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Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. All right.
Hello everyone and welcome to this episode, I am excited to be joined by one of the slumber squad members Catherine Fili pediatric sleep coach here at tiny transitions, who is based in Dallas, Texas, and is going to talk to us all about how she introduced to her son that she was having twins, she wanted to make sure it was a smooth transition when adding a sibling into the mix. And so we are so excited to be chatting with her today. So Catherine, first of all, thank you so much for joining me and tell us a little bit more about your beautiful family. I know about them. But you certainly would love to share I’m sure a little bit about the crazy past couple years and how you introduce your twins to your beautiful baby boy.
Yeah, so I have seven month old twins and I have an almost three year old. And so I had been going to different parties with just my one son. And I kept noticing if I was holding a baby, or if I was over paying attention to another child, that he would literally crawl between my legs and just throw a fit. Or if he could get close enough to try to hit the baby. So I tried doing research out there on how to introduce a new sibling to a child and there wasn’t a lot. I mean, there’s, there’s books and stuff like that. And so I just kind of came up with this idea where I went out on eBay and bought I think it’s called a reborn baby, it looks like a real baby because I didn’t want it to be like a cap Cabbage Patch. And then all of a sudden, my kids like that baby didn’t look like Cabbage Patch. I bought a reborn doll and I started carrying it around the house when I was at home. And I would do things so that if I sat down, he’d be like Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, and I would hold the baby, we’d get up and go and do these things. And I started to notice he was at first hitting the fake baby. And I’m glad it was a big baby because we got a feeling and kind of work through his emotions. And then once after a couple of weeks of like carrying around the baby. And every time I sat down and he asked for something, I would immediately get up and go and do it. He realized, this baby isn’t taking away from me. Now we all know when the baby comes. It’s not the same situation. But he doesn’t know that. So we started doing things like we would go put the baby to bed and we would go in and say goodnight to him. And afterwards, I mean almost three weeks, we were finally we were a happy kid, we weren’t mean to the baby, and practice or to bring in toys for the baby. And so it was just a really good transition. And I tried to do this about five, six weeks before my due date, because I was early last time and I didn’t know how much timeframe I had. But obviously, the sooner the better in my opinion.
Yeah, I think that’s great. And one of the things you talked about was the emotional roller coaster right that children go through, especially at the age of three, right? They’re exerting their independence, they want to be in control, but they still probably would crawl back inside the womb, at least I know my kids would have at that time, right? If they could. And so there’s that attachment to a parent where they’re going, Hey, I’m an only child, and you’re holding the baby. And that means like, not good for me. Right. And you had talked about talking through emotions, like give some examples of maybe some of the outbursts that he had, and then your response to what that situation was just to help parents. I think sometimes we all get in that situation where, you know, you can kind of go in one direction or another with it, you know, don’t hit that baby. Or, you know, maybe that wasn’t a wise choice, because we could hurt the baby, right? Like, what were some of the learning opportunities you had with him? Because I always think it’s good to share, because sometimes I go, Ooh, that’s a great idea. I should have done that, you know?
Yeah, no problem. So one of the things that I like to do is, I would hold the baby during something, I knew that he wanted to do like playing with cars or something. And when I would hold the baby Turner, no, mommy. And so I would kind of squat down and get I level with him and be like, Well, you know, I have to hold your brother, can he play to him? And of course, at the beginning, the answer was always No. And so then every now and then sometimes I would get smart, and I would have a toy with our little car with me. So if we were playing cards, and like your brother got you a car, and all of a sudden the brother was getting present. And so that made a really happy transition after that. But sometimes if it was just a total meltdown, I would just say, you know, why have mommy has to hold your brother? And is there something else that maybe we can do? And sometimes he would give me a solution like well let’s let’s go put him to bed. And so granted, that’s not always going to be a solution when they’re actually here, but I would let him get away with that sometimes that we will go and put the baby to bed, and then he knew he had 100% of mommy time. So I did a couple of different things. I tried doing some gifts. Feeling and emotions. Obviously with a three year old, the logic part of that part of his brain isn’t fully gotten there. And then putting the baby to bed. Like I said, I always tried to do whatever actually would do with a real baby with that baby. So we went through a whole nighttime routine where we would go put him down.
That’s great. And I know, with the reborn babies, I was googling them after we were talking. And there’s a whole bunch of different ones, some that are actually kind of freaky, because they do look so real. And so you had mentioned you got one that was crying, which is probably accurate for the first couple of weeks of a newborns life that are sleeping. But I think it’s interesting because they do make so many different faces, and like shapes, and they look so realistic. So it’s one of those where, you know, they’re gonna look and not be turned off to your point that you’re holding like a Raggedy Ann doll and be like, what the hell that thing is, nothing isn’t real, you know. So I think that that is smart. And then size wise, the baby seemed to look right, like relatively close to what a newborn would be. I mean, I think my daughter was about 24 inches, like, it’s pretty lifelike, right?
Oh, it’s 100% Live, like in fact, when I opened the box and saw the big baby in there, the hardest could have been skips out and you know what, that TV but it’s so nice, like, all the parts of the baby are anatomically correct. So even if you change the baby, it looks like a real baby. That’s
fascinating to me. So I’m gonna get one of those for my own self. I am not having any more kids that Saw Shop was sealed up, but to do some videos and stuff, and then I can talk a little bit more about it. But I would love any other insight you have because you’re a twin mom. And you’ve got mom of multiples, if you will. And like three under three, I mean, you’ve hit all this sort of groups of parenting like what advice would you give to a parent who’s like in your situation, right? They have one and now they’re having to my best friend Allison had one and then she had to and it’s it’s a different, you know, dynamic cuz you’re not just adding one, you’re adding two. And so, you know, what advice would you give to those listening who are in that same situation,
I mean, going from one to two, or one to three is like going from one to 20. It’s a completely different ballgame, because you don’t have 100% of your time. So I just build up your village, my parents moved closer, I had extra help that I knew about. And the more I would say, make sure you have set aside time with your first child, they don’t ever feel completely left out. Do special one on one days, maybe once a month, maybe every other month, or make sure the grandparents do a special day with them. Because when that new kid comes in, or kids in my case, you know, it takes up more of your mommy time and they just need to really feel important. And you want to make sure that they know that they’re still number one with you, too.
Yeah, no, I think that’s great. It’s It’s important because they do feel that sense of immediate, like, you’re getting tossed out the door. I know that with my kids, it was like you’re trying to introduce like, do you want to help with the diaper? And it can even be things that are little tasks that are totally useless as it relates to the newborn, but it’s like, hey, do you think you could go get me a tissue? Do you think you could go grab me a pencil or set you down? I mean, it was like little basic things where I’m like, hey, do you think you could hold the stroller for a minute, which is totally locked? While mommy gets something? You know? And then like, yeah, yeah, okay, I got it. I think just building up that independence. One of the things that we started when we did move to two was date nights. So to your point, like every other week, we do a different date night with a different kids. So essentially, once a month, my husband goes on a date with one and I go on a date with one and then the next month, we switch and I go on a date with the other and he goes on a date with the other and maybe like my husband took my daughter to get a blooming onion at Outback because that’s what they wanted to do one night, the night I took her on her date, we went to paint pottery and of course she picks like the $90 unicorn, but whatever, it’s your date night pick whatever you want. And you know, and that was cool. She made a piggy bank and you know, My son, they go mini golfing, like I think just even those little things like I was thinking this weekend, like, you know what, maybe I’ll take them to the park with a picnic basket. And we’ll just play and eat sandwiches for dinner. You know, like, I think just trying to keep them feeling supported and not totally like left out of the whole situation is important at any age, you know, as they grow they’re also different and it’s tiring, I can’t you know, I have to and I’m tired I you know, and even having three and working full time like it’s hard and you try to balance it as a parent to not want to fly off the handle. Like I know, sometimes I do. And then I’m like sometimes, like that’s not the appropriate response. Let’s talk about the behavior. And other times I’d like to upstairs you psychos. You know,
we all have the moments but one last thing I would say is I had always seen a lot of siblings that rival each other. So I try really, really, really hard not to compare. Well your brother does this so your sister does that. And then the other thing I also do is Give your brother kits and give your sister a kit. They’re saying goodbye, give them a hug. And I tried to instill that, that love for the other kid. And so now he came and go to bed without saying goodnight to brother and sister.
Oh, that’s sweet. We started doing three awesomes in one not awesome about a month ago. And every night at dinner, we sit down and say what are our three items for the day? And what is one not awesome? And I think it’s another way to get into, you know, if he was feeling a sense of like, what was not awesome today mommies, I didn’t get to play with you, you know, and you’re like, Oh, darn, okay. And it can draw you into thinking like, well, maybe tomorrow I need to spend a little more time with this one or that one? Because they’re, they’re communicating with you in a way that you’re not even realizing it by just asking what your three awesomes and whatnot or somewhere you know, so that’s another little trick just because he is starting to get older that you know we do with my kids. And that’s I just think it’s such a great thing, because my husband does that I do and we all sit there and talk through, you know, and sometimes I’m surprised at what their options are. And what they’re not awesome is our so it’s definitely a good, a good exercise. But I know you have so much amazing support, and you’re amazing in and of itself. And so if anybody has any questions who’s listening to this, or is expecting twins or wants to work with a sleep coach Catherine’s based in Dallas, Texas, but she works with folks all over the world and has twins, and has a toddler and is super awesome at what she does. So if you’re a twin mama expecting and you’re like, you know what, I think I need to chat with somebody who gets it. She’s your girl. So definitely thank you for jumping on today. And I hope you have a beautiful rest of the day. And I hope that all of you out there who’s struggling with little ones or who may be feeling a little bit of anxiety with that older one. Knowing that some siblings are coming, you can use this to your advantage. So thank you very much Katherine, and I hope you have a beautiful rest of the day.
Hold on one more thing before you go. As a valued listener of the kids sleep show. I want to help you build a great sleeper not just in the times you’re listening to the show. But all day every day. Every week of the year. I have a new Facebook group called slumber Made Simple. It’s a place together with other parents looking for sleep support, laughs and the latest in sleep research to build a family that is rested and at their best day in and day out. If you want to be part of the community where you can get free sleep support, weekly training sessions, unbelievable fun tips and so much more. Head on over to tiny transitions.com forward slash community. That’s tiny transitions.com forward slash community or head over to Facebook and search lumber Made Simple. drop me a note and let me know when you join. I can’t wait to see you there.