When you start adding more kids to the bunch, sometimes it’s not as difficult when there are eager big brothers and sisters in the family dynamic. When I had my second child, only 14 months after having my first, obviously this wasn’t something I would even consider at that time. Now with my third (and last) child, having two extra sets of helping hands is at times a Godsend. It’s not that I am expecting or even wanting my older children to change diapers, but to have someone be able to help you in even the least bit is sometimes all you really need.
My new baby is only 8 weeks old, and already I can notice how much easier it is when I have two Mommy’s helpers to fetch me things when I need them most. Or if I want to step outside in my front yard to water my plants, I can have a little person come tell me that the baby is crying and needs his mommy, not having to tote around a baby monitor everywhere. I’ve learned not to “take advantage” so to speak, but rather to encourage them to want to help me, and never to have to feel burdened or guilty for not doing so.
My middle child is just a little over 3 years of age so she might not take as quickly to things as say her 4 ½ year old very mature big sister would. It’s also interesting to watch those nurturing instincts come out, especially if you have daughters. While both my children enjoy doting on their little brother, I notice my younger one is very patient and kind if he is distressed and crying. But the biggest sister makes up for it by helping me when I do venture outside the house, by singing to the baby in the car while sitting next to him if he needs some comforting.
Bath time is another way to incorporate the older ones helping out their mommy, but don’t be too surprised if initially they seem confused if their baby brother or sister is another gender than they are. Kids are naturally curious, and I’ve also found that with a new baby in my family I am starting to reminisce and remember my older children from the time back when they were babies. Having that small amount of help is a lifesaver in those moments when you are exhausted and just sat down—and the thought of getting back up to fetch a diaper sounds like torture. And when you think about it, there are a lot of baby talk lingo words your kids can learn once there is a baby in the household—so think of that as an added bonus. Aspirator, for example. Not exactly a word you hear every day.
For myself, I always make sure to be very nice when asking my children to do anything to help with their baby brother. And to my surprise I’ve found them wanting to help me even more. Which I keep in the back of my mind when my kids sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and ask me for things, at those times when I am dead asleep—finally. Or when you have multiple kids like I do, at times I find myself staying awake with them, and spoiling them with a little precious one-on-one time. They need it, and so do you.
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