Don’t be afraid to let your other children be involved with your newborn. In fact, it will help make your transition much smoother and begin important close relationships. Always be warm and excited about letting them be involved with the new baby. Redirect their interactions and teach them alternative ways to be with the baby if they get too rough. Here are a few great ways that your child can help with the new baby:
- Teach your child to give soft hugs and kisses. Allow them to hold the new baby as much as possible.
- Teach them how to set up play areas for the baby with blankets and toys. Then teach them how to play with the new baby by holding up colorful toys and moving the toys around for the baby to see.
- Ham up the good moments they have with the new baby. Vocalize to them about how the baby is watching them and how much the baby loves them when the baby is staring or cooing at them.
- Let your child assist with diaper changes by gathering supplies, singing to the baby, wiping an only-wet bottom, carrying dirty diapers to the trash, and doing up buttons and zippers on the baby’s clothes when finished.
- Let them get into the bathtub with your newborn (with supervision of course) and put them in charge of washing the baby’s tummy and toes.
- Let your child feed the baby a bottle, pat their back for burping, and wipe up baby drool.Talk to your older child endlessly or read to them while you feed the baby.
- Laugh together at the silly moments. Giggle with your child when your baby makes funny noises or faces. Explain that the baby can’t control their bodies yet and laugh with them when little feet and hands make contact with you.
- Teach them to make eye contact with the baby, repeat cooing noises, and make faces that the baby enjoys. Teach them to hold hands with the baby, rub the baby’s back softly, and tickle their little toes. Teach them APPROPRIATE ways to interact with the baby.
Basically, through doing these things, you are setting up their relationship and teaching your older child ways to become closer with the baby. By letting them be involved they see the new baby as a FAMILY affair, and not just something that takes mommy away. You can help them feel big, confident, and capable, by allowing them to use their abilities to help. They will feel more in control of the changing situation. With practice and time they will come to love and protect their new little sibling.