than sibling rivalry.
    Children are so resilient, and your son has grown up with nothing but love, so will naturally only feel love for his sibling.
    Enjoy these weeks, it's difficult not having as much one-to-one time, but the relationships you are creating for him, more than worth it! x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for commenting. Dylan doesn't even get that the bump is a baby I don't think so it will be a massive shock for him. I hope you are right about them being young and resilient and one of the reasons we wanted the smaller age gap is so that Dylan gets used to sharing from an early age. x

      Delete
  2. I have such massive age gaps between mine so have no advice! Syd is the same age as Dylan, and it is hard for them to understand so many things still, let alone a sibling! They are part baby, part little boy aren't they! But as was said above, your family is full of love, so I am sure it will be lovely, although siblings ALWAYS bicker, so it will prob be worse further down the line! Haha! Such fun!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You have the opposite situation to me I think and I am sure that came with its own challenges! Thanks for commenting though x

      Delete
  3. Moo was just 2 years and 7 months when Thor came along and it was a huge adjustment! We had our moments and the first few months were hard but now Thor is older it so much easier. I think the closer they are in age the easier it is, If I had my way I would have had mine a lot closer together, but it didnt work out that way. I am sure you will cope and it will work out just fine :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I am hoping that although the first few months will be hard, giving Dylan a little brother and playmate is the best thing I can do for him and they will play nicely when they are a bit bigger. It is the first few months that are going to be hard though I think! x

      Delete
  4. Get your little one to help as much as possible, piling up nappies, looking at the babies clothes, getting the baby room ready - make him feel as much a part of it as you are.

    Be prepared for how different having 2 is to 1. Life is going to get a lot more hectic. Remember too that sometimes we worry far more about our children than they do. In my experience, life changing moments tend to affect us more than them!

    And finally be prepared for how wonderful it is to be a family of four, the giggles, more people to play games with and more kisses and cuddles!

    Xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Extra kisses and cuddles . . . sold! That is what I am looking forward to most! Hopefully as he is so young he will take it all in his stride then x

      Delete
  5. we have 21 month gap and I have to say it's been easier than I was fearing in terms of him just accepting his brother and being very affectionate towards him, we really haven't had any issues (yet!), I think he's too young to know what jealousy is. I was 18 months when my brother was born and my mum said the same thing about me. Definitely getting him to 'help' and be involved is a good idea. If anything it's been harder for me than him, as I feel bad that my toddler is watching more DVDs and youtube than he once did, and I'm spending loads of time feeding and feeling shattered rather than interacting with him. But a good friend said something very true to me when I was upset about this - I've given my toddler the gift of a brother, close in age, who he can play with and have fun with in a while, and that makes up for having to share my attention. 2nd time around, the newborn is the easy bit, it's the juggling a toddler's needs too that's the real challenge. But I'm 12 weeks into it and starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Hope everything goes well for all four of you when baby arrives! x (oh and sticker books are great toddler entertainment btw ;) )

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I already have the guilt as these last couple of weeks the TV has been a godsend! Nice to hear that you are doing so well and hopefully my little monster will be a great big brother too x

      Delete
  6. We used a book called "there's a house inside my mummy" to help Meg understand what was happening. There's 24 months between our two so not too much difference. When Eli was born I got Meg involved as much as possible asking her to fetch nappies and wipes etc. We also read a book called "now we have a baby" which explains what baby needs. I know Dylan is quite young but you never know how much they are taking in. Also agree that sticker books are great, especially when you're trying to feed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have heard of this book actually and kept meaning to track it down. I like the idea of teaching through books though as my little guy is an avid reader already! Off to Amazon now . . .

      Delete
  7. I'm not there yet - just the one at 13 months old but plan on creating another fairly soon! Good luck with it all x looks like some great advice above so hope you get what you need :))) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck with planning number 2! I can't wait to see the mischief wally bubba would get up to with a little brother or sister! x

      Delete
  8. I am sure it will all be fine, from what I have heard the younger the child, the more likely they are to accept. Funnily enough it's one of the only things I am not worried about- of course I am worried about making sure Mads is ok and not left out, but I just think she will be fine. And even if she is not it will do her good as at the moment she does wrap us around her little finger! ;) x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sounds like you are very prepared mentally for bug and Mads seems so laid back I bet she will take it all in her stride - maybe she should have a word with Dylan? x

      Delete
  9. As you know, my little boy is almost 4 and whilst he undoubtedly understands more than Dylan does, I very much doubt my boy truly gets the impact the baby coming will have on his life in the coming months and years.
    It will likely come as a shock at first for Dylan but as you are aware of this, you can also do your best to soften the impact by trying to give him special alone moments with mummy and then with daddy.
    Also I completely recognise what you say about the clingyness. My boy has been the same in the final months of pregnancy and he constantly wants to be on my lap, holding my hand, being whereever I am. It shows that they know something is happening though even if they don't know exactly what.
    It'll be an adjustment for all of you but I'm sure you will all deal with it in your own ways and will get through it x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Clingyness and tantrums are increasing this week - Not sure how he is going to be but no going back now! Hope Milo copes well, at 4 he can play such a big role in helping out with the baby and hopefully that will make it easier for everyone x

      Delete
  10. You need to buy the book Jess suggested it is so lovely, and it might help him understand. Big man got the idea and was always loving towards middle man. When baby man came along, big man didn't want to know! A year on and hes starting to warm to having a little brother - some days! Sounds like you are doing all the right things. Spending time with Dylan and making him feel special is the main thing you can do. Exciting times!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ordered the book last night so hopefully that will arrive before the baby does! Hoping there will still be chances to spend quality time with Dylan once squish arrives x

      Delete
  11. Oh my goodness what a cutie!

    I only have one so can't help with advice but I'm sure he's going to love the new arrival - always fun to have siblings : )

    Jo x

    ReplyDelete
  12. Good luck with everything. I have no advice to offer with only having Bob but I am sure you will be fine! Gorgeous photo! x

    ReplyDelete

I love comments, so please let me know what you think!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...