Becoming Big Brother or Big Sister

big brother or big sisterWhen my daughter was three days shy of her second birthday, she became a big sister. I had always wanted to have my children relatively close together, so when she weaned at 13 months, I was determined to get pregnant. And two months later, we found out Levi was on his way. While I am no expert on how to make this transition into big brother or big sister any easier, here are some things I have learned on this journey almost two years later.

Proceed with Caution

My daughter has always been a curious thing. Having a baby around was a very interesting thing for her as a young toddler. When I wasn’t in the room, she would do silly things. I caught her sitting on him once. She viewed him as baby doll at one stage. Then when Levi could move around and take her toys, he became the enemy. Currently, Levi is 18 months old, and he has transitioned into the best friend. Just remember that a new baby is a gentle, little thing. Make sure to keep your baby safe. Kids are curious, just make sure you are protecting your littles.

Prepare to be Emotional

When my son became a part of our family, the first 9 months or so were hard. We had to move twice. It was a horrible cold, snowy winter here in Indiana. My 2-year-old started acting out. No more being potty trained for that girl. She began hitting. She would take his toys. All of this set me into a tail-spin. I was convinced in my hormonal state that I had somehow ruined her little life by giving her this amazing gift. Just be ready to cry- a lot. It is beautiful to see my kids now. They truly love each other and can’t survive the day without each other. While Levi is napping, Johanna wants to know where he is. But, this wasn’t always the case. It’s okay for them to go through phases, all siblings do. Lean on your spouse, friends, or family for support. Giving birth causes women to get a little hormone crazy anyways, so make sure to take care of yourself. I eventually stopped crying over “Frozen” and a friend reminded me that I had given Johanna the best gift I could give her when I gave her a brother.

Keep Things Special for Each Child

When my son was born, we brought Johanna a special big sister gift to the hospital. Friends who brought meals to my family included her by bringing her goodies. Remember kids are going to be jealous. I used to have to pull Johanna out of the baby swing, bouncer, and high chair. She’s a little older now, so the high chair has lost its appeal. A new baby is so exciting, and the new role of big brother or big sister can be, too. My husband and I still regularly take Johanna on personal dates. We like to go to Starbucks and Dollar Tree. I remember to play Barbies during Levi’s nap, so she gets one-on-one attention.

Becoming a big brother or big sister is so exciting. Make it fun. Read the cute books, buy the cute t-shirts, but most importantly help your child by being ready for some ups and downs. Someday you will laugh at the stories– someday.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of two in Northeast Indiana where her kids love each other so much these days, and she will take it. 

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