I was very worried when about to have Ember. People told me things like....
-Ty is going to get so jealous
-He will throw temper fits
-He will most likely not like the baby right away
-He will feel left out
yada yada yada
Seriously thinking my son would hate our new baby girl. . .Or that I would not be able to give him the proper attention he would need. So I started doing some research on how to prevent these things. Well Ember is now 5 months old and they are already GREAT friends. Ty adores Ember. So much in fact he tells me he loves her the most.
A few ways I encourage friendship.
Lets start from the beginning. .
While pregnant I would talk about the baby with Ty. (note: Ty was very young still while I was pregnant with Ember, for older siblings you could get more in depth about the pregnancy). But I would say things like
"Ty are you so excited to have a little sister"
"She is going to be your little sister"
"Ty, we love the baby so much huh!"
"Are you so excited to hold the baby?!"
"Ty did you know there is a baby in mommy's belly"
I would also let Ty feel my stomach when Ember would kick, then say things like
"Ty, thats the baby saying hi to you"
"She loves you so much and can't wait to see you"
At night while reading books I would tell Ty that we are also reading to the baby. He would sit on my side (mostly because my belly was so big that he couldn't fit on my lap) and he would hold the book and point to things as if trying to show the baby.
It worked very well for us. Ty constantly said "baby baby baby" always pointing to my stomach and jumping up and down.
We also tried to expose him to other babies. When we saw a couple with a baby at church or while we were out we would point to it and say
"Ty thats a baby, were going to have a baby soon"
I also thought it was great to have Ty come to the hospital to see the baby. (obviously once the craziness ended). Letting him see her at the hospital and not just surprising him at home was somehow more special.
The moment Ty saw his baby sister. You could see it in his eyes. He loved and adored her. He knew that she was apart of our family and was very special. He knew this little girl was our baby, the one we had been so excited to welcome into the world.
They were teasing each other so early.
We didn't want Ty to be afraid of the new baby. We didn't want him to think she was weird or that he couldn't be around her. So one of the first things we did was have him hold her. Telling him that she is our baby and that she loves him.
He soon wanted to hold her and kiss her all the time. With toddlers they don't really know how to be soft...at least Ty didn't. So that was the next thing we worked on. When he would hold her we would stroke her cheek and say "soft baby". We also didn't want him kissing all over on her face...germs and newborns are not good....So we made it fun for him to kiss her head and stomach.
He got very protective very fast. I started to notice him not wanting other people to hold her. Mom and Dad were obviously ok. But when aunts and uncles and cousins would come around he would get very cautious of them and how close they got to her. Even standing guard as she slept.
I like to start each morning with Ty getting some one on one time. I think this puts him in a good mood for the rest of the day. It can be as easy as laying the baby down and eating breakfast together..or reading his favorite book.
I love to let Ty help take care of Ember.
I always ask Ty to go get babies diaper....He runs to get it so excited. He usually likes to un-button her onesie. Then throw the diaper away once we are done. The task seems to take twice as long, but he is so excited to help and feels so accomplished.
This one can be tricky since its dangerous. However I think it safe to have the sibling wipe the baby down a little. Or squeeze the shampoo out -as long as they know what a little means-
Once Ember is out of the bath he helps me dry her off. Then I usually have two outfits out and ask him what one baby should wear.
So this one im not going to lie is still hard for us. I am nursing and can't exactly let Ty "hold the bottle"...but if you do bottle feed I think its a great idea to let the sibling help hold the bottle. I usually tell Ty to tickle her feet..or try to have a special toy or activity out for him to do while Ember is nursing.
Give your child ideas.
One day I was trying to get ready and Ember was screaming...Ty was being wild and I was running late.
I told him to go get a book and read it to her..
Now when Ember starts to cry he will often pick up a book and babble to her and point to the pictures so she can see...She LOVES it.
Encourage time together.
Ember watches baby Einstein, but Ty wants to watch Cars....
I always tell him that he should watch the show with baby and make sure she likes it.
Then I let him watch Cars and tell him "ok now it's your turn, and thank you so much for letting baby watch her show, she loved it so much!"
I am definitely not the worlds best mom. Most of the time I have no idea what im doing. But I love my children with my whole heart and try so hard to let them know it. I try and help them love each other and take care of each other.
The best thing I think you can do for your children is pray for them. Every single morning and night I pray that Ty and Ember can be best friends. That they will take care of each other. I pray that Ty will share and be soft. I pray that Ember will learn from Ty and look up to him. I ask my Heavenly Father to help me be sensitive to their needs. To help me know how to raise them to be strong followers of Christ. I thank him for trusting me with two beautiful spirits. Trusting me to guide and direct them. Thanking him for the blessing of motherhood and the love that it has taught me. For the Joy it brings in my life. I thank him for every smile they give me and every time I get to hold their sweet hands.