6 Ways Your Older Kids Can Help with the New Baby

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Image adapted via Flickr/ TimnCJ

When I was pregnant with my youngest child, I was worried about how the newest member of the family was going to change the dynamic with my older children. I was not new to having a new baby in the family, but this was the first time there was such a big age gap.

I worried.

When my youngest was born, those worries went away quickly because I had prepared a lot beforehand and knew that in order to help my kids bond with the baby, I needed to accept their help in the everyday things. I have always been careful to ask for their help and not insist because I don't want them to see any new responsibilities placed on them as a result of the baby. So when I need help, I ask. And most times, they're really awesome about helping out.

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If you have older children and a new baby, there are many ways you can encourage your older kids to help out and bond with the new baby.

Gather diapers and wipes

While your older child will likely not volunteer to change your new baby's diaper, they'll probably be happy to gather a diaper and some wipes for you. It's a way to help them become involved in those everyday things that happen a few times each day.

Make funny faces when baby is crying or fussy

No one likes to hear a baby crying or fussing, and your older child may still be too young to hold and rock the baby, but there are other ways they can help comfort: making funny faces. It's a way to distract the new baby for a little bit and hopefully get their spirits up. It's also fun for your older child.

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Image via Flickr/ Geoff Livingston

Wipe the baby when he spits up

If your new baby is anything like my youngest, spit up will happen a lot. If your older child isn't too grossed out by a little spit up, you can help them get involved by being in charge of gently wiping the baby's chin after each feed or random spit up.

Choose the clothes for the baby

My youngest daughter loves to choose the clothes for “her baby” each morning, and my older daughter loves to pick out the baby's pajamas at the end of the day. It's a fun way for them to help out and play dress up, and it encourages interaction between the kids.

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Sing the baby a song or rub their feet

My kids love to sing, and when baby is sleepy, fussy, or just needs some entertaining, they sing to him. It's a great way to get some help with him while I cook dinner or to just give me a break from constantly entertaining him.

My little one also loves to have his feet rubbed, and my older kids, who are obsessed with his tiny toes, love to help comfort him by rubbing his feet.

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Help wash the baby in the bath

There are many ways your older child can help out during bath time, but you should never leave the two alone. Watching your baby in the water is too big of a responsibility for any child; however, there are fun ways your older child can help out while you're there. They can be in charge of washing baby's toes, handing you the towel, or helping to dry baby off when he's out of the tub.

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Are there any ways your older child helps with the new baby? Share in the comments!

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6 Ways Your Older Kids Can Help with the New Baby

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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1 comment

  1. Profile photo of Brandy Brandy says:

    My oldest one is 9yr old and I let him hold his baby sister after I’ve fed her and burp her. He feels so big to be able to do this, and he just loves her so. Also, my batteries don’t work very well on her swing, so I get my 6yr old to push her swing while he watches tv, or sometimes just pull the string on her music toy 🙂

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