You just had your second child and wonder how your older one can help take care of your new baby to not feel left aside?
As moms ourselves with 2 children, we can say we’ve been there and so we are happy to share a few tips with you.
We hope it’ll help!
Read stories together
Even newborns enjoy story time. Having your two (or more!) children participate and share this tender moment will not only create a beautiful bond between them but it will also leave wonderful memories. Depending on the age of your children, an older sibling can read to the newborn or (Cecile's favorite) read to your older child every time you feed your baby. This way, your older child will associated the frequent feeding times with a special moment for them as well.
Even if a newborn cannot participate (yet!) in playtime, all their senses are aware of their surroundings. They learn and get used to their environment. Playing with your older children with baby by your side is a great way to build their future bond and to teach them to play together from the start.
Ask your older to help you sooth the baby
If your baby’s crying, ask your older child to help. They can hold the baby’s hand or sing a lullaby. Surprisingly, hearing their older sibling’s voice can calm the baby right away. Sometimes, it may unfortunately not work depending on what’s bothering them. But that’s ok. Even if it didn’t work this time around, it may the next and in any case, your older one will feel like they are doing something important to help you and help the baby.
Ask your older to entertain the baby
You need to put a load of laundry or to fix dinner? As early as 3 years old, your older child can perfectly keep an eye on a baby for a few minutes. Of course, baby needs to be in a safe place and the instructions have to be clear on just watching or distracting the baby, but it will give your still young older one a sense of responsibility. They will be proud to know that you trust them. You can then congratulate them for a job well done!
Let your older help during bath time
Giving a bath to a newborn is such a sweet moment to share. While they mostly sleep during the day, this is a time for which they need to be awake and during which you can truly interact with them. It is also a great opportunity to have your older one get involved. They can hand you the baby’s washcloth, the soap, they can even help washing the baby’s feet.
They will feel like they are your little helper and that without them, you could just simply not do it.
Let your older help during diaper change
Same as bath time, diaper change is a great moment to have your older child be involved in the process. They can hand you the diapering lotion or even prepare the cotton pads for you. They can help wipe if the diaper is not too dirty or they can distract the baby while you proceed! In any case, they will feel involved and will love taking care of their little sibling and spending time with you.
When having a second child, it can sometimes feel like chaos. It is perfectly normal as all the family is adjusting to a new dynamic and you are already doing amazing! Despite the mess, it is also wonderful to see how your older one will enjoy getting involved. It will create a beautiful bond, not only between the siblings themselves but also between you and them. It will also help the older child feel like they haven’t been replaced but that they are now the "big" child, the one who can proudly help you!