He woke up in the middle of the night and realized we weren’t home. There was crying and sadness at 2 am and lots of checking the garage and driveway for his daddy’s car and so when we did come back home with a new baby, he wasn’t entirely sure about her.
Today, 6 1/2 months later he says she’s one of his best friends and asks me daily when she will play with him and talk to him. I catch him running up the stairs to show her a toy or randomly tell her something and I see her smile as he wakes up and lies with her every morning. Most recently I overheard him telling her not to cry; “i’ll protect you”he promised.
Their love has been a beautiful journey and it’s such a joy to watch.
I’ll share 5 practical tips on bringing home a new baby:
1) Don’t sweat the small stuff. Life will undoubtedly get busier and you will have to let go of the small things in order to make time for the bigger, more important things. I no longer have time to ensure every hotwheel is in its designated area but that leaves me with extra time to play with my 3 year old.
2) One-on-One time. Ensure that each child is getting quality time every single day. That means no distractions, and putting their need in perspective for that specific period of time. In the beginning I had to mentally schedule it to ensure it was actually happening..now its become much more routine.
3) Don’t judge. Don’t label any regressions your children have as “mean” or “bad”. They can internalize those words and take them personally. This can leave them with feelings of rejection. Instead, look for the root causes of the behaviors you don’t like and act on the things which trigger them.
4) Encourage your children to talk to you. Expressing their feelings is essential to coping with any major life change and yes, adding another member to your family is a major change.
5) Allow older siblings to be involved. Give your children the opportunity to take ownership of their sibling, allow them to express love gently, foster a sense of trust towards them when they are dealing with the new baby and encourage them to talk to the baby. They can also help bringing you wipes, pampers, etc and feeling included in actions pertaining to the new baby.