The best piece of advice I received during this pregnancy was to make CeCe feel like a big helper. I wasn’t sure how much a 4-year-old could actually help, but Ezra is almost 7 weeks old now and his big sis has become a master at many new tasks.
I try not to overwhelm CeCe with requests, because we don’t want her to resent her brother or feel like Cinderella. But there are plenty of small chores an older child can do to feel helpful. And some of them are even fun for her!
Ways a Big Sibling Can Help with a New Baby:
- Pick out the baby’s clothes. CeCe loves picking out her own outfits, so this task is exciting for her. I tell her what outfits are weather appropriate for the day and then let her choose. She can also put on his socks and help snap his buttons.
- Go Grab a “_______”. If you need a diaper, a clean pacifier, or a burp cloth, the older child can be the runner. I tell CeCe I will time her and she races off to grab what I need. She’s always trying to beat her record time.
- Play Teacher. While I cook dinner, I ask CeCe to teach the baby something. She can read him a book, sing a song, or hold up some of her artwork and describe it to him.
- Be a Role Model. We would have assigned certain chores regardless of a new baby, like putting away toys or setting the dinner table. But with a baby in the house, we remind CeCe that she sets the example for her little brother. He is always watching her so it’s important to follow the rules.
- Snuggle with Mom. If your child likes to play independently, that is fantastic. If they need more attention, then use feeding time to cash in on that. While Ezra is nursing, I ask CeCe to snuggle up with us. She can pick out a show to watch, a book to read or just talk to me about her day.
|CeCe reads to her little brother while Mom is cooking.|
We have days when CeCe doesn’t want to be a helper, but most of the time she loves being the “Baby Watcher.” What ways do you involve an older sibling with a new baby?