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  1. #1
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    Default Back to baby mode

    I'm looking for some advice on how people coped with having a baby in the house again after a significant gap?

    DD1 has just turned 5 and we're expecting our rainbow baby in about 12 weeks. Our second daughter sadly passed away at birth so the gap between is bigger than we anticipated and it's been quite a while since we've been in that newborn phase.

    Any tips on things you found worked well, or even what NOT to do?

    DD1 is very excited and wants to be a super involved little helper (she says now!), and we've already discussed making sure she gets quality time with both of us.

  2. #2
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    We haven't had such big gaps (3 years is the biggest) but this is what has worked for us:

    - siblings are first to meet baby
    - when siblings first meet baby, I make a point of not holding baby when then walk in (ie, bub is in the bassinet or on the bed beside me) until they get a mummy cuddle first.
    - I try to involve them with as much as baby's care as possible, but don't force them if they don't want.
    - when baby is feeding, I don't tell them to hop away, instead I get them involved too and we have cuddles or read a book.
    - when visitors come over, I make sure they interact with the older kids before seeing/holding baby. Just because there is a new baby doesn't mean the older kids don't need attention.

    I think they are the main things we did.

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  4. #3
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    I was going to post something similar, so I hope you don't mind if I tag along to hear the wisdom of others?

    I'm so sorry for your loss, OP. I hope the next 12 weeks and beyond are a smooth and very very happy time for your family.

    We have a gap, too. Ours is 8 years, though, so last time feels like a fog. (We had 5 mc in the meantime.) I'm hoping someone might impart some handy wise tips re getting older children to school/activities on time while juggling a newborn as well!

    Good luck with your new baby, OP. xx

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  6. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by SheWarrior View Post
    We haven't had such big gaps (3 years is the biggest) but this is what has worked for us:

    - siblings are first to meet baby
    - when siblings first meet baby, I make a point of not holding baby when then walk in (ie, bub is in the bassinet or on the bed beside me) until they get a mummy cuddle first.
    - I try to involve them with as much as baby's care as possible, but don't force them if they don't want.
    - when baby is feeding, I don't tell them to hop away, instead I get them involved too and we have cuddles or read a book.
    - when visitors come over, I make sure they interact with the older kids before seeing/holding baby. Just because there is a new baby doesn't mean the older kids don't need attention.

    I think they are the main things we did.
    i love all this and will put it into practice with ds!

  7. #5
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    i’m so sorry for your loss @bubbletrouble

    all the best with the birth and new bub! when are you due?

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  9. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by turquoisecoast View Post
    i’m so sorry for your loss @bubbletrouble

    all the best with the birth and new bub! when are you due?
    Thank you x

    Caesarean is booked for the 28th of June. We think we've got things sorted for when bub arrives, but it's once we're home that I'm not sure how the day to day stuff is going to work best.

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    I'm so sorry for the loss of your darling girl. We have a 5.5 year gap between our 2. We planned for a 4 year gap but two early losses changed those plans.

    DD was in the first year if school which, while a PITA that school pickup always clashed with the 3rd nap, was lovely because I got to have one on one time with the baby on weekdays without worrying about making DD jealous. I used a stretch wrap a lot so I could have hands free to help DD and got a capsule so didn't have to stop DD's extra activities due to baby.

    I'd helped build DD's independence so she could pour her own breakfast, get a snack or a simple sandwich. I ended up with another EMCS birth so it was wonderful that she could do these things.

    I was lucky that DS was an easy newborn, he fed fast, napped a lot and was content on his mat or bouncer. If he'd been a baby like his big sister was it would have been a lot harder.

    I mixed fed both my babies, which meant DD could do an evening bottle, which she loved. I tried hard not to give her too many helping chores (eg. getting a nappy, passing a singlet), I could see this working for a 3yo but as she was a bit older I did things more like getting her to pick what outfit I should dress him in. His room had a dinosaur theme and she drew an awesome dinosaur drawing that I framed and put up before he was born. Things like that helped her get excited about the new baby.

    It was hard on her, she was used to being our everything. But we were quite looking forward to her having that reality check that life doesn't revolve around her. I've heard it said that if there's a 5+ year gap it's a bit like both are only children. Due to personality, my 2 actually play together quite a bit, but they both have that only child selfishness (the young one is nearly 6, older 11).

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  13. #8
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    Some others I remembered

    - have a lunchbox packed of snacks etc so if you are busy with bub, kids can just go to the fridge and help themselves. A friend did similar with breakfast, she would pour the cereal into a bowl and cover it and pop it in the fridge with a small pop top bottle with milk in it. In the morning, her 5 year old could go to the fridge, grab the bowl of cereal and pour the milk from the pop top bottle in. It gave her 5 year old a sense of independence too.

    - invest in a good baby carrier! It can be a life saver when stuff has to be done and you need both hands, but baby is wanting to be held. Also makes life easier with school/daycare drop offs instead of lugging a pram around.

    - before bub arrives, get your 5 year old to pick some of their favourite dinners, and have a big cook up day. Portion and freeze the meals so on nights when you don't feel like cooking, you can just grab it, heat and eat. And having the 5 year old choose some of the meals, you know they won't kick up a fuss.

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  15. #9
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    Such a helpful thread!! Thanks, ladies

  16. #10
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    baby carrier for school runs and quick shopping trips. i prefer my ring sling, have a nice linen one which has been light and cool in the perth weather this summer.
    lots of precooked snacks for you and children (i baked and froze some but not enough so wish I'd done 5x more than what i had)
    easy quick cook meals or the ingredients for them to save having to go shopping and meal planning
    a feeding station/chair with a table close by. i had to pump for supply in early days so have a small armchair and coffee table set up in our bedroom
    enlist friends to help with school runs ie see if they can help once a week do the pickup or dropoff so if you're having a rough morning then have some help
    also lessen extra curriculars for a term. our 4th is 8wks and we have no family help so i stopped their swimming lessons term 1.

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