Older Children and New Babies

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In today’s world of blended families and effective birth control, it is much more common to have several years between children. While there’s nothing wrong with that, and in fact it offers some advantages, there are some unique challenges to bringing a baby home when you have older children.

Of course, one of the advantages to having older children is that they can help with the baby. As long as you make sure that what you’re asking them to do is age appropriate, they can really help share the load as far as taking care of a baby is concerned. Even children as young as four or five years old can help feed or change the baby if you supervise them closely, and most kids really seem to enjoy feeling like they are helping take care of their little brother or sister.

Bringing baby home to a house with older kids is not without its challenges, however. Even if your other children are considerably older, you need to make sure to give older kids plenty of attention after baby comes home. This can admittedly be hard to do when the new baby demands so much of your time and energy, but it’s extremely important to make sure that the other children feel loved and cared for, too.

It may seem silly to think that children as old as teenagers would feel jealous of the attention that you give to the new baby, but consider this: a lot of full grown men become very jealous of the attention they lose when a baby is added to the picture. Trust us on this one, you want to make sure that your older kids feel like they are loved and that they are an important part of your family.

Of course, spending time with older kids when you have a baby in the house takes some creativity. You need to pick your moments, and it may mean missing out on some rest that you really deserve. Still, if you make a concerted effort to spend time with your older kids when the baby is asleep or otherwise occupied and include them in taking care of the baby, you’ll find that they are much happier in their roles as big brothers or sisters.

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This entry was posted in About Your Baby.


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