How My Toddler Has Coped Being A Brother
I think any parents worry when they're thinking about extending their family, is how will everyone adjust? Most importantly, the children you already have. For us in this case, it was Noah and we were worried. Would he feel pushed out, upset or jealous? Or would he be caring, kind and excited. I left it a good two months before writing this post, so I could fully see how he is managing, and here I'm going to talk all about it.
Considering how easy it would have been for Noah to feel incredibly left out - due to the time we spent apart whilst P was in NICU, I truly believe he doesn't at all. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I can visibly see Noah wants the attention off Patrick. Particularly if P has done something new and both myself and John are doing that new parent thing where you think it's the best thing in the world right? He'll raise his voice and get a little rowdy, even if it's just singing super loud or his current favourite - a fake 'acchoo', I can tell he wants our attention and often doesn't mind if it's negative or positive, he just wants it. At those moments I'll snap back into duo-mummy and pay particular attention to something good he's done, and give him similar praise I've just given to Patrick. It makes him feel important too and that's something I always aim to do.
Noah loves to cuddle and chat to his brother, if you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you'll have seen many videos where he explains to P that 'you can play with my toys too when you get bigger'. It's a side to Noah I adore, he's so good at sharing and I think it would be near on impossible to pit him against his brother. He knows Patricks going to grow up, and they'll play together, I try to get him excited about it, as opposed to seeing his little brother come on the scene and take his toys, it's more 'Patrick will get bigger and you can show him how to...'. I'm thankful he has good understanding, we spoke about Patrick from day dot so it's not totally unfamiliar to him that there is a baby around now. I don't think a night goes by where Noah will head to bed without running to find P and give him a kiss on the head, and he's a superstar at helping out with little jobs, even if I don't need him too I try to give him a little responsibility again to keep him involved. He'll grab me Ps muslin, or his bells (Patricks favourite toy) and me and John often have a giggle and ask Noah to hold Patrick *we hold him at the same time* and he really helps out as best he can. It's so endearing to see the big shy grin on his face when we tell him what big muscles he must have to hold his brother.
I think a huge factor into Noah coping so well, is he routine during the week has barely changed, even at the weekends too. He still has his Daddy-Noah park trips, and still goes swimming with Nana & my Nan takes him to town on the bus, so he gets a lot of 1-to-1 time and I think it's really key to do this so that he knows he is just as special and that having a new brother, doesn't mean a lot of changes for him. But I think I'll do a whole separate post on helping your toddler adjust. I can't wait to see the relationship of these two develop over the next few years, I'm sure it will cause me many stresses but I'm confident that will outweighed with smiles.
How did your little one cope with having a sibling?