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Ways to prepare your firstborn for a sibling

Being acceptable of a sibling is not easy for every child and it is our responsibility as a parent to prepare them early before the baby is due.

When I completed my first trimester, me and my husband talked to Eira that we were expecting. She was on top of the world but I still knew I had to prepare her for all the changes she is gona see in me and after the baby comes.

Ways I prepared Eira during pregnancy,
✓ Sharing the pregnancy news together as parents. The child should not come to know from someone else.
✓We read about the baby’s development together every week. So there were no surprises when my bump started to grow and she knew exactly what was going on inside me.
✓ I involved Eira in my pregnancy announcement.
✓ Reading books about being a big sister and how the baby will be.
✓ Talking about her also being responsible for the baby and that the baby wil learn more from her.
✓ Reading to the bump together. Since her reading skills had developed she read more stories to the baby and made some of her own.
✓ Some kids expect that when the baby comes, they wil be able to play right away, so we talked about how she can be involved with the baby by reading, singing, playing her guitar, changing diapers, helping during bath time, etc.
✓ Some kids expect a certain sibling like Eira wanted a sister. We talked about how nature takes its course and a healthy and happy baby is what we should be looking forward too.
✓ We also shared stories about when I was expecting her and she used to find them very interesting.

Some kids are well prepared but once the baby arrives, everyone’s attention seems to shift and that can change the elder child’s mind.

We started the connection between them right at birth. When the baby was taken to the family, I had asked the doctor in advance to let Eira be the first one to see and hold the baby. Of course their Dad was there. I cannot express how happy and special she felt and how she talks about it till date. At that moment itself, the big sister feeling had taken over.

Ways to avoid jealousy between siblings:
✓Make sure there is an alloted amount of time for the elder child everyday.
✓They should be included in the daily chores of the baby showing that even they are needed by the baby. Reading, singing, baby exercises, fetching diaper essentials, helping during bath time can be done together.
✓ Try to avoid conversations where family and friends talk about how parents love little ones more.
✓ When the older sibling needs a parent, it just might not be patient enough to understand that the baby is crying or feeding, etc. That is a great time for Dads to step in and take it ahead. For kids who need their mothers the most, this step needs to come in practice during pregnancy phase itself.

At the end, we also need to understand that they are kids themselves. We need to cut them some slack. Give them a little time and they will definitely come around with our love and support! 😊

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Early reading importance: How I developed this habit in my kids. 📚

In our family and friends, first time parents are surprised to receive books as gifts from us for their newborn. It is the last thing they expect for their baby and don’t understand the need of it but I know from our experience that it’s never too early to start reading.

When Eira was 3 months old, I got her a book after a lot of research. It was “The hungry caterpillar” by Eric Carle. When Eira saw the book, her eyes grew wider. The beautiful illustrations caught her attention and she just went cooing and smiling. She would gaze at it for hours.

We inculcated the habit of reading together on a daily basis. Sometimes as a routine and other times because she chose to. There was nothing like a good stack of books that would calm her. She became a little bookworm.

When I was pregnant the second time, Eira had already started basic level reading on her own. As doctors suggested, she used to read to my bump. Classic books, baby books, sing aloud, etc. She would make up stories of her own telling the baby how the world was, what the baby is like now and what a good sister she wil be! Reading became a way for her to connect with the little one.

When Eric was born, we noticed that along with me he would react to Eira’s voice also very well. The first book I got him was “Baby’s very first black and white book of animals” from Usborne. The high contrast pictures of the book are lovely for newborns. Later we moved to the hungry caterpillar and other books from Eira’s library. Eric is now 8 months old, and it amazes us the interest he shows when he sees a book. Books over toys is his preference now.

Eira has taken over Non-Fiction now and can’t have enough of it while Eric wants to have every book of his sister. Reading has helped them both in many ways and their bond just grows stronger and stronger with it.

Reading books acts as a friend. It teaches kids about themselves and the world around. It is one of the best things we can do for them and along with them. Introducing books early in life enhances the way kids perceive the world and helps their growth in an unimaginable way.

Happy Reading !!!!! 📚📚📚