Older siblings. Wow! It must be such a shock to the system when a new sibling comes. Thanks Mummy and Daddy; am I not enough and you want another?? This must be hard for them. You do have to manage an older sibling when a new baby comes.
We had no idea how my eldest would react to Piglet. I wrote a post a while back to explain how we had prepared her for the new arrival but like the majority of parenting; you don’t really have the foggiest.
Our biggest problem with the gremlin is getting very over excited around Piglet. She puts her hands all over her, there are wandering knees and elbows. She is often generally very silly and stops listening. Honestly, I think this is her way of dealing with us focusing some attention on Piglet. She’s not a nasty girl so I don’t think a swift kick or hit is in her nature, so I guess she diverts her feelings into being ridiculous! A week or so ago there was a bit of rejection of me which was very tough. This didn’t last though; she is very fickle.
However, we have noticed a few things that have really helped us and I thought I would write a post in the hope of helping others. Obviously all kids are different but you never know and I hope you too can manage an older sibling when a new baby comes.
Manage an Older Sibling
– Try not to change the routine much. Breakfast is quite an important time in our house. The gremlin is always starving and loves her cereal, egg or toast. We tend to eat together and all the way through the pregnancy she always wanted to sit near me. So, even when I am whacked (hubby gives me a lie in when he can) I try and get up with her and we have our breakfast together. We had dropped her nursery days down to 2 a day a few weeks before Piglet came, so this has also continued without much fuss. I have also tried to feed and run and pick her up from nursery too.
– One on one time. The biggest thing that has helped!! Playing flipping babies or Elsa and Anna at 7.30am is not my favourite thing to do when I have had a later night or been up but powering through and having that time with your first born is really important. Hubby cuddles Piglet or she sleeps and I have a play. When Piglet sleeps we go to the park and the gremlin gets my undivided then too. The gremlin is lovely and we have no problems.
– We didn’t send her away. My Mum offered and to be fair the gremlin probably would have gone but we didn’t want her to feel pushed out, so she stayed with us for the whole of hubby’s paternity leave.
– Try not to shout! This is soooo hard sometimes when I have asked the gremlin to get off Piglet for the millionth time with her ignoring me. I have to SERIOUSLY bite my lip. Shouting at the gremlin causes tears and genuine upset so we try so hard not too, remain calm and try another tactic.
– Let the gremlin have cuddles with Piglet and try not to panic when her hands are in her face!! I feel awful constantly nagging the gremlin to leave Piglet alone so when she asked to hold her little sister we oblige and let them have snuggles.
– Be nonchalant about the newborn. I didn’t want it to all be about the baby. If Piglet needs a feed when I’m playing with the gremlin she is just passed to me and the games continue. If I have to feed her in the bath when I’m with gremlin we tried it and it was fine. Sometimes I ask the gremlin if she minds me feeding as we play and she always says no, as long as the attention mainly stays on her, all is good.
– Get them involved. The gremlin loves to look at a pooey nappy (yep gross) and will pass me things. She helps to get the pram out sometimes or has gone and chosen a vest and baby grow for Piglet in the mornings. She is getting pretty independent and we are encouraged her to dress herself a bit more and get her cereal so she feels more grown up.
– Try to schedule some people visiting when the gremlin is at nursery. This is good two fold. She doesn’t think everyone is coming to see the new baby and I can actually have a conversation!! Definitely worth it.
I think a lot of these tips are quite obvious. All we wanted was to slot little Piglet into our family without too much disruption. We wanted to keep the gremlin’s routine the same and try and keep her as happy as possible. We do worry we over analyse sometimes but it is such a big change for everyone and when you love your first born so much, you want them to feel secure.
It has not all been smooth but nowhere near as bad as we expected (so far!).
Can you think of any tips you would add to manage an older sibling when a new baby comes?
Great tips honey, sounds like you all doing fab :0 #marvmondays
Some really good tips! It’s definitely important to try and keep things as calm and make sure the older child still gets attention and doesn’t feel left out. Even with an 8 year age gap we still had to find a good balance! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays
Great post for me to read as I’m pregnant with baby #2, and I currently have a 21 month old. She will be 27 months when new baby arrives so I’m really conscious to keep her included and not pushed out. Given me lots of good ideas and thoughts to try out! Sounds like your two are adjusting to each other nicely. #marvmondays
I only have one so can’t add any tips. But your advice is great and sounds really sensible. Should we ever have a second I’ll be sure to follow these! Hope it continues to go smoothly x #MarvMondays
Thank you for these tips, I am finding it so hard sharing my time between my two, sometimes I want to cry. I have shouted at my older boy and then I feel terrible. It’s so hard when the baby is screaming and the other wants your attention, I’ll try to remember your tips at those times xx
Great tips! We are thinking of adding to our family soon and I appreciate the tips! #bestandworst
Although I only have one (and that is how it shall stay!), I think these tips are really helpful and it sounds like you have it sorted! #bestandworst
Brilliant tips. Will come back to this if we ever have another. #bestandworst
Nadia – Scandimummy x
It sounds like gremlin is adjusting well. Some very good tips there. #bestandworst
Such sensible tips and if you can stick to your own advise here I am certain they will build a wonderful relationship together and with you. I think it is very hard to avoid a little jealousy, we had it between our first and second, I’m sure my eldest was completely unaware of his behaviour and didn’t really understand his feelings himself. I never had the issue with subsequent children as the one on one relationship is never there to be broken. Keep up the good work and the phase will pass. #BestWorst
A child has to adjust to not being the only one anymore. And it takes time and patience and these tips you wrote down.. I didn’t have this kind of problem, my kids are less then one year appart, so it was more of a challenge for me and my husband. But now, as they are older, they often express their wish to have more bros or sisters, so they could take care of them;)
Its such a massive change for them isn’t it? Scarlett gets in Lillie’s face a lot and is very noisy during the day but we try not to tell her to be quiet because it is her house too and we don’t want her feeling pushed out! #BestandWorst
I’m sure this will help other mums. I did pretty much the same as you when LP came along. BP was 5 at the time and loved being able to help with the nappies and such, he even wanted to feed LP a few times too. I think it’s really important to not push out the older sibling.
Great tips! I think the biggest one for me is to get them involved, that was what worked best for us, and although sometimes that meant making life a little more difficult for ourselves (nappy changes with a one and two year old “assisting” was interesting!) it definitely helped! #bestandworst
Sounds great! Everyone I know who has done it has definitely agreed with sticking to routines and limiting visitors #bestandworst
I’m all set with babies, but these are many of the same strategies we try and use with the new puppy! #bestandworst
Some really good tips. Thanks for hosting #bestandworst
Can you imagine how hard it must be?! Thankfully I think you’re right when you say they’re fickle at that age! #bestandworst
The fear of the adjustment was so much worse than the actual transition. Glad it is going smoothly though!
Fab tips it’s a difficult time for older siblings sounds like you got it spot on thanks for hosting #bestandworst
These are great tips. My eldest was only 10.5 months when number 2 child was born, we still have to manage and change routines to get it right though!
I totally agree. I was super worried how Amelia would react to max when he arrived and googled and searched to find tips and done whatever I could to make it easy and better then she didn’t even care! In fact she loves him and other that thinking she can carry him around and that he’s a dolly we’ve never had any issues *toucb wood!!* #bestandworst
Playing babies at 7.30am after a night shift… That’s just another reason in my “not to have another baby” column. Haha. Hats off to you, you still look bloody fabulous in your pictures and it sounds like you are breaking new milestones everyday x Renee @peonieandme #bestandworst
I think these are great tips. It must be hard for children to adjust to something so huge and they’re little and unable to process their feelings. It’s great that you are getting her involved and that you didn’t send her away. It shounds like you’re doing a great job helping her adjust to the new family dynamic. #bestandworst
Great tips Sarah! I think these are great and can definitely say that the ones we have tried on your list have helped. Its really hard getting the balance between the two right, especially when your other half is at work but I think like you’ve said the trick is about mot too much changing and keeping a fair amount of focus on the older one too. One thing that im trying to do less of, if at all is say that I cant do something or ask the little lady to wait specifically because of the baby as I dont want her to blame him or feel like she cant do things or has to wait because of him. Otherwise I’d say it definitely gets easier 🙂 Emily #bestandworst
It sounds like you’ve found a routine that works for the whole family! It’s something I think about if/when I have another and the liklihood is Evie will be 7 or eight when that happens so there’s going to be a huge age gap between the two! I think having visitors come over during school/nursery hours is a great idea too. #bestandworst
Awww its so cute to hear how excited she is. Honestly though with being so young she will not remember life without her sister. Ethan was 20months when Megs came along and he was intrigued by her but now they are besties… He even said ” I am so glad I have a sister because itd be so boring just me!”… I like that perspective and I am sure Gremlin is feeling more of that than not being enough hahah x
Must be so hard when small siblings appear on the scene, what a shock it is to the older kiddies. Sound advice here for mums expecting their second. One of the benefits of having twins I suppose is that they dont know any different xxx
Great tips. It can be challenging time #bestandworst
I will be managing two older siblings with a newborn a few months from now – not sure how that’s going to go! #marvmondays
Sounds like routine is the way to go. #bestandworst
Back again from #bestandworst – I will bookmark this for February! #bestandworst