Friday, November 4, 2016

How To Help Siblings Adjust To New Baby

One of my biggest fears about having a new baby was being outnumbered by my kids. Knowing that I was going to be pulled in 3 different directions and that each sibling was going to outdo each other. I'm a red head, and I don't have the longest fuse and can often feel overwhelmed easily and just the idea of being outnumbered FREAKED ME OUT! So what is a new mom to do with the demands of 3 kids?

Not going to lie, it was a bit rocky in the beginning with the 3 of them. I would hideout in my room with Elyse so I wouldn't get overwhelmed and we had people here to help meet the boys needs. But when it was up to me and I was all on my own, I didn't do too bad. We made it work. We all survived, and the house didn't burn down! It might of been a mess but we still survived. So here are my 5 tips to help with the transition for older siblings.

1) Talk about the new baby with your older children before the baby arrives. Let them know that a new baby is coming and things are going to change and be different. We actually watched the Daniel Tiger Episode about new baby Margaret joining the Tiger family. Those 3 episodes helped teach the changes that happen and even how Daniel had to be patient when wanting to talk to his parents but baby Margaret needed their attention.

2) Try to spend alone time with the kids after baby arrives. Your older child/children will want attention from you too. They might act out against you just to get your attention. That is what #2 did for us. Collin, we nicknamed him Gremlin after Elyse arrive, because he was always causing problems, on purpose! It was so frustrating but all he wanted to my attention again. And when I would snuggle with him, without sister he just loved it.

3) Have the older sibling be a mommy's helper. Give your older kids a job to do to help you around the house. Most siblings feel really awesome when they are a big brother or big sister because THEY ARE THE BIG ONE around the house. Giving them a job or duty to help with makes them feel extra special. And they will more than likely be excited to help out, most of the time at least!

4) Teach them boundaries and limits to the baby. If your kids are like mine, they want to be around the new baby ALL THE TIME! Which might not be the safest. If they are sick or if they don't know how to act gently around the baby they will need to be talked to for sure for the safety of the baby. Mason gets it. To be gentle and soft. He is 5. Collin is only 2, and I have to constantly remind him he has to be gentle and soft. He has almost fallen on her twice though just because he doesn't get it. So be diligent about safety and teaching safety to the older kids. Tell them that it is their big brother/sister duty to make sure that their new baby brother or sister is safe at all times!

5) Always show them love. All of them, no matter what. It is easy to yell and scream and get upset when the older kids don't listen. When they don't clean up their dinosaurs on the ground and you step on the T-Rex for the 5th time that day. Or when thy fight with each other. They are going through a big change too, and if you show them love they will respond so much better and there "should" be more peace in your house. I have to separate the boys sometimes when they are just picking on each other and being brothers. But always try to approach them with love and less screaming and yelling. It is a work in progress for me, but I am trying.

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