We have 4 children now and I don’t remember feelings of jealousy or neglect from the older ones. It may be because we didn’t have an only child for very long, so they’ve always had each other’s attention, not just my own. We view children as a blessing and gift from God, so it is always a happy time to have a new baby in our home. It’s an exciting thing that everyone looks forward to.
Some of the things we did before a new baby came was including our older children in all of the preparation. That could be:
- Getting the nursery ready
- Folding new clothes or burp cloths
- Getting their input on a name
Small things like this help kids remember that change is coming, especially if they are very young, and that they are still part of the team.. Helping with baby chores give older siblings a feeling of importance and something to contribute.
When the new baby came, we allowed them to:
- Always hold their small sibling
- Our youngest was bottle fed, so they helped feed her when they wanted to
- Get burp cloths, diapers, and wipes
- Bounce baby in the bouncer, but remember to always watch. A two year old is excellent at turning a bouncer into a catapult!
When the baby was occupied, I always made sure to give extra hugs, tickles, and love to each one of my children.
Remember, encouragement and a little attention go a long way at softening little hearts.
Do you have any advice for families that are growing? What was one thing you did that reminded your older children they were as important to you as before the new baby?