A new baby in the family is a joy for everyone. But the reality is that babies also change the dynamics of a family. Whether you are first-time parents, or have older children who are also welcoming the new baby, everyone's roles are changed. If you have older children, there is an opportunity for a special sibling bond to develop with their new tiny baby brother or sister. But, depending on the ages of your older children, there is also potential for the older child or children to feel jealousy, confusion, and anger. But there are some concrete things you can do to help encourage positive interactions with all of your children.
- Have a basket of special toys for your older child that only comes out at certain times.
2. Give special tasks to older child to help out
It is essential that your older child feel that they are part of welcoming your new baby too. If you can come up with a special role for them to do, they won't feel excluded. Some ideas of things they can do are helping throw the laundry in the washer, and they can also help out with dishes. They can also help out with diaper changes. You may be surprised how fascinated they will be with diaper changes!
3. Give them a gift from baby
Some people suggest picking out a small toy to give to your older child, as a gift from the baby. Other good things to do? Help your older child pick out a gift for the baby, to set the seeds for a loving and appreciative relationship. It might also not be a bad idea to have some other small toys on hand to give to older sibling in case people bring a gift for your baby, but neglect to bring one for your older child. You can easily avoid this situation by reminding people that if they want to bring a gift, not to forget older brother or sister.
4. Greet your older child before the baby
This is a simple request that you can make to other family members and friends. When your older children are acknowledged before baby, they won't feel left out. After all, how would you feel if you were constantly being passed over for someone else?
A new baby in the home brings special joys and challenges, but if you are patient and empathetic, there is an opportunity for a wonderful deep loving relationship to develop between your baby and older children. There's definitely enough love to go around! To this day, it is heart warming to see them together and to watch their deep bond grow through the years. Being an integral part of making that a reality is so precious and such an honor. In fact, the plan for sibling project for my second set of IP's is in the works. Hopefully 2016 will bring a second child into their home and make her a big sister!