So the Royal’s have a new baby and Prince George is now a big brother. On the back of this, day time TV seems to be focusing on siblings. There’s a lot of talk about introducing a new baby to the family without putting the older sibling’s nose out of joint! And so I thought I’d jot down what we did.
I don’t think we got it spot on. I don’t think we’re the experts and I certainly think there are many, many more ways to do this. By no means do I think that these work for everyone, but they seemed to work for our family.
◇ When they first meet, don’t be holding the baby
I read this online before I had our 2nd baby. Once you have the baby and your eldest comes to visit, its all very new and can be unsettling, have your arms free to give them a big hug. Physical reassurance before they meet the baby is very important.
This was particularly relevant for us. I had a c section so when my eldest came to the hospital, he was a little overwhelmed. He’d never seen me in hospital. And seeing me looking so rough(!) with medical paraphernalia visibly shocked him. He needed reassurance I was ok and there for him before he could comprehend his new baby brother.
• Show your older child photos of them as a baby and tell them stories of when they were a baby.
This can be reassuring to them when they see that they were cared for in the same way as the new baby.
◇ Involve them where possible
My eldest son was 4 when baby arrived and he was able to help in some ways. He’d get nappies and wipes for me, hold the nappy bag, smile and sing baby a song when he was crying.
◆ Praise them
When they do help, say thank you. Tell them what a good big bro/sis they are being.
• Talk to the baby about their brilliant big sibling
This works particularly well when your bigger child is just around the corner listening but you pretend you don’t know they are there… if that makes sense? The bigger child will learn that out of site isn’t out of mind and that they are loved.
◇ Give lots of cuddles
Hugs make everyone feel better.
• Make some time for the two of you
1 on 1 time with the bigger child is really important.
Got any more tips that worked for you? Add them as a comment!