Advice from moms of 2+ for helping big sibling adjust to baby? — The Bump
October 2015 Moms

Advice from moms of 2+ for helping big sibling adjust to baby?

Moms of 2+, what are the biggest dos and donts for helping a new big bro/sis adjust to a new baby? What (if anything) will you do differently with this baby and your other children? DS is 2.5, but I'm sure a lot of your advice can apply to all age differences.
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Re: Advice from moms of 2+ for helping big sibling adjust to baby?

  • I think my biggest advice is to continue to spend one on one time with big brother. Sit down and read to him, play with him, and let him help. As hard as it is, don't anyways put the baby first. And involve big brother in as much as you can. I have never done the whole "gift from the baby" thing. My kids help me prepare for baby and they are just as excited as I am when baby gets here.
    CocoR04
  • I plan to keep things how I did when introducing DS1 and DS2.  Overall I want to keep their routine as familiar as possible and keep them included with things with their new sister.  When DS2 came into our lives I made sure that DS1 still got lots of me and him time.  So if that meant letting the dishes wait, or the laundry sit or the not vacuum so be it.  I found that making sure him and I still did our own thing and he got attention things went smoothly.  I also made a focus on him being my helper and a good big brother.  Things from helping pick out the baby's outfit for the day, getting me wipes/diaper, helping shake the bottle etc all made him feel important.  I want to do those things again with both boys.  DS1 had just turned 3 when DS2 came along and now DS2 will be just shy of 3 so I feel at least with DS2 things will be similar.  For DS1 I want to make sure we have some Mom and DS1 days were we just hang out and do "big boy" things so he doesn't feel left out as he is getting older and more aware of things.  Other than that I am just trying to not alter their lives and schedules too much.  I want our morning school routine to stay the same, our bedtime routine the same etc.  I'm sure it will be trial and error but to keep things as close to normal for them as possible will help us all. 


    CocoR04KiwiZ2
  • The biggest thing I can think of is do you best to maintain their routine. If they get bath, book and bed every night, make sure that doesn't change. Same thing with school or daycare. If possible, keep them doing what they are doing.

    Another thing is not to force them to be interested in their sibling. If they want to help out, find a way for them to age appropriately help, but if they are happy doing their own thing, making them help you only draws attention to the fact that you are busy with the baby. My MIL kept doing this with my son--she would make him stop playing to get me a diaper and "help" me change the baby, but this sort of thing just made things much more difficult. He was just two when she was born and was a very busy kid, so most times he just didn't really notice her.

    Be completely truthful and talk through what you are doing when you aren't able to give them the attention they need. For example, "I am feeding baby right now, but as soon as I am done I will play with you." Instead of just "I can't right now." We really stressed the idea of taking turns with mommy and it worked out pretty well. You just have to make sure you stick to it.

    Lastly, there will be a time that they both need your attention for whatever reason. You just need to accept that this is a fact of life and then basically triage the problems. Whoever needs you most gets you first and the other will have to cry/whine/fuss for a minute. I have found that they both calm down much quicker if you calm them down one at a time instead of trying to address both at the same time. What's hard to remeber in the moment is that it will not always be the baby that actually needs you first.
    CocoR04KiwiZ2
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