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Older siblings

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

 So, how do you deal with older siblings wanting to play with your babe?

 

I have two older girls, a 6yo and a 4yo. They are madly in love with his new brother, they want to kiss him,hug him, carry him around, you name it. I don't want to be a helicopter mama, but I can not leave those two with the babe alone for one second. My little one, Tonatiuh, is starting to grab things, and my 6yo is so excited that she is giving him small little toys to fit into his hand!!!! and of course mouth too. And lately she is also offering him little bites.

 

   I feel like the last two months I have been nagging my girls for everything. Don't kiss him with your lips full of peanut butter!! Don't squeeze him. No, you can not carry him while walking, and on and on... I don;t want to impair their relationship, but seriously, I feel they don't have a feeling on what is safe to do with a little one. 

 

 I have tried showing them how to play nice with the babe, but I also think they are testing me, and I'm afraid I'm not doing a good job... <sigh> I always end up asking them to go to their room to play while the baby is awake

 

 Do you have any suggestions??

post #2 of 7

I'm struggling with the same thing, my son is nearly 4. I carry our baby around with me often and when i do put him down I supervise. I have left them for a minute while I went to pee, but the last time I did that my older boy bit babies finger (he took "I just want to eat him up" to the next level). He felt awful and I felt bad for putting the pressure to "be in charge" on him. It's not that I don't trust him, but that he is still young and needs supervision and help when interacting with baby.

Your six year old is more likely to be at an age where she can understand that baby could choke (I think). Have you tried recruiting her to help. Maybe something like "I need your help showing our 4yo how to care for baby". My son is responding well to helping pick babies clothes and diaper covers. He also likes to help put dirty diapers in the bucket. In general he likes the "lets go" instead of the "stay here while I" if that makes sense.

 

I remember my mom had this little thing that we would use to see if a toy or object was too small for baby. Maybe you could get one and your 6yo could be in "charge" of testing things before they are offered to baby. Or maybe having a small basket with pre approved baby toys/objects. Or finding other ways to play with baby like reading or making funny faces, singing etc. 

 

the food thing I'm at a loss for. I might try explaining why it's not ok too feed baby in a short way that can be repeated...."if baby eats  this food now, he will get sick". I really don't know though. 

 

I do think that in a way our children test us like this, I also believe that they just want to be helpful and be included. There is also gonna be a big shift and reaction to the changes in your home environment (a new baby, sharing mommy and daddy etc).

 

truth is you have more experience at this then I do :) I only have 2, but I'm sharing my thoughts in case it helps at all.

 

My son is rough with baby. He likes to squeeze his body just a bit too hard (like he can't help it or doesn't know his strength). He likes to do wild acrobatics and be physically wild while precariously close to baby. He has on several occasions hit baby accidentally doing this. I have no idea what to do or say to get him to stop. He gets angry at me when I remove baby and will sometimes try to hit me because of it (he was not a hitter before baby arrived). He may respond well to my words in the moment, but do it again a few minutes later. Any suggestions?

post #3 of 7
Sounds a little lik e my house too, except that my son is not quite 3. I really like the idea of turning things into a job for the older ones rather than focusing on what they shouldnt do. Nick isjust starting to test boundaries so I'm just getting a little taste of what that is like, but I have a lot of trouble with the rambunctious behavior and DS not understanding that babies are not made of steel!
What seems to work for me is phrasing something like "oh I see you are in the mood to jump, why don't we jump here (insert clear boundary) instead. " he knows the reason why, this is more of a reminder. DS is sensitive so most criticisms make him crumple to the floor because he just feels so bad and he tries so hard. I also try to let him get a feel for how hard it is to hold the baby by letting him help me pick up the baby. I think he is mostly just curious. I brace the baby but let him shoulder most of the weight. He usually gives her a hug and kiss then pushes her to me. That probably doesn't help the older kids though.
I'm not sure what to say about the food either.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

So I guess this is normal.

 

I like the idea of the basket, although at this time it will only have a few toys, maybe three that are baby proof. Today we talked at dinner about what kind of toys are ok for baby.I thin it helped a lot to talk about it in a relaxed environment, instead of having me scold them at the moment.

 

 I think my 6 yo gets frustrated because she wants to do more than just help with the diapers, but when I give her more responsibilities, the little one wants to join and then we get chaos. I need to find out exactly what can I have her do.

 

 Overall I really enjoy having all three, how the girls make smile the little boy and how my little boy looks in awe at her sisters.

post #5 of 7

so this isn't baby related, but I find it a helpful guide for what I can suggest as far as getting them to help.

 

http://attachmentparenting.org/blog/2013/05/15/chores-without-threats-or-bribery/

 

I find my son likes to help mommy and daddy and if he hash't already had a frustrating day then he likes the challenge of a job that may be more doable for an older child. I am not expecting him to do it in any particular way. It's just so he can be part of the team.

 

I agree for the most part having the 2 boys is lovely!

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks littlelady, that article seems very helpful. I just glanced quick at it, cause I'm at work, but I will take time to read it later.

post #7 of 7

We encourage bonding & overlook alot this first year. I often need another pair of arms & just put baby into 5 yr. olds because 7 yr. old doesn't want to/ isn't comfortable & 5 & 3yr. old LOVE their baby sister. I have (5)her sit on the floor, position babies head comfortably & enjoy listening to the conversation if crying doesn't occur. I do this initially before I need help, mostly as a fun we-love-our-baby training session. Then when I need to use my knife skillz for supper prep or something they're both comfortable w/ it. For this reason I always hand her over to the 3 yr. old whenever she asks too. But I don't ask for her help & she usually doesn't hold her longer than 10 sec.

If crying does occur when she is helping me, then I pick her up again as quick as I can. If they're enjoying each other, I let them hang out.

3 yr. old is a little more physical in her affection, I leave them alone as little as possible. I was cooking outside last night & had to run in for something. Leora was in the stroller & 3 yr. old had the job of keeping chickens away from her. She decided to show baby what dirt is but didn't think it would be so slippy & gave baby a dust bath. Her intent was kindly meant & there was no long term damage & fell into the overlook category. They are all a big help folding the diapers & wipes, that's a fun family job.

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