Family life

When the oldest wants to take care of the youngest

When a new baby arrives in the household, the eldest child often tends to want to assert his place in the family. This is the perfect time to teach him about responsibilities!

Throughout our pregnancy, we usually tend to be excited to finally meet our new baby. But our children tend to manage the arrival of this little stranger into their life quite differently. It might be that your oldest is really excited to welcome the new baby and wants for nothing more than to participate in the family chores and to be like mommy and daddy. But what might also happen is the complete opposite where he feels the new baby is a threat to his well-established routine.

In both cases, if you invite him to get involved and help you take care of the baby by assigning simple tasks you can choose according to his interests, it could help ensure that the transition will be smooth and reassuring.

Age and personality matter

Depending on his age and personality, you can assess what type of tasks you feel he can accomplish so as make the experience as positive and rewarding for him as possible instead of being a potential source of stress and disappointment if he doesn’t understand the instructions he was given. When I was young, my mom kept telling me that I was like a real little tornado and therefore she didn’t dare let me care for my brother. Her trick was to let me use my talents as a little clown to entertain my brother by tickling his feet or making funny faces at him to make him laugh while she could handle dinner, laundry and other household chores.

When you assign tasks, remember to consider his age and his ability to keep the required level of concentration and interest for the task. Toddlers for example often have a tendency to be extremely passionate about one thing only to forget it as quickly not even 10 minutes later. Make sure that you won’t be put in a bad situation because he suddenly decides his blocks are far more interesting than helping you change a stinky diaper.

Ideas of easy tasks

Here are some ideas of simple tasks your children can participate in. Feel free to share your ideas with us in the comment section at the bottom of this article!

  • Changing diapers: it can be as simple as bringing you the wipes and the new diaper or even putting some cream on skin rashes (don’t forget to clean his hands afterwards).
  • When you are feeding the baby, you can all sit comfortably together and show your oldest how to hold the bottle or if you are breastfeeding, explain the proper way to cradle the baby in your arms. In all cases, it’s a great way to spend quality time together.
  • When your baby begins to eat, you can show your other children how to feed him or ask them to crush soft fruits like bananas or avocados with a fork.
  • Sometimes, simple tasks are enough to make sure your child feels included, like asking him to bring you the pacifier or blanket or distract the baby while you are preparing dinner.
  • Participating in the bed time routine: They can help you give the baby a bath or sing a song to the baby with you and of course give him a nice hug and a kiss to help them sleep.
  • With the new Tide Pods, your kids can help you do laundry easily! They will also love to help you put away the baby’s clothes in the dresser.
The benefits of involving your kids

There are several advantages to getting your kids involved in the routine of taking care of the little brother or sister. Kids love to help their parents because it makes them feel important and the experience helps them develop a sense of responsibility, which makes them feel valued. It can also teach them to see the tasks and responsibilities as a positive thing that brings all the members of the family closer together and that make him feel like he belongs to a great team that helps each other go through life together.

Image de Mariem Melainine
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