Siblings: How They Can Help With Babies
Sibling relationships are one of the most important and formative relationships in a person’s life. Not all children, however, are immediately receptive to the idea of a new sibling. It can be a difficult transition for children of any age to have a new person suddenly receiving all of their parent’s attention. Thankfully, by using a few tips and tricks before and after the baby arrives –– you can help an older sibling not only cope with a new baby, but even help you out once in a while.
Introducing an Older Sibling to a New Baby
Start Preparing Before Baby Arrives
During pregnancy, you should begin teaching your child about the journey of pregnancy in simple terms that they can understand. You can even try reading them books about childbirth that are age-appropriate. Allow them to ask any questions they may have, and respond appropriately.
For some children, it can take a while for them to become interested in the idea of a new sibling. However, once they begin showing signs of curiosity, you can show them photos of themselves when they were a baby –– or photos of you while you were pregnant with them. Other ways you can do to get them excited about a new sibling include picking out baby clothes and toys, and choosing a baby name together.
Bringing New Baby Home
Whether your child meets their sibling in the hospital or at home is completely up to you. The first meeting should ideally include only the parents, in order to reinforce this moment as an intimate family event. Once the baby is home, you should attempt to keep the older sibling’s routine as regular as possible, so that the change does not feel as drastic. Although it is normal to want to focus all of your attention on your newborn, it’s still important to spend quality time with your other children.
Should Older Siblings Help With Younger Siblings?
It has long been debated whether or not big brothers and sisters should be responsible for caring for their younger siblings. While it is okay to let your child help with a younger sibling, it should never be forced or seen as an obligation. This can quickly lead to a lot of stress or even resentment from the older sibling. There are however, many healthy ways that older children can help out and even contribute positively to their sibling’s development over time.
10 Ways an Older Sibling Can Help With a New Baby
There are a plethora of simple tasks that older siblings can do in order to help and bond with a new baby. Here are 10 simple and fun ways that kids and even toddlers can help to feel included.
- Combing Hair - Teaches them how to be gentle with baby
- Choosing an Outfit - Helps them express themselves
- Putting on Socks - Can be tricky for toddlers but gets easier with practice
- Fasten Bib - Putting on a bib is great for motor skills
- Make Bottles - Even toddlers can help their parents prep a bottle with a simple push of a button using the Baby Brezza Formula Pro Advanced
- Clean Bottles - Clean up is a breeze with the One Step Bottle Sterilizer + Dryer
- Prepare meals - Have them cut soft fruit with a dull knife, then easily make baby food with the One Step Baby Food Maker from Baby Brezza
Nap Time/ Bedtime
- Help Swaddle - Older kids can help put on a velcro swaddle
- Join In - Take naps together
- Kiss Goodnight!
Bringing a new baby home should always be a joyful and exciting experience, even if it isn’t your first. When it comes to big brother or sister, it is important to understand that a little jealousy is completely normal. However, this can be mitigated with the help of these tips and countless other resources available to new parents. Baby Brezza is here to help you navigate the early years of parenting multiple children.