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Introducing a Sibling

 

Introducing a new baby to your child can be difficult, especially when the older child's gotten used to being the center of your universe. But if you're careful and prepare them for it -- and are prepared as well -- then it can be a breeze, and fun too. Helping them bond in small ways can cultivate a relationship that lasts well into the years, and can be the foundation for wonderful family rapport. Here are some ways you can introduce your new baby to your older child: 

Prepare him while you're pregnant. Let him know that you're expecting about halfway through the pregnancy. You could connect it to a holiday or an important date, or even his birthday. For example, tell him he'll soon have a brother/sister just in time for Christmas! 

Remember that children under three are egocentric. Up to this point, it's been all about him! He's been your world, and now he has to share you. This can cause anxiety in a child so be prepared for some regression or a tantrum or two when the little one shows up. Be sympathetic to his needs and help him feel just as important as your new addition to the family.

 

Be inclusive. The shock of having a new sibling won't be too difficult if early on, you include him in the process. Bring him to doctor's checkups, show him ultrasound pictures, and ask him to help in naming the baby. He'll even be excited for his new sib!

Visiting hours. When you're at the hospital, after you've given birth, encourage him to visit with other relatives so that he meets the baby and starts warming up to him/her early. Make your homecoming a fun event that he can partake in. 

Spread the love. Make sure you're meeting his emotional needs at this time. Praise him for being a good kuya and ask him to do little tasks that can further the bond between them and help him feel involved. Teach him how to change a diaper or even something as simple as handing you some baby wipes. He'll be much more amicable if he's part of the process of caring for the baby.

Tag-team! Make sure your partner helps in carrying the load. If you're busy with the baby, see to it that your partner is attending to your other child's needs and makes him feel loved.

Kicking the Pacifier Habit

How do you know it's time for your baby to kick the pacifier habit? And how do you do it so that she's not screaming her lungs out every time you take it away? If your baby's addicted to the paci, it can be difficult to make her stop, but not impossible. Here are a few tips on how to wean your little one off the pacifier for good: 

Early is easy. The earlier you take it away, the easier it will be, not to mention the less crying you'll have to deal with since she's too young to really express herself or remember what it is she's missing (out of sight, out of mind). It's best to wait until she's reached four months, so she gets the full benefits of the pacifier, which include: 

- Helps reduce the risk of SIDS or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome

- Improves sleep and reduces crying

- Helps breastfeeding

- Leads to more saliva production, which is a natural antacid


Use sleep cues. Make sure you're giving her sleep cues so that she knows it's time for bed. Bringing her into a dark room at a consistent time, with white noise or a lullaby to help her fall asleep on her own.

Cut down. Slowly cut down her use of the pacifier during the day. Distract her with lots of playtime or short walks outside so she doesn't even miss her beloved "binky." Do this until she stops using the pacifier in the day altogether.

Introduce a "lovey." A lovey is basically anything your child uses for security. This could be a stuffed animal, a blanket, or a burping cloth. A lovey can provide the comfort and security that she derived from the pacifier. It can serve as an effective sleep trigger which are essential especially during long car rides.

Too old? Don't stress out because you waited too long to kick the habit. If she's over four months or even over a year old, it can still be done, albeit with a lot more kicking and screaming. Here are some tips for the toddler who still can't let go:

- Trade up. Tell her she can get a new toy if she gives up her pacifier.

- Invoke the help of the Pacifier Fairy. Move over, Tooth Fairy. Tell her that new babies are born each day and that they too need a pacifier. The Pacifier Fairy will come to collect them and give them out to newborns. It'll make her feel like she's a "big girl" helping out.

- Snip it. Snipping the tip of a pacifier removes the ability to suck, which may help her eventually lose interest. Just be sure there are no pacifier pieces still stuck in there as this could be a choking hazard.

- Lose it. If all else fails, just pretend to lose it. Sooner or later, she'll forget about it and move on to the next new distraction.

Baby Steps

Your baby's first steps are the one of the most exciting and anticipated milestones in parenthood. Things are never quite the same after that. One day, you're carrying them home from the hospital, the next, they're wobbling about the room. To be able to help her along the way in taking those first few steps is one of the most rewarding things you could do. But how do you know she's ready to walk?

 

Signs your baby's ready to start walking:

1. Leaning on furniture to get into standing position; will try to let go and stand on her own.

2. Walking around the perimeter of a room while holding onto furniture for support. This is called "cruising."

3. Taking one or more steps toward you or a relative before falling.

4. Learning to stand up without furniture to support her when she falls in the middle of a room.

 

Tips on helping your baby walk:

1. Grasp your baby's hand and help her walk for long distances. This improves balance. 

2. Avoid walkers. They reduce her drive to learn to walk and stand on her own. They also increase the risk of injury.

3. Stationary activity lets babies play safely.

4. Don't stress over her inevitable tumbles; she'll be more frustrated than hurt.

5. Let her walk alongside her stroller for a few minutes each day. It's important she practices walking everyday to build her confidence and stability.

6. Child-proof your home by looking around each room at the eye level of a child. And make sure she wears no-slip socks.

7. Don't worry if you see a younger child start walking before your own little one. Typically, a child tries to walk between 9 to 18 months.

8. Don't fret if you notice her toes curling in or she's walking pigeon-toed, this, along with bow-leggedness and flat feet are common in toddlers. She should grow out of it eventually. 

9. Enjoy your baby's first steps and don't forget to capture the moment!

 

ARCHIVE
2017
May