Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Hudson Valley (NY)
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Congratulations on your baby!
It's really hard. Your baby is still very young though, and things WILL change.
My older daughter was younger when my second was born, but some things I did to keep my relationship strong with her were go on lots of walks and talk with her the whole time, learn how to tell stories without a book, play games like "I'm thinking of something that's red and round and..."
Your daughter is at an age where playdates are really fun, and if you can arrange some, that might help. A swimming class could be fun, too, especially if you get a mesh sling to hold the baby in.
Something that got us through a lot of rough spots were those little rides that are sometimes out in front of stores. They're so inexpensive, and they really can do a lot to cheer up a child.
Another thing we did was go out for snacks from time to time. I'd get coffee and depending on the season, she'd get ice cream or hot chocolate or some other treat.
Perhaps you can get her to help you with things, too, like peeling and chopping vegetables for dinner, washing dishes, and other things that have to get done anyway. Even though she may be slow and not do a great job, she will feel like she is helping you.
I sometimes question the idea that siblings need alone time with their parents. For some kids that's necessary, but for us, once we worked out the kinks of taking care of two, my daughters would always rather do things as a family. The few times I took my older daughter out alone, both of us worried so much about the baby that it didn't really help.