Time as a family
Spending quality time together as a family at this stage need not be anything complicated. Some of your best memories will be of watching your baby as he does something new for the very first time, succeeds in whacking one of the hanging toys from his play arches with a sense of accomplishment. This IS quality family time. Going for a walk in the fresh air or even at the mall (if the weather is uncooperative) can make for a nice outing. Things need not be complicated & everything is an adventure for your baby at this age. Remember that- All is new and therefore interesting.
If you have an older child or older children, then it’s nice to consider what your they are interested in, as well. While so much revolves around “the baby” – it’s nice for the older ones to know that you are thinking about them, too. And so it’s a good idea to take the kids out to the zoo- or the Biodome, as an example. It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘lost’ on the baby-she doesn’t care where you “go for walk”. What’s important is that you are all out together as a family & the older siblings feel special & important as well.
Time with Older Siblings
Your older child(ren) still need you, maybe more now than usual. While it is OK & important to have explained to your older child(ren) that a new baby means that Mommy & Daddy will have to spend a lot of time feeding & diapering, they need to know that there is still always time for them.
- It is a good idea for mom & dad to arrange between themselves, who will sit with big brother(s) and sister(s) to do homework daily.
- It is important that each parent have special “one-on-one” time carved out with each sibling. It may not be daily, & weekly may be a stretch for some families but it is important to do it. It can be 5 minutes for storytime at night. It can be answering the question that is asked from under your legs as you are trying to get dinner on the table (and believe me I’ve said my fair share of “Mommy’s busy right now”- BUT- When you are that busy & take just a moment to bend down & answer that question, or adjust the sock that for some reason is uncomfortable- your little one will feel like the most special person on the planet.
- Make a point periodically of saying aloud to the baby- “You’ll have to wait just a minute, I’m just finishing up with your sister”- The extra 30 seconds of crying will NOT hurt your baby but prioritizing her sibling- even if just once, will mean the world to your older child.