It’s precious to see your older child hug and kiss and adore their new sibling. Maybe your heart aches for a moment thinking of making space for a new child and wanting to love them both the same. Or maybe the older child is looking for room on a lap that’s already full of baby. Learning to share mama, venture into independent play and express feelings are all part of growing up.
Having a baby may feel like your other child has grown overnight. It’s common for siblings to show frustration and impatience when baby arrives – validate those feelings, remind them they are loved and refocus them to new tasks or challenges like crafts, games or puzzles. Here are some helpful tips for keeping siblings happy in the weeks after baby is born:
- Have ‘stations’ around the house, such as by the change table, nursing chair or kitchen, that can help your child get engaged when your hands are full. A box of lego, simple craft or game can give you the 10 or so minutes you need while staying attentive to your older child.
- Set up play dates with close friends and family. Nothing like an exciting outing to make a child feel special.
- Head outside for walks as much as possible. Pack that baby in a carrier or in a stroller and play outdoors. Fresh air is therapy for all of us.
- Prep snacks. If your kids are like mine, food packaged in little containers provides endless hours of excitement. Cut veggies, cheese cubes, fruit, crackers, noodles are excellent and easy snacks to have stocked in the fridge for quick outings or picnic lunches on the living room floor. And anyone can help you prep this – when friends or family drop by, ask them to take 15min to prep some snacks. Make sure you eat them as well – staying nourished and hydrated is key to sane motherhood.
- Carve out moments with your older child. Pass baby to another parent or friend so you can read a story or share bathtime with your child.
Ok, so next post “how to make time for mama when mama is working hard to keep it all together…”