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Arrival of younger siblings - were you aware in advance?

(55 Posts)
Witzend Wed 23-Oct-19 20:05:01

Just wondering. I was nearly 4 when my brother arrived and nearly six for younger sister. I don't remember being aware that anything was going to happen at all. Elder sister and I were packed off to an aunt for a few days when DB arrived - presumably for the birth and aftermath - and came home to find a new baby boy.

We were at home for my sister - I just remember my father coming into our bedroom first thing and saying we had a new baby sister. (Which was an exciting thing to write about in your news at school!).

By contrast, Gdcs of 3 and 4 have been told from the first that a new baby sister is due shortly after Christmas. They were shown all the scan pictures, inc. the very first, and will often kiss the 'bump' or sing a song to it.
Different times!

Not sure how much Gds really understands, but Gdd (4) is very excited - last Christmas she asked 'Farmer' Christmas for 'a real baby, boy or girl'. So he'll be delivering (fingers Xed) . a bit late.

MiniMoon Wed 23-Oct-19 21:29:33

My sister appeared when I was three, I don't recall whether I knew or not.

I was excited about the birth of my next sister, we wanted a brother, but helped Mam and Dad choose names for a girl or boy a boy.
I also remember going to fetch them from the hospital in the taxi.

Sara65 Wed 23-Oct-19 21:35:28

I don’t remember being aware that my mother was having a baby.

One night in the middle of winter, my dad took me out to fetch the district nurse, we didn’t have a car, and it was quite a walk.

The next morning my dad came in and said he had a surprise for me, I remember being rather disappointed that it was a baby.

I was four, I don’t know if I was a particularly dense child, but I honestly hadn’t picked up on anything!

BlueSapphire Wed 23-Oct-19 21:37:52

Not a clue, and I was the oldest of five! Not even when DM was expecting the youngest, and I was 9 yrs old! We were never told and I don't remember DM getting obviously bigger. Just packed off to stay with aunty when the birth was expected, and then the news was relayed that we had a new brother or sister.

agnurse Wed 23-Oct-19 21:42:15

We were told fairly early in the pregnancy, even before the end of the first trimester. (My mother had a miscarriage between her third and fourth babies, and I still remember when she told us that our little baby had died.)

Our parents usually had two plans for what would happen when the baby arrived, and it depended on when Mom went into active labour and had to go to the hospital. If it happened during the day, we would be sent to friends' homes, and if it happened during the night, someone would come over to stay with us. They made sure we were aware of what would be happening well in advance.

M0nica Wed 23-Oct-19 21:59:38

I was less than 2 when sister no 1 appeared. Six and a half with sister 1 being four and a half when sister 2 appeared.

I did know something was happening and did ntice my mother wearing smocks but I didn't know enough to understand what this meant.

Sister2 arrived on a Sunday. First Sis1 and I were sent a couple of 100 yards upt the road to church by ourselves and when we got home we were told to play in our bedrooms. DF cooked lunch and DM wasn't there and questions went unanswered, then sometime in the evening DF came and told us we had another sister.

In those days fathers were not wanted in maternity hospitals so DM went to hospital in an ambulance or taxi and DF stayed home to look after us. All our immediate family lived in London. We lived in Carlisle.

annodomini Wed 23-Oct-19 22:27:55

I'm told that I sat up in the big pram and announced 'I'm going to have a baby brudder'. So evidently I did know - except for the fact that the baby turned out to be a sister.

harrigran Wed 23-Oct-19 23:14:56

I was ten when my sister was born and was aware only in the few weeks before the birth. I was given the job of making up the cot the evening before the birth and then I went off to stay with my friend two doors down.

NannyJan53 Thu 24-Oct-19 06:46:15

I was almost 2 when my brother was born. I don't remember anything about it at all.

Next door had a baby girl 6 weeks before his birth called Susan. Apparently I thought he was the same baby and called him Susan for quite a while smile

Cue for a song? wink

Sara65 Thu 24-Oct-19 06:59:54

So much has changed, no chance of sibling bonding in our house. I wasn’t allowed in my mother’s room, I can remember hanging about on the landing, and the district nurse shooing me downstairs. After a first peak, I don’t think I saw him for a week.

wordy17 Thu 24-Oct-19 10:26:11

I don't remember my brother being born but I am only 2 years older than him, so not surprising. But I do remember my mother being pregnant with my sister when I was 6. My mother used to show us her tummy so that we could see the baby kicking, and I remember my mother breastfeeding my sister, too.
Many years ago when I was a young woman, I truly put my foot in it by talking to a young nephew about his pregnant mummy. Later on, I got told off because she hadn't told her. I wouldn't have said anything if I had realised they didn't want him to know, but I don't understand why these things weren't shared with the siblings.

Jeanlizzie Thu 24-Oct-19 10:31:34

My mum always told me that when her little brother was born she was clueless about it, she came home from school she was about 6 to see the doctor coming down the stairs and was told her mother had hurt her ankle, but to make her feel better the doctor had bought her a baby boy in his bag to make her feel better, mum was terrified for the first month's of her brothers life the doctor was going to appear to take him back and to another poorly lady

Fiachna50 Thu 24-Oct-19 10:32:16

Im the youngest, so no. smile

missdeke Thu 24-Oct-19 10:34:34

I was almost 4 and my sister just 5 when our brother was born. We knew a baby was coming but not much else as mum was in hospital for months beforehand and we were shipped off to grandmother's in Yorkshire for the duration. we travelled unaccompanied to Hull from London unaccompanied but with the guard keeping an eye out and making sure we got our connection at Doncaster. Lots of excitement for us and a new baby brother at the end of it all.

jaylucy Thu 24-Oct-19 10:42:46

I don't remember being aware that my younger brother was on the way, but as my mum was in hospital either due to or having given birth to him coincided with my first day at school - luckily we lived next door to my grandmother and my dad worked opposite our house so was around at lunchtime and I think we must have gone next door for tea!
5 years after that, I can remember my mum telling us all that we were going to be having a new baby brother or sister in January and remember felling a little annoyed - I liked being the middle one, and a girl between 2 boys! Though that changed when she arrived - it was quite a thing at school to have a baby sister as funnily enough 4 of my schoolfriends also had baby siblings born about the same time - must have been something in the water!

Elijah Thu 24-Oct-19 10:55:33

I'm the second youngest of nine and there are only 15 months between me and my younger sister so I don't know about our arrival for the elder children, but when I was having my children there are only three years between youngest and eldest so all too young to understand the coming of a new sibling. I think it's lovely to include the siblings but obviously you need to be careful with the older child possibly feeling pushed out.

Kartush Thu 24-Oct-19 10:58:28

I was 9 when my sister was born, and I knew for most of the pregnancy what was going on, we talked to the bump, called it little billy. I knew when my mam went to the hospital but was horrified when my dad took me to see the baby because little billy had turned into a girl. Not impressed. I remember telling my dad to take it back and get my brother.

RosesAreRed21 Thu 24-Oct-19 10:59:13

I was 7 when my brother was born. I was shipped off to an Auntie, Uncle and 2 cousins. I was put into a school temporary where I know no one and was bullied by a girl - my world was turned upside down. My dad came to visit a few times and was heartbroken when he went home again, especially when he told me I had a baby brother who I was desperate to see. My mum had my brother in a local maternity cottage hospital and was in there for 10 days and the only visitors that could go where the husbands. How times have change now eh!

petra Thu 24-Oct-19 11:07:36

I was very aware. I was 14 when my brother was born ( same day as Prince Andrew)
I was also very aware of the imminent birth as my father got me out of bed to help when my mothers waters broke.

RomyP Thu 24-Oct-19 11:27:25

I remember my mum being rushed out of house and me (aged 4) going to stay with neighbour, was because mum was having miscarriage, which I only learned years later. I'm sure my older siblings were only told once each new baby arrived safely. I told my daughter quite early on so she wouldn't be frightened when I was being sick so often and we'd read stories about new babies a lot to prepare her, my husband was working away from home a lot at the time so I was on own with toddler a lot. We bought a present for her to give the baby when it arrived and also one for the baby to give her, a present she treasured for many years as was from her little brother. I think most people nowadays do tell children a new baby is on the way but I think it's wise to wait till 16 weeks or even 20 if it's a mum who's had early miscarriages in the past. Thing is toddlers overhear a lot more than we think they do and other adults will casually comment to the mum about the new baby arriving, which I don't think was so commonly mentioned back in the 1950s, so they'd be very confused if not in on the happy news. I think is something that needs careful handling with gradual sharing of where the baby is as mum's body gets bigger. My daughter used to speak and sing to her new baby long before he arrived and was wonderful about the new addition once he was here.

Aepgirl Thu 24-Oct-19 11:31:41

I think it is very confusing for young children to be told they are going to have a new brother or sister so early in the pregnancy. The months leading up to the birth are an eternity to a young child, and I think they should be told only when the birth is imminent.

Blinko Thu 24-Oct-19 11:34:12

I was four when my younger brother arrived. I knew s/he was coming and wanted a sister. I called him Rosemary for the first six weeks of his existence in the hope he might become a girl...

I was thirteen when my dear sister did eventually put in an appearance. She's not called Rosemary.

inishowen Thu 24-Oct-19 11:34:55

My granddaughter was very involved in her mums pregnancy. She was five at the time. On going to the scan the doctor said "that's better than Santa isn't it?" Granddaughter replied "no Santa is better".

Humbertbear Thu 24-Oct-19 11:37:32

I was nearly four when my sister was born. I knew my mother was pregnant and remember sitting playing on the floor every afternoon while my mother had a sleep. One day she fell over my toys and I was very worried about the effect that might have on the baby.

jenni123 Thu 24-Oct-19 12:03:41

I was adopted and remember as a 5 year old being told a new baby was coming. each day I ran home from school to ask 'is she here yet?' and then one day as I went in I was told 'shhhh' and in the front room was a pram with a 6 month old sitting in it, she had bright ginger curly hair.