When we decided to have a second child, one of the things we were concerned about (but only slightly) was how our baby girl would handle the transition. Would she be jealous? Would she like having a little brother or sister? How would she act towards the new baby in the house?
As we worked on trying to get pregnant, we talked a lot with her. We’d ask how she would feel about being a big sister, we’d stress how she’d be able to teach her little brother or sister new things, and we made sure she knew that she’d always be our baby girl. After finding out we were pregnant, we waited a few weeks before letting her know the news, and did not share with her until after our first gynecologist appointment. That day, we came home with a sonogram picture of her brother, on which our doctor had so kindly written a special message for her. She still has that sonogram picture framed in her room.
Once our baby boy was born, of course, the initial transition was difficult for all. There were many days spent learning his ways, his needs, and finding our rhythm as a new family of four. While I spent much of that time breastfeeding and napping, it was helpful that my husband was able to spend quality time with our girl, something she most definitely needed. I can remember coming in and out of naps and hearing the two of them playing games or just talking. This was important as so much attention goes to the baby those first few weeks; as a big sister, she needed to know she still mattered.
Something I remember helped us out was involving her in everything. Since they are five years apart, she was already old enough to help with many things. From getting us diapers, wipes, and clothes, to singing lullabies to soothe her little brother, it all helped to let her know her role as the big sister was an important one. To this day, she’s still a big help and loves when we ask her to “watch him” or if she can feed him.
Aside from being a helpful big sister, something we constantly remind her of, we try our best to do individual activities with her whenever possible. It can be simple things like playing a game when he’s napping or her new favorite, giving each other make-overs. The one-on-one time is not only good for her, but for us as well. We also give her small gifts occasionally, just because. She’s really a well-behaved, generous girl, so providing her with small reminders of our appreciation is something we’re glad to do. Just a few days ago, I surprised her with this cute lady bug Hallmark sent us and wrote her a nice note in one of their cards. She loves getting notes, letters, and cards, so it was perfect!
Our baby girl truly deserves all she gets and we couldn’t have asked for a smoother transition from a three-member family to a family of four. It’s actually hard to remember not being a family of four, and I know she feels the same way.
How do you show support for the big siblings in your house?
Disclosure: This story is sponsored by Hallmark through their Life is a Special Occasion campaign. As always, all stories and opinions are my own. To receive special offers and discounts from Hallmark, sign up for their e-newsletter!