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Isabel Oli Worried About Feather As An Ate: 'Baka Mahirapan 'To, Baka Mainggit'
  • A new addition to the family may be exciting for the parents, but it’s not always the case for older siblings. When celebrity mom Isabel Oli found out she was expecting another baby, she worried about how her firstborn, Feather, would take it.

    Isabel is not the first parent to feel this way — it's a common dilemma that moms in our Facebook group, Smart Parenting Village, face, and they often ask for tips on how to introduce a new baby to older siblings.

    We caught up with Isabel at the "Smart Parenting Masterclass: Toddler Expertips" held in partnership with Nido 3+ at the Books and Borders Café last October 26, 2019. We asked her how she prepared her daughter, Feather, for her new role as an ate.

    How did you tell Feather that another baby was on the way?

    “Actually, siya ang unang nakaalam. Publicly, hindi pa namin i-na-announce, and even sa family. Siya ang una naming sinabihan,” Isabel shares in an exclusive interview with SmartParenting.com.ph. "[I said,] there's a baby in my tummy. At first, she was confused. 'Huh? Why is he there?'"

    While Feather appeared to be okay with the news, Isabel admits that she and her husband, John Prats, still worried about their little girl. “Nasanay siya for two years na siya lang mag-isa. So, [naisip namin], baka mahirapan to, baka mainggit,” she shares.

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    Even Isabel’s OB-GYN advised the couple to pay attention to Feather while Isabel was pregnant and during the first few months after giving birth. “My OB said, buntis ka, pero dapat lagi ninyong unahin si Feather kasi si Feather may isip na,” Isabel recalls. “Si Freedom, hindi pa niya maiintindihan ‘yan, so unahin ninyo muna ‘yung isa. For a period of time lang naman.”

    How did you prepare Feather for the arrival of her baby brother?

    Isabel shares that it seems Feather’s ate instinct took over the moment she found out that her mom was pregnant. “She loves her baby brother, sobra,” Isabel shares.

    The mom of two thinks it helped that she and John involved Feather with everything while Isabel was pregnant. “Kapag nagpapa-check-up kami, we try na isama siya,” she shares. “Medyo nawi-weirdohan siya noong una. Hindi niya naiintindihan, pero involved siya sa lahat.”

    When Isabel was put on bed rest because of her delicate pregnancy, Feather chose to stay by her side. “Almost six months akong naka-bed rest. Nandun lang siya sa tabi ko. She knows I cannot bathe her, kasi mawawala si baby, ‘yun ang sinasabi namin sa kanya,” Isabel says. “Dun pa lang siguro, nag-grow na rin [siya]. ‘Gusto ko ng baby, baka mawala siya,’ so sige, nag-adjust siya.”

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    How did you reassure Feather that you loved her the same even with a new baby?

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    When Freedom was born, Isabel and John made sure to balance giving their kids attention. For the first six months, she and her husband would take turns taking Feather out on a date, just mommy or daddy with ate.

    “Dadalhin namin siya sa isang kids area, siya lang talaga. Natakot kami [baka mainggit kay Freedom], but hindi pala. It’s a case-to-case basis. Iba-iba ang mga bata,” Isabel shares.

    Isabel is glad that Feather and Freedom have a close relationship, and notes that ate is very protective of her baby brother. “She knows na baby brother niya ‘yan, hindi mo pwede hiramin ‘yan,” Isabel says with a laugh.

    She adds, “Kapag morning, mag-go-good morning ‘yan sa lahat. Pero kay Freedom, [she’ll say] ‘good mooorning’ [with a sweet tone] and naka-smile.”

    “Eto pala ang sinasabi nila kapag babae ‘yung eldest, iba. Ate talaga,” she says.

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