I’m two and a half months into life with two, so it was time to take stock: how was the big sibling faring when it came to jealousy?
Taking my cue from a fantastic post at Hands on As we Grow, I assessed myself on a list of five tips to curb jealousy. Here’s my run down of what’s worked well for us:
First: Use of a feeding time activity basket. This was a huge hit when Veronika was first home from the hospital, instantly making Travis feel special. But quite honestly, Travis lost interest quickly. He’s old enough to play his own games (and she is a “snacker”, nursing for very short periods, which helps!). But if your child needs direction and you have a baby who nurses in marathon sessions, I highly recommend this fix.
Second: Wear a baby carrier. I honestly didn’t babywear much with Travis, but I’ve found it to be a life-saver with baby #2. When we grocery shop, Travis can help scan all the items and feel like we’re having one-on-one time, as Veronika snoozes away oblivious in the carrier. I even chaperoned for Travis’s school field trip – he felt so special to have his mom there, and people hardly noticed the little baby sleeping away in the carrier!
Third: Use a baby monitor. This is useful in a couple of ways. First, Travis just loves the technology, and can be the big helper moving the camera with the arrow buttons. It also means I don’t have to tell him to be quiet as often, if she is napping in another room instead of the middle of the living room!
Fourth: Involve big siblings in taking care of the baby. This can be everything from snuggling up for a story, or getting them a toy, or helping at diaper changes. Travis loves handing over a burp cloth whenever I need one, and he’s an expert at rearranging her blanket in the back seat of the car if it rides up.
Finally, for siblings who still nap, Hands On recommends scheduling naps at different times. I couldn’t agree more, as one-on-one time is key! But Travis has dropped his nap, so my self-appointed task was to make sure I made time for him during Veronika’s nap. Naptime for her is when I get in there with Travis: playing, doing a craft, or exploring something together – something you have to be a big kid to do, no babies allowed!
In sum, all five of these are useful tips, and thanks to Hands On for the original post!