Helping your child adjust to the arrival of a sibling

It’s very exciting when you bring your baby home. I remember bringing my oldest home. I couldn’t stop looking at her and marvelling at her. I also loved to pick her up and in fact got her used to being carried all the time.

With my second baby, it was slightly different. I still marvelled at him but I also had to take into account the feelings of his little sister. Jadyn was 3+ when we brought Ethan home. Though she loved him, she was also very conscious that he was taking a major part of our time away from her. Luckily we had my parents with us so she was never made to feel left out. They helped out with Ethan, so we would be able to give her time alone with us.

With The Duchess of Cambridge due to have her second child any day now, we are quite interested in knowing the baby’s gender. Whether boy or girl, we wish her and her family – all the best.

My top tip is to include George in all the activities with the new baby but also make time for George alone to do things he likes to do.

The survey below revealed the importance of bath time and my children enjoyed having a bath together. Bath time is always special in our home – we play, we chat and we bond! Besides the parent and child and sibling bonding, bath time is importance for multisensory play. My children love playing in the bath and there have been tears sometimes when I ask them to come out.

The UK’s number 1 baby skin care brandi JOHNSON’S®, has carried out research amongst adults with siblings, to show what top five tactics their parents used to help them adjust to having a baby brother or sisterii, which could help Kate and Wills ensure George doesn’t feel put out:

1) Play together (27%)

2) Hold the new baby (26%)

3) Help with feeding (20%)

4) Help dress the new baby (17%)

5) Help with bathing (15%)

The research also found, that ‘ordinary’ family moments can provide the best opportunity for siblings to form a special bond. Of those with older siblings:

* A quarter in the UK (24%) shared a bath with their siblings when they were young

* Older siblings helped teach their baby brother or sister the importance of sharing (26%), how to ride a bike (23%) and how to make friends (13%)

* Over a third (35%) of UK children shared a room with their siblings

Child Psychologist Dr Angharad Rudkin, said: “First born children settle into a routine when they’re the only child. They get used to being the centre of their parent’s attention, and adjusting to having a new baby brother or sister can be overwhelming, even for a well natured Prince like George. It’s important that any parent, Duchess or not, finds ways to help their first born adapt and get involved. By giving them roles like picking out clothes for their baby brother or sister, helping give the new baby special cuddles, or bathing together when they’re a bit older, are all amazing ways to create a lasting sibling bond.”

Sensory stimulation during everyday rituals such as bath time can be critical to a baby’s happy, healthy development. The JOHNSON’S® Bath Time Report however, shows that only a third (37%) of parents in the UK regard bath time as extremely important to a baby’s cognitive development iii. Research identifies that by age three, 85% of a baby’s brain is developed, so it is very important for parents to recognise that opportunities to engage touch, sight, smell and sound, like bath time, are crucial in helping to shape their baby’s brainiv.

And if Kate and William are worried about going back to a life of sleepless nights before endless official engagements, a study has shown that infants who follow a bedtime routine, including a warm bath with a fragranced bath product, took 37% less time to fall asleep, and that the mothers showed a significant improvement in mood in the morningv.

As the UK’s number 1 baby skin care brand, JOHNSON’S® has been pioneering the science behind baby skin care for more than 120 years, providing products that are formulated and designed with baby in mind. For more information visit www.johnsonsbaby.co.uk.

Disclaimer: I received a hamper in return for sharing my top tip. All ideas and opinions are my own.

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