I remember when I was a few months pregnant with Gremlin, I started worrying about how I would manage two kids, a career and a household (and Hubby Byren of course).
How was I going to attend to two kids at the same time? Sure, Monster was already semi-independent but he still needed my help with many things. I was also feeling very anxious about Monster feeling left out while all my attention went to Gremlin. I stressed about it every day up until the day that Gremlin was born.
However, things weren’t as bad as what I thought. Once both kids were in the picture, I found ways to keep to my responsibilities as well as make sure that Monster was part of that picture. It was very important to me to find ways to make Monster feel included, as well as get things done with both kids.
Here are some ways that your older children can help with a new baby.
Pull out wipes and tissues.
While changing Gremlin’s nappies, I would ask Monster to pull out the wet wipes out of the container and hand them to me.
When Gremlin was old enough to start on solids, I let Monster spoon feed him every few feeds. This helped a lot for when I had severe migraines and couldn’t function much, Monster would be able to feed Gremlin without any problems.
Pull off socks.
When it was time to bath, Monster would pull off Gremlin’s socks and then take all the clothes and put them into the laundry basket. It gave him extra responsibility as well as taught him that clothes weren’t to be left everywhere on the floors.
Monster would use the baby hairbrush and comb Gremlin’s hair every evening after bath time, which made him feel really proud of himself but didn’t stop him from giving Gremlin funky hairstyles.
During bath time, Monster helped me lather Gremlin’s hair. He enjoyed doing this because it created bubbles (which he is still crazy about) and he didn’t see it as work.
If I really needed to take a moment to rest, all I need to do was get out the bubbles, hand them to Monster and watch them both be entertained. This was a winner every time!
Starting off small, I let Monster fold washcloths to pack away. Even if he didn’t do it properly, he still showed off his work. Next I left him sort socks with their pairs, which also turned out to be a learning exercise.
Whenever I needed to change Gremlin’s nappy or it was time for bath time, I would ask Monster to unfasten Gremlin’s nappy. He would also make it his mission to place the used nappy into the bin.
At bedtime, Monster would help me tuck Gremlin in and make sure that he had his plush toy with him. For safety measures, I never allowed him to do this alone and also make him understand that he wasn’t allowed to do this on his own.
How did you help your older child(ren) feel more involved?