July 8, 2009 1:23 pm at 1:23 pm #590004SJSinNYCMember
I’m due to give birth in 2 months. My son will be 19 months at the time of my next child’s birth. I’ve always heard that the largest adjustment is going from 1 child to 2. Do any parents out there have any good tips? Both for early on (avoiding jealousy, getting anything done with 2, nursing with a toddler running around, even just changing diapers!)
Any advice is appreciated!July 8, 2009 2:38 pm at 2:38 pm #650084anon for thisParticipant
My youngest son & daughter are 17 months apart. When my daughter was born, I emphasized to my son the advantages of being older & bigger–the things he could do that his sister could not. As they grew I pointed out how much his little sister looked up to, admired, and tried to copy him (this becomes evident from a surprisingly young age). I also tandem nursed them.July 8, 2009 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #650085Feif UnParticipant
My two children are about 2 minutes apart. It wasn’t a big adjustment – I just shifted one arm so that I could hold the second baby also.July 8, 2009 3:08 pm at 3:08 pm #650086smalltowngirlMember
B’sha’ah tova! Such beautiful memories I have of that time…
Include your son in just about everything. Allow him to overhear you telling your new baby how lucky he/she is for have ing such a special big brother…and that your big brother makes such good choices and has such good middos…
Ask “eitza” from #1 son, maybe which outfit to put on the new baby, or “bubbela, do you think the baby would like a toy, will you help pick something?”
Ask big bro to perform maybe a new song he learned, because he knows so much more than the baby –
Enjoy this time, it goes by too fast. B”H every stage can be enjoyable – its up to you to set the stage.July 8, 2009 3:16 pm at 3:16 pm #650087JotharMember
Justa repeat of what was posted earlier. Make sure the older kid isn’t neglected so he doesn’t feel resentful. Maybe have the husband give the older one extra attention to make up for the lack of it he’ll be getting. Repeat phrases like “you love [younger baby] and [younger baby] loves you.July 8, 2009 3:30 pm at 3:30 pm #650088cantoresqMember
All the tips are sound and good. Most importantly be the same confident in control parents you’ve been until now, and the bumps and scrapes will be just that; bumps and scrapes. The older one will get jealous from time to time, the younger one will soon learn how to manipulate the situation as well. You and your husband will be tired irritable and edgy. That’s life, and when your kid crawls into your bed and rests his/her head on your shoulder and you see him sleeping peacfully, or when you see him/her reach a milestone, it all becomes worth it, and you’ll never want it any other way. There is no cook book on how to raise kids. Good parents do fine without the manuals and bad ones founder about with them. Put your kdis first, ahead of all else, and one day you’ll see them do the same.July 8, 2009 4:12 pm at 4:12 pm #650089
read Rabbi Orloweks book
“My Child My Disciple”
you really cant raise any Jewish child optimally without a lot and constant advice from Chachamim
would you do anything else of prime importance, (and this is the most important and difficult of all inyanim)without proper guidance?
you cant do it justice with instinct and intuition alone.July 8, 2009 5:16 pm at 5:16 pm #650090bptParticipant
Our boys are aprox 2.5 year apart, so we’ve been thru this before. Lots of love, and private time with sib # 1 is a must. Even if its only 10 minutes a day. And understand how he feels: Imagine being told by your spouse, that since you value him / her so much, you’ve decided to get another one! And not to worry, you’re not being replaced, this is just a new addition to the family. Oh, and you’ll need to start sharing your room, toys, time and attention (that, till now, was 100% yours) with this new arrival.
How would that fly with you? In many ways, this is what we are telling sib # 1. Its not until the later years they understand how much fun a partner can be (and no, I’m not advocating for a 2nd spouse!)July 8, 2009 5:37 pm at 5:37 pm #650091
“There is no cook book on how to raise kids. Good parents do fine without the manuals and bad ones founder about with them”
the way that true Jewish parents have raised their children has always been with the advice of their own parents, Bubbies, and Zadies and with the advice of the Chachomim, both the contemporaneous Chochamim and those of previous generations who brought down their Chachmah in Gemorrah, Seforim, and father to son, Rebbi to Talmid.
although today parents can not always use these sources, there are a number of “cookbooks” that have been culled from these sources that are available. i mentioned one above. there are MANY, MANY shailos that come up in raising children by true Torah Jews, and one cant always rely on “doing what is in the heart”, doing what feels right”. no one who understands what a precious responsibility a Jewish child is would act so irresponsibly.
of course i guess the in thing is “to each his own”
but if you want to raise Hashem’s child, get some Torah guidanceJuly 8, 2009 6:27 pm at 6:27 pm #650092anonymrsParticipant
i am iy”h due in about 3-4 weeks, and i was wondering the same thing!!
i keep telling my son (he is just over 2) that mommy has a baby in her belly and soon the baby is going to come out and he is going to be a big brother. hes actually really excited about it, and even “kisses” the baby sometimes.
one thing i am very careful about, though, is to make sure that i dont say the baby is HIS. HE is not having a baby, mommy and daddy are, but HE will be a big brother and a big helper. i know that if i make this baby in any way HIS, then he will become very possessive, as many two year olds do.
i like the idea of spending time with him more than i like the idea of buying things for him. i think anyway spending alone time with each child is important- even if its only 5 or 10 minutes a day. each child, no matter how old they are, should feel like they are getting the attention they need.July 8, 2009 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm #650093tzippiMember
B’shaa tova! My first two are 17 months apart. A roller coaster ride but a tremendous bracha!July 9, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm #650094SJSinNYCMember
Thank you all for the advice.
Anon, wow on the tandem nursing! I cannot imagine going through a rough pregnancy nursing a child also! Kol hakavod to you! I was wondering if my son was going to try to start nursing again once the baby is.
I’m really looking forward to having this child, and I’m getting nervous. I am due right around yom tovim time, but luckily am just basically going to move into my mother’s house for a month!
Feivel, I think what cantoresq is getting at is that each child has to be raised according to his/her needs (a Jewish concept also!). Asking your Rav questions is different than reading a book. I’ve read quite a few books on behavior and such; some apply to my son, some don’t. I do think good parenting is a lot about trial and error. There is a reason everyone says first children are experiments LOL.July 9, 2009 1:04 pm at 1:04 pm #650095
Feivel, I think what cantoresq is getting at is that each child has to be raised according to his/her needs (a Jewish concept also!)
Asking your Rav questions is different than reading a book.
of courseJuly 9, 2009 1:39 pm at 1:39 pm #650096cantoresqMember
Really all I meant was that no book can instill a parental instinct. No book can create the mentality of self sacrifice, self abnegation at times even that is crucial to successful parenting. Ironically, when that attitude is in properly in place, books are not really all that necessary. Feivel’s point is valid, but only as applied to specific issues, not in the holistic sense.July 9, 2009 2:29 pm at 2:29 pm #650097anon for thisParticipant
SJS, I’m convinced that tandem nursing helped reduce jealous feelings between my two youngest. Newborns nurse so much & this created a special bond between the two of them. He had been nursing throughout my pregnancy (not always fun but this was perfectly safe for us), but it probably would be fine to let your son nurse if he wants to try. If he doesn’t like it, then he may not feel that he is missing much when the baby nurses.
But tandem nursing is not for everyone, and there are other ways to make nursing a newborn a special time for your older child. I used to tell stories & read books to my older kids; when I couldn’t turn the pages I’d let them hold the book & “beep” when it was time to turn the page.July 9, 2009 3:12 pm at 3:12 pm #650098oomisParticipant
I haven’t read the responses that were posted by others yet, so if I am repetitious, forgive me. First things first, B’shaa tova u’mutzlachas. This is wonderful news! I have two sets of kids born 18-19 months apart, and they are all a real joy. yes, there are some challenges going from one to two children (that was harder for me than going from 0-1 or 2-3). BUT, if you and your husband are sensitive and smart (and I think YOU are, from everything you have posted here), you will always remember that your 19 month old was born first, so he had your undivied attention all that time, all the fuss was made over him by family members, etc. so don’t let him feel he is diminished in your affections. We all get distracted by the immediate needs for the new baby, but a 19 month old (how is he feeling, btw? Better, I hope) is ALSO a baby, and will not understand if Mommy is not paying him attention.
One thing I would NOT say to the older sibling, presuming he would understand this: ” Mommy and Daddy love you so much, we wanted to have another little baby to love, just like we love you.” Imagine a husband saying to his wife, ” I love you so much, I wanted to have another wife to love, just like you.” How big would that go over??? I would just emphasize to your son how proud you are of him, that he is a big boy and a good boy, and his new little sister or brother is going to look up to him and learn everything from him about how to grow. Let him bring you the diapers for the baby and help “diaper” the baby. Let him GENTLY hold her with you holding them both. Don’t get upset with him if he does something negative, or if he does not want to look at the baby (that can happen, too), give him a little space and just love him more. Until a baby is born, you cannot predict how the older sibling will react.
Have a special toy or gift for him and tell him it is a gift from the baby when you give birth AND when you bring the baby home. A stuffed animal or such… And always remember one thing – the baby will NOT realize if you are “neglecting” him or her for a moment and letting someone else attend to its needs. Your toddler, however, will be very much aware, so when the baby sleeps, even if you are tired, if your son needs you, read to him, cuddle with him (try to get him to nap, too, so you can), but make sure he gets the attention he needs. Daddy can take over (obviously if you are nursing that can only be done if you pump), and Daddy SHOULD take over. Parenting is a job for two. Let Daddy take the toddler out for a walk or to the park while you are with the baby and/or resting, something you will need a LOT.
Al regel achas, I have tried to give you my best suggestions. The bottom line is, each child is different. Take your cues from your toddler, and as long as he does not feel neglected he will be fine. I am very excited for you. I remember this wonderful time, and wish you as easy a baby as my second child was.July 12, 2009 5:52 am at 5:52 am #650099smartcookieMember
Hi! Bsha tova. I also went through that stage of having the SCARY SECOND. Everyone told me how hard the adjustment will be and they were so right!!! B”h for all that but it wasn’t easy at all. I love them dearly and they are a real bracha but its a lot of work!
The only advice I have is to push through and appreciate and love them and I guess we’ll relax when they’re married off!!!
Main thing is that we all stay healthy safe and happy!!
BARUCH HASHEM!!!!July 12, 2009 7:37 am at 7:37 am #650100isherMember
I always let the youngest sit on my lap when I nursed my baby. I would tell them stories, ask the older ones how their day was. It sort of made them look forward to the next time I had to nurse – that special mommy time. My closest were 23 months apart, and B”H I never had to deal with jealousy. However, as much as you think that your kid loves the new baby – never leave the baby alone with the toddler. You never know what the toddlers “love” might do.July 12, 2009 2:32 pm at 2:32 pm #650101just meParticipant
B’shoa tova1 I didn’t have the 1-2 problem like that because my #1 and #2 are 5 years apart. My #3 & #3 are 16 months apart and my #3 & #4 are 19 months apart. I tried to give each one attention. I found that a lot was the personality of the child. My #2 would lay her head on my lap while I nursed #3 and was happy. I thought it would be the same by #4 but #3 isnt the same child as #2. Do your best. Ask advice but don’t make yourself too crazy. Each child has his/her own personality and needs their own way. Some jelousy is normal. Think about how you are with your siblings.
Good luck. I’m sure your do fine.
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