6/11/09

Common assvice for the early days of baby #2

"Ignore the baby, pay attention to the toddler. The baby won't know the difference, the toddler will."

I try not to kiss Eliza or sniff her head or gaze at her too adoringly when Zoe's around. I've tried to pay extra attention to Zoe whenever possible. I often tell Eliza "I need to put you down now and help your sister" so that Zoe hears me say that to Eliza in equal measure to the times I have to say it to her.

(Luckily, Zoe is still in school a few days a week so I have a few days where I get to nibble baby toes all I want without worrying about sending Zoe into a fit of sibling jealousy. )

Zoe remains a huge fan of her baby sister but she is still acting out with us - OY THE WHINING- and every day she seems to require more and more and MORE attention from us as if we are increasing her appetite for it, so I say this is a bit of draw.

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"Involve your toddler in helping to care for your infant in any way you can."

We've been rockin' on this one. Zoe loves to help change "Baby Eliza", pick out her clothes, pat her back for a burp, turn on her vibrating chair, and cover her with blankets - "but not on her face! I'll 'member that! She needs to breeevve!" I think involving her in as many activities as possible, and giving her lots of attention for doing so, has helped Zoe feel protective of her sister. It also has helped keep me sane as I can attend to one thing at a time for those few seconds that Zoe's doing what I'm doing instead of needing help or attention in another room.

This one is, so far, a success!

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"Buy some new toys and put them in a special 'nursing toys box' for your toddler to play with only when you are nursing your infant. This will help your toddler associate your time nursing with positive activities for themselves as well."

I don't know where I heard/read this but it sounded good to me and it was good, for the first week or so. Every time I went to nurse Eliza, Zoe would jump up and down and say "YAY nursing toys!". This was also the time that we had my sister-in-law visiting, CG was home and the sleep deprivation hadn't quite caught up with me and, well, maybe I should have held the 'nursing toys box' in reserve for NOW. My sister-in-law is gone, CG is back to work and the toys have apparently lost their allure. These days whenever I say, hopefully: "Zoe, Eliza needs to nurse, do you want your nursing toys?" I hear a polite but disappointing "No, thank you." as she begins her preferred nursing time activity: launching herself repeatedly at my knee caps from her perch on the nursing stool.

Another draw. Maybe I need to rotate the toys with some she hasn't seen in a while??

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"If your long-since-not-nursing toddler suddenly gets interested in nursing, allow her to taste your breastmilk. She will not like it but she will come to that realization on her own and it will keep her from being jealous of the baby."

Dude. DUDE. I went with this. When Zoe asked for some breastmilk, I simply smiled sweetly and asked her if she wanted to taste it. I gave her a few drops on my finger and watched as she tasted it, both of us curious.

SHE LIKED IT. WANTED A CUP OF IT.

(WTF.)

FAIL.

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Coming soon! Assvice of my own!

5 comments:

Erica said...

The last one made me laugh so hard I snorted! Fail, indeed.

I'm so glad your posting about this stuff since I'm seriously considering baby #2 and I'm trying to read everything I can get my hands on that might tell me what I'm in for.

Erica said...

GAH! Please ignore my "your vs. you're" grammatical error.

Kate said...

So glad you posted this as we are expecting a new one in October and I have no idea whether the advice you see on sibling relationships will work or not. I'm looking forward to finding out (I think!)

Hillary said...

Of course she wanted a cup. First rule of toddlers: Never expect them to do what you expect.

There's some assvice for you.

Kathi McCracken Dente said...

Yay! I am so happy for you and Zoe that she likes to help with the baby. That is very sweet. I need to work with Mira a bit more on this one. Thankfully Mira hasn't asked to try the breast milk. Though, last night she climbed in our bed, sat down, put the boppy around her and held her Lion up to her chest to "feed" him. I find this adorable and slightly creepy.

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