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November 02, 2021
When preparing for the arrival of a second baby, moms know that they will have to navigate the murky waters of splitting time and attention between the older sibling and the newborn…but there is another relationship that must be nurtured—the bond between the two siblings, and it can often seem easier said than done.
Taking care of your wee babe takes so much work…how do you make sure your older child weathers the transition without feeling as though they’ve become second fiddle to the screaming bundle in the bassinet?
We have good news for you—nurturing a loving relationship between your toddler and newborn is possible. We’ve gathered 3 tips and tricks that will make spreading the love between your children a little easier.
It’s never too early to start introducing your soon-to-be older sibling to the idea of a new baby and what that means for life as they know it. In the weeks and months leading up to delivery spend time going through your older child’s baby book with him or her. Remind them of all the things they couldn’t do when they were new to this world—they couldn’t talk, didn’t have teeth, cried (sometimes a lot), and required lots of extra help. But look how big they are now!
Books are another great way to help older siblings understand what is going happen. The New Baby by Mercer Meyer walks readers through the joys and frustrations of living with a newborn.
Many moms have said a simple change in the way they refer to the baby makes a big change in the attitude of the older sibling. Instead of referring to the baby as “mine”, try using “his”, “her”, or “our”…
Calvin can’t wait to introduce you to his baby.
Why don’t we put our baby down for a nap?
This simple swap is more inclusive and helps older children understand the baby isn’t something that belongs to Mom…he or she is a new member to “our” family.
One of the most frustrating experiences for older siblings is feeling as though Mom or Dad is choosing the needs of the infant over their own. When parents are forced to stop reading a book or playing a game with big brother or sister to tend to a fussy baby, it’s easy for resentment to grow.
Wearing your baby in a ring sling eliminates this situation altogether. When baby is tucked up close to your heart, you’re able to soothe right away, reducing the number of crying jags an infant experiences. And you can cuddle and nurture your wee babe while reading a book or playing a game with your older child.
It’s natural for firstborn children to feel uncertain about the new kid in town as their identity suddenly shifts from mama’s baby to mama’s big boy or girl. The good news is, with a little forethought, time, and intention you will be able to support your big kid as they learn their new place in your growing family.
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