The newborn phase is nothing short of all-consuming. Add an older sibling or two to the mix? And Mama will definitely be feeling pulled in many directions from time to time. Being intentional about the time you dedicate to baby’s big sister or brother will benefit everyone- including baby! Here are a few tips for connecting with your older child after bringing baby home.
Special Feeding Toys
Whether your breastfeeding or bottle feeding, you will be spending a large amount of time feeding the little babe. Older siblings are sure to get bored and antsy when this happens multiple times a day, day after day. So think ahead! Keeping certain toys or activities that only come out during feeding time will sure to keep siblings entertained. Search “busy boxes” or “busy bags” on Pinterest and you’ll find a plethora of great ideas!
Carve Out Special Time
It’s not easy. But it’s essential. Bringing baby home is a huge transition for everyone- especially older siblings. They are used to being the center of attention, and having that shift can be difficult. So as hard as it is, be sure to set aside time for one-on-one with brother or sister. Be intentional! The more you plan ahead, the more likely it is to happen. Be sure to plan games and activities, but also to just spend down time together and let your older child choose the activity!
Help Baby and Sibling Connect
This can be a challenge. Especially with certain personality types. But the better bonded siblings are, the more harmony the whole house will feel. Encourage gentle touches. Do things all together- sing songs, read books, grab the double stroller for a walk… anything that bonds you all as a group. Help your older child by saying things like “Oh, baby really likes when you spin around like that!” and “You are such a great big brother!” – encourage your older child to take pride in their big sibling status! You can foster this by asking for age appropriate help. Big kids may love retrieving diapers, rubbing on lotion, or helping you hold the bottle. Things may take longer to accomplish, but if you are all bonding then it’s worth the extra few minutes!
You can’t do it alone. That’s just asking for a mental health breakdown. Dad is your #1 go-to- He can spend time bonding with baby while you put your focus on your older child. Beyond dad, look to grandparents, friends, or a hired hand. Don’t be afraid to ask. And sometimes paying someone is the quickest way to peace of mind. Especially someone trained in newborn care, so you know baby is well taken care of and you can truly put your focus on your older child!
Help from Hush Hush Little Baby is a Client Application away! Happy family bonding!