Becoming Big Brother

I am quite excited at the prospect of the babe becoming a big brother. Probably more that he is, as I dont think he realizes what it means yet. As a single child myself, I grew up lonely and wanting to have a sibling to share my life with, play, talk, argue and do all those things other kids seemed to do with their siblings. I had by books and lego blocks and studies, and of course, cousins and friends, but it wasnt the same. I guess I missed having a sibling more in my tumultous teens and after I was adult than I did as a kid. I feel its at that age that all the squabbles lessen and the relationships really flourish, but then again, I dont really know. But why not have someone else you could belong to and share your life with?  It seemed to me to be more important here in the US where life is so isolated and you dont have the protective net of family around. So I was quite sure I would have more than one baby, and the babe will soon have a sibling of his own.

Not having gone through any sibling transition experience myself, I have been reading up on siblings, and the adjustment kids have to go through. One book went so far as to say that imagine your spouse brought in a new woman or man and asked you to ‘be nice and share’. Thats how difficult it is. Others talk of varying levels of difficulty. But my friends talk of their older kids loving the younger ones and I hope the babe feels the same.

Throughout the pregnancy he has become more attached to me than ever before – I think he feels that someone else is coming into our relationship and house, though he has expressed nothing but excitement. I know it will be tough on him – moving from being the center of attraction to one of the centers of attractions and having a bawling baby clinging to his mom all day. I am hoping preschool will help but he and I are together and alone almost all of the rest of the time! The prospect of nursing with him around is something I am quite unsure about.

I wrote before on how we went to a sibling class together. This week we are going to a hospital tour so that he gets to see the nursery and where I will be when the baby comes. As per the books, I even got him a baby doll to play with and learn how to treat a baby. I am looking for toddler age books that can help him but have not found any yet.

Any advice on how to help the transition?

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5 Comments

  1. malini

    Dear Khushi,
    The arrival of a new baby can bring many changes to a family. Parents spend a lot of energy on preparations and after the baby arrives, much of the family’s attention involves meeting the newborn’s basic needs.
    You can prepare the big brother for an addition to the family like including him in the care of the newborn which can make things easier for everyone.
    If he shows more interest in the baby, you can engage him in the following activities:
    1)going through your child’s baby pictures and let me see how small & delicate a newborn baby will be…
    2)visiting friends who have infants
    3)packing a bag for the hospital
    4)thinking of potential baby names (believe me, it works most of the time, the older sibling feels important, if someone ask their suggestions…)
    4)going to the doctor to hear the baby’s heartbeat

    I know many kids want to help take care of a new baby (atleast I did, when I was a kid myself and I have a brother, just one year younger). Though that “help” may mean that each task takes longer, it can give an older child a chance to interact with the baby in a positive way.
    Depending on their age, a big brother may want to fold or fetch diapers, help you push the carriage, talk to the baby or help dress, bathe or burp the baby.

  2. Khushi

    Malini, thank you so much for your tips and comments. I love your ideas! I will definitely start on the pictures and taking him to see other infants. As well as the baby names. THank you for sharing your experience. And I understand why you are saying each task will take longer but its worth it. I will keep that in mind.

  3. joysree

    always praise the big babe for the help he offers however small it may be.

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