Showing Love to the Big Sister

by Melanie Edwards on February 29, 2012 · 8 comments

in Parenting

Big Sister

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. Hallmark Bug 'Em 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?

Hallmark Life is a Special Occasion

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!

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz Thompson February 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm

Oh, what a lovely story.  We made sure that each of our older kids had gifts waiting for them when they each came to visit their younger siblings in the hospital.  Aaaaand, gifting your oldest, just because, is an awesome way to honor her big sis skillz as well ;)

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2 modernmami March 2, 2012 at 9:59 am

I honestly can’t remember if little brother gave big sis a gift. I think we did have something. But, I think she knows and feels loved often enough that the transition has been fairly effortless.

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3 Anonymous February 29, 2012 at 6:09 pm

Even now that Little Roo is 2, I know that Big Roo sometimes feels left out cause the little guy still needs help with things. We try to give him extra things as well (like playing a game with him after his brother is in bed)! He totally loves it.

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4 modernmami March 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

Love that! The fact that they can go to sleep later and do other things the little ones can’t, seems to be a big motivator for them.

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5 Onica @ Mommy Factor March 1, 2012 at 8:00 am

Love this photo.  It’s great that you found ways to help make the transition sooner for you first child

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6 modernmami March 2, 2012 at 10:00 am

Thanks Onica! She’s a great girl overall, so it wasn’t so hard!

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7 Niri March 8, 2012 at 11:49 am

Ok seriously LOVE that pic with both the kids. So strange that you would think the sweetest sound is when your kid shows affection to you, but in reality it is when they show it to each other.

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8 modernmami March 8, 2012 at 11:58 am

awww, thanks! Yes! It’s so sweet seeing them together and the little special things they do with each other.

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