How to Make Your Oldest Feel Special When the New Baby Arrives
I worried about how Liam would transition when he realized he was no longer going to be the only child. I included him every step of my pregnancy! I encouraged him to talk to Zora in my belly! I let him read bedtime stories to Zora and when we found out the gender, we told him first! Liam was excited to meet his sister! ￼
When baby Zora arrived Liam visited mommy and baby everyday. When we brought baby home, he was excited. Eventually the excitement wore off and turned into confusion. Some mornings he would wake up like, “why is she still here?” Despite that, overall Liam transitioned awesomely, well at least that’s what we thought.
4 months after Zora’s birth, Liam started to act out in school! It was evident that Liam felt left out. He started talking like a baby and even throwing massive tantrums when we had to give Zora more attention. I was overwhelmed with Zora and short tempered with Liam. I honestly felt like I was neglecting Liam. Being a mom of 2 was tougher than I fathomed. After 4 months of big brotherness I was confused as to why Liam started to act out. Why now? Wasn’t he use to his new sister?
Since parenting is all trial and error, I played around with ideas to make Liam feel just as important as his sister. The new adjustments seem to be working well for my family but don’t hold me to ANYTHING! It took a lot of “this and that” to get Liam back on track. (Call me Angel Soft because I’m on a roll🤷🏿♀️) Baby girl is only 6 months and as we all know, toddlers can’t be trusted! One day they want to play at your feet in the bathroom while you poop and the next minute they’re screaming at you because you cut their sandwich into squares. So basically what I’m saying is, “these new adjustments are working for now.” If anything changes I’ll let you guys know.
Picture taken from boredpanda.com
Since sharing is caring and I try to live by example for my kids; I’ll share the tips that have helped my family!
1. Let the oldest help with feedings.
Whether breastfed or bottle fed, you can always include the eldest child. For us, we allow Liam to get Zora’s bottles from the fridge. We also let him shake up the formula! Sometimes if I’m not pushed for time, I allow Liam to feed her with my assistance.
2. Give the oldest specific duties.
It’s Liam’s job to toss Zora’s diapers in her diaper genie. It’s also his job to find her favorite toy and sing to her when she cries. This makes him feel important! He’s positive that his rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Starsoothes her the best! I know this to be true because whether we’re in a grocery store or library, if Zora cries, Liam is somewhere near belting out Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
3. Find activities where both kids can bond.
Tummy time is an awesome way to kill two birds with one stone! Zora needs tummy time for her growth and development. Liam doing it with her gives him a fun task to do with his sister and gives Zora time to strengthen her muscles!
4. Whenever someone immediately coos over the new baby, show that same admiration to the oldest!
Everyone loves a cute baby! You already know when you enter a store, you and the baby are going to get lots of stares and “aws.” I notice that when people immediately gravitate towards Zora, it makes Liam feel left out! I make sure to always hug and kiss him and make him feel special too!
5. Talk with the oldest, explain to them that being an older sibling is the most special and important job anyone could have!
Everyone needs a little reassurance. I praise Liam for being such an awesome big brother. I take him on special mommy and son dates and I make sure to make him feel loved–because he is so loved.
Since including these tips, Liam and Zora have become closer! In fact, Liam is the only one that can make her laugh! I hope these tips help! Congratulations mama!