Proper sibling introductions?
"My name is Lila... and I will be your big sister."

 (Lila's new moby wrap. Um, how cute? See here.)

Around these parts we've been talking to Lila about her new baby sister quite often.

We tell her that pretty soon she'll be here to live with us. For good.
We've shown her the baby's bedroom and let her play in there. The door is always open.
We've repeatedly pointed out Baby Girl's crib... let her touch the sheets, play with her blankets...

Lila seems pretty interested.

In fact, she's been swaddling ALL of her babies/stuffed animals, rocks them and "shushhhes" them. (It's ridiculously precious. I must get it on tape.)

That said... here's my question:

What more can we do to prepare her?

And, I have another question:

Lila is going to be 19 months old. For all intents and purposes, she and her baby sister will be a year and a half apart in age, mas or menos (more or less). The doctor has said that he'll be happy to sneak Lila in to the hospital after I give birth to her sister so that Lila can meet her, see me, etc. (Children under 11 aren't allowed.)

His stance is that it'll be a good thing for her to see me, see the baby, etc.

I thought this was a fantastic idea.  At first.

Then I thought about it more...

I'm not sure if it's right for us.

Lila's a year and a half old. She's not 2. She's not 3. She's not 5. My fear is that she will come to the hospital and be amazing and great and cute and fun... but then when it's time to leave me... I imagine (and I don't think I'm too far off here...) she will LOSE HER MIND.

I feel that leaving me... with the new baby... and having to go home without us isn't the smartest option. It's kind of like we're setting her up for a meltdown.

We're truly thinking of introducing Lila to her baby sister at home. (I'll be bringing Lila a baby home for the hospital, too. One for her.)

Thoughts?

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14 comments:

  1. You are doing EVERYTHING we did to prepare Athena.

    Athena did not come up to the hospital for the exact reason you stated. It really was setting her up for a meltdown. "I have to leave?? Without MOM?? But the BABY gets to stay with her???"

    The other reason I didn't let her come in was because I was sure it would scare her. For some reason seeing me in doctor situations (she went along to some OB appointments)FLIPPED HER OUT.

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  2. cont'd

    If she couldn't handle me getting my blood pressure taken, there was no way she was going to handle me all hooked up to IVs in a hospital bed.

    I was only in the hospital for 2 days, so we all just went home at the same time as a family.

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  3. i am not a mom, but my advice is go with your gut. it sounds like you may regret it if you don't trust yourself. and if you have a system set up for you/C/new baby to be in the hospital then Lila staying with someone else until you're home, then i say stick with it. i'm trying to think of huge reasons why she MUST go the hospital and i'm not thinking of any off the top of my head....

    trust YOURSELF and you won't go wrong.

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  4. I agree, Lila may flip out and become totally jealous of the new baby if she goes to the hospital and sees that baby girl gets to stay with you while she has to go home. Evan was older (almost 3) when Abbey was born and totally understood what was going on. He got that I would be home the next day but Lila might not understand. Go with your gut feeling, you know her best.

    I think it is adorable that you bought her a baby so she has one too. You guys are awesome! Love the baby carrier!

    I am still hoping for Monday! :)

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  5. Sophia was the same age (19months) when E was born. She was the first one to visit me at the hospital and meet her little sister. She freaked, like Nadja said, whenever we'd take her to my Dr. appts. and she'd see me hooked up to any sort of machine. FREAK. But, at the hospital, somehow, she just knew it was different. She was calm and very happy to see me and meet her new baby. It was very special to me to have her be the first one to meet her little sister. I thought she'd melt down when she left too, but she didn't. It was kind of a special day for her and Daddy. I'm the one that melted down. :( I cried my eyes out the minute she left.

    You have to do what YOU feel is best for your family. No one knows your family (or Lila) better than you and your husband. Follow your gut.

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  6. I'm not a mother, but I think you need to do what you think is best. I am worried about you. Like Sassytimes said, I would be worried that you would be worried about Lila and be upset when she left (especially if she was upset). Maybe Skype?

    Introducing the girls in your home sounds like a good option.

    What does C say?

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  7. What a tough one. I was inclined to feel that bringing Lila to the hospital would be difficult, until I read what Sassy had to say.

    I just don't know what I would do.

    But like everyone else has said, you and C need to decide what is best for Lila. Is she prepared for you not being able to pick her up? I'd be worried about that too.

    I kinda feel like there's something to be said about the baby coming to LILA's house - being on Lila's turf. (and I LOVE that she'll be getting her own baby from the hospital - great idea!)

    I'm going to keep thinking about this...

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  8. @Nadja - very good to know that these same thoughts went through your mind. (The potential wigging out/melt down.)
    When you say you all went home as a family, does that mean you brought Athena up and she left with you? (My Mom is pulling for that.)

    @Trophy Life - thanks for your support, friend. I agree - the gut-trusting might be the way to go.

    @Lauren - Yeah, "Mommy will be home the next day" will mean virtually nothing to Lila.

    @Sassytimes - You inspire me. I'm so glad to hear that S. meeting E. went so well. I love that.

    @Iris - I would imagine that I'm going to be the one is also upset. I'm already feeling crazy guilt for this transition... and seeing Lila and not being able to pick her up and smoosh her like normal might not be the smartest move for me.

    @Sarah - thanks, friend. Let me know if you think of anything else. I'm looking forward to hearing your perspective.

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  9. This is a great question. Honestly I had never thought about it being an issue, but I can see how Lila might be concerned.

    It does make sense to have Lila meet her sister in a place where she is comfortable. Plus, it might be nice to have some alone time with your new baby too. So there's that to consider.

    (You're so smart about having Lila's own baby and Moby!)

    You'll know when you're in the situation what you want to do. You're good like that.

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  10. It's tough for me to say because G is able to be a huge help. There was a class he took through the hospital that allowed him to make a onesie for the baby (decorated an existing one, rather). Also, some of the younger kids would hold their baby while mommy held hers so they were all bonding together.

    Important thing is, always have one or the other of you making time for her. She will act out and probably revert, but just make sure she feels included.

    :)

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  11. I agree with TL. . . go with your gut. You know Lila, trust your Mommy instinct.

    Charlie came right after Chanelle was born. (He was just under 2 years old). He walked into the room, climbed up on my bed, bent down and kissed Chanelle gently on the forehead. It was a beautiful moment that I will never forget. BUT. . .Charlie was very comfortable with Chad's parents and he came to see us several times in the hospital. I think that made it easier. . . rather than one time and then he had to wait.

    Again. . . trust your gut!

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  12. We totally plan to bring Nicholas to the hospital. I think it is important for him to see what is happening and not be surprised when this new baby shows up at his house and is there to stay vying for mom and dad's attention. I would ideally like us all to come home from the hospital together. We also plan to have Joe come home everyday to give N. Some daddy time.

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  13. Reece turned 3 and a month later Jenna was born, so he was older than Lila... but, he stayed with my mom and dad the whole day while I was in labor and he met Jenna at the hospital less than an hour after she was born. He loved her from the start, wanted to hold her and understood that mommy needed to stay at the hospital with Jenna. There was no crying or fussing when he left. In fact, I also cried like crazy when he left. I just wanted us all to be together. I missed Reece.

    Go with what feels right to you at the time. If you want Lila to be there, bring her to the hospital. If you feel better having her meet her sister at home, do that. You'll know what you and Lila need at the time.

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  14. My twins were 3 when my youngest was born and we decided to bring them up with Daddy when it was time to go home as a family. We had a present for each of them from their new brother- which they LOVED! They were so excited to meet their new brother- but they also were uncomfortable with me in the hospital...so it was a good thing that I was leaving with them.

    Definitely follow your gut...only you know Lila best!

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