(This post is written by Marie)
You’ve finally arrived home with your brand new baby, ready to introduce your little bundle to big brother or sister. Parents employ a number of tactics to help the older sibling adjust to their new arrival. A special gift or book or maybe a toy, but what do you do in the days and weeks after arrival? How do you manage the older sibling while you are nursing your new baby?
Here are a few ideas for moms of toddlers and preschoolers after new baby arrives:
1. Special TV time
I know not everyone likes to go straight to technology, but I had to mention it right off the bat. This is a wonderful option for mamas, like me, who have babies who take a long time to nurse. Plus, when you are exhausted and still physically recovering from birth, you need to cut yourself some slack.
I chose a special TV show that my son only got to watch while I nursed his twin sisters. It quickly turned his protests, “NO feed the girls!,” to requests, “Time to feed the girls?” I particularly liked Signing Time (available on Netflix) because it was also interactive. My son and I could sing and talk about the signs together. Sesame Street, Super Why, Sid the Science Kid are also good options and all available on Netflix as well.
2. Read-Aloud Snuggle Time
This may take a few tries, but creating a habit of snuggling up on mommy’s free side while she reads books is a great way to make older brother or sister still feel loved while mama nurses. Have a special basket or bag of books set aside just for reading while nursing. Some of my son’s favorites were the Miss Bindergarten Series (great for learning the alphabet).
3. Busy Bag Activities
Just before the birth of my twins, I had a Busy Bag assembly party with some friends. I brought home a bin of busy bag activities that I saved for my son to do after the girls were born. There were several busy bags in that bin that he would happily do over and over with very little assistance. Life saver.
4. Outdoor Art
If you have a little yard or patio, this is perfect. Set your little Picasso at your feet with some sidewalk chalk or water and paint brushes while you enjoy a little sunshine and nurse baby #2 in peace and quiet.
You can still play games while you nurse, you just have to choose them carefully. Simon Says is a good option that gets wiggles out. I Spy or some other scavenger hunt sort of game is good for curious kiddos. My son liked making a game out of labeling things. I would write a word on a Post-it note, tell him the word (for example, “door”), and he would run and put the Post-it on the correct item. We also made a Post-it game of Letter and Number recognition. I would put Post-its around the room with one letter written on each one. He would go find each letter in order and bring it back to me.
Do you have any other ideas?
What did you do to keep your older child busy while you nursed?
Marie Osborne is a wife, mama, and blogger who loves Jesus and large non-fat lattes. When she isn’t laughing (loudly) with her 30-something husband, chatting (loudly) with her girlfriends, singing (loudly) with her preschooler, or feeding her (loud) toddler twins, she’s probably binge watching Netflix. You can find her on her blog www.marieosborne.com, encouraging, challenging and laughing… under a pile of diapers.