When I found out I was pregnant in March 2013, I was a little worried about how my oldest would feel about the baby. Will he feel jealous, resentful, or hatred? Will he feel that the baby will take his place? I waited until my belly started to show before I mentioned to my oldest (who was about twenty three months at the time) that there was a baby inside of me. I don’t think he totally understood what a baby was or why it was inside of me but he was happy about it maybe because mama and daddy were happy about it. My oldest was kissing my belly a lot especially when it grew and he would hug my belly. I kept telling him the name of the baby and my oldest would say his name. I would say, “Where’s the baby?” He would point or put his hands on my belly. I’m thinking, he’s affectionate now wait until the baby is here.
When my second son was born, my husband brought my oldest up to see the baby. My oldest saw this little baby and he didn’t seem excited or sad. He was more curious but standoffish. He seen his dad and grandmamma coddling and showing so much love to the baby he didn’t know if he should come near to see the baby too or to stay away. My husband and I made sure that we included him with the bonding of his baby brother but we didn’t force the issue. He looked at the baby then tried to get attention from myself, his father, and grandmamma. When we got home with the baby, it was different for the family and my oldest. Like I said he was curious but cautious. I would invite the oldest into his baby brother’s room to look at him, to touch him, and to hold him. Sometimes he was into it other times, especially when the baby would cry, he would go to his room to play by himself.
I started having my oldest helping me with the baby like getting his diaper or getting my nursing pillow to nurse his brother. I would assist in holding his brother, have him spot him in tummy time, help burp him, and assist me with giving his brother his vitamin D medicine.
After a couple of weeks of making him apart of taking care of his brother, my oldest started to see his little brother as his baby. He would want to hold him, play with him, talk to him, and hug him. He would say good night to him. My oldest became so affectionate with his little brother sometimes I worry that he would hug him too hard or be so close to his face that he might hurt him accidentally. I’m grateful that my oldest love his baby brother so much. As my oldest son bonded more with his younger brother, my infant son adores his older brother and would smile and coo when he sees him.
It’s so amazing that the boys get along so well. I think it’s my oldest sons temperament helped eased his transition of being a big brother that made loving his little brother so much easier. I think it’s important to get the siblings involved when a new baby arrives. I believe the bonding should start as soon as possible so the other sibling won’t feel like their being pushed aside or replaced. It makes the children feel important and they have a role in the family that they can strive for. I can just hope that their brotherly bond continues into adulthood and they continue to look out for each other.