Big age difference

  • My son will be 9 when our daughter is born in September. We are trying very hard to spend extra time with him and let him know how much we love him. And we have talked with him about how the new baby is going to take up a lot of time, but that we still love him. We have also tried to include him in a lot of the preparations for the baby - he helped us pick a name, he went to the ultrasound to find out the sex of the baby, and he even went to a shower and helped me open gifts!

    He is a great kid - he is very calm and even tempered, and is surprisingly independent for his age. He is definitely not one of these children that you have to wait on or entertain all the time. Plus, he is really excited about being a big brother. But I worry that he will feel a little left out and resentful when he finds out what it is like to have a newborn in the house. Any suggestions on ways to not only help him remain involved but also little ways to give him individual attention with a newborn around?

  • Sounds like you are already very in tune to your son's needs and to his feelings. You already seem to be doing everything you can to get him involved. Having a new sibling is a tremendous change in the family, but it also brings such joy. Let your son participate as much as possible in the new baby's care, but be careful not to demand too much of him or he might feel like a servant. He can help with diapers, bathtime, and even holding the baby when you are nearby.

    For the first month or two, there will be alot of visitors bringing the baby gifts and offering to help. Let them hold the baby, while you spend time with your son. Also, take advantage of the swing, bouncy seat and pack n play in order to give your oldest some much needed one on one time.

    When my second was born, I made a point to leave the baby home with daddy when she was 3 weeks old and I took my oldest son out for the afternoon.

    You will do a great job and it seems like your son is already excited about the baby! Good luck

  • There is a bigger age gap between my youngest daughter and son..eleven years to be exact..they are like two peas in a pod. I think you have done a wonderful job incorporating him an continue to do so. They older ones do regress sometimes, but try and keep him involved and i think he will do wonderfully. my son and daughter are extremely close.

  • My daughter was 8 when we had our second baby. We encouraged her to ask lots of questions while I was pregnant. There was even a big sister class at the hospital that we were going to deliver at.

    After the baby was born, she was a big help. We established boundaries, but included her in so much of the day-to-day that she never really noticed the difference. And, it helped that she was totally in love with her little sister. That said, I still make sure we have some me and her time exclusive from everyone else. She's just on a whole different level than her sister and needs that one-on-one that's not so little kid oriented. 

    I think you'll find that your son adapts to the new baby very quickly and that he ends up being a big help to you.

  • Having been the only child for the past 9 years and always getting your undivided attention, your son may be scared about what it will be like to share the spotlight with a new baby. You need to open the lines of communication. Set aside time to sit with your son and ask him questions about how he is feeling about the arrival of the baby. Ask him if he feels sad that he may not be getting enough attention. Assure him that, although the baby will take up a lot of your time, you will always be there for him, just as before. If you don't communicate effectively, your older child may act out after the baby has arrived, which will only lead to more problems. Spend as much time with your son as possible before the birth of the baby. After the baby is a few weeks old, have your husband babysit and take your son to lunch, to a museum, an afternoon movie... just the two of you. This is a great way to bond with your son and show him that he is still very important to you. Your son will love his role as a big brother. It just takes some time getting used to, but all the pieces will fall into place.
  • I think what all these answers have in common is that communication is the key. It sounds like you already communicate well with him, so just continue to be as open and honest as you can be with him.

  • I understand the gap.  I have a 20 year old and a 16 year old.Wink  And NO im not crazy:-)  Its hard because my 16 year old is like I was the baby and now she is here but no matter what you just have to keep being there for them and letting them know that no matter what you love tehem.  And on top of that Im 40 and retired form the Navy, I guess I just wanted more excitement!!

  • I understand your concerns. I think you have done a great job including your 9 yr old in preparing for the new arrival. I have a 13 yr old and soon a new born so I do understand yours concerns. Many of the things you have mentioned I am doing with my 13 yr old. He really enjoyed helping with the baby registery and picking out he name. Keep up the good work.

  • I think its great how you included your 9 yr old in preparing for the baby. I have a 13 yr old and soon will have a new born. I know that might sound crazy but thats how it is. I too have included my 13 yr old in helping pick out a name and he really enjoyed helping witht he baby registry. Keep up the good work.

  • I am right there with  y'all!  My age difference is even larger...I have a 17 year old, a four year old, and our newest addition is 5 weeks!  Call me crazy but loving it!!

    Make everyone a part of daily adventures!!  My 17 year old helps when needed but it to involved in his own adventures.  My 4 year old is great...MOST of the time.  He is a big helper, loves his sister and wants to hold her every day.  He does have his moments...when visitors come he does show out.  I have been really amazed...everyone has gotten him little happies.  I have been surprised by the amount of people who have done this.  It has made it much easier!