Let’s face it, having a new baby in the house is a big deal. It’s a big deal to the adults in the house and its a REALLY big deal to the other children. Being a big sibling can also feel like a RAW deal, especially if the you’ve been an only child. Even so, there is a new member of the family and everyone can pitch in. Give your older child responsibility for this new family member and reassure him that this baby will be a lifelong friend!
Ways to get an older sibling involved in the care of a newborn:
1. If older brother/sister is of age to enjoy a cape, secure one and make it the Super Sister/Super Brother cape. Super Sister to the rescue!
2. Make a diaper caddy that is at a height where a sister/brother can retrieve a clean diaper for mom or dad. How fast can you run to get the diaper? Let me time you! All time world record fastest time!
3. Implement daily snuggle/reading time where your older child gets to select all of his/her favorite books to “share” with baby. Offer to let him/her “read” to baby.
4. Buy a disposable camera so that big brother/sister can take pictures of the new baby (and other stuff). Make a photo album of pictures along with captions that you write together.
5. Allow big sister/brother to select baby’s clothes for the day, no matter how wacky.
Above all, validate your older child’s feelings. There may be times when the “helper” idea doesn’t cut it and that’s ok. A baby in the house is a huge change and it is completely normal for grumpy feelings to surface ( from everyone). Take a deep breath, give hugs and take a little extra time with your big kid.
Let Them Fly!