Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Fun Activities to Help Toddlers Bond with Their Newborn Siblings! - Part I

My son Benjamin turned three in December. 
We celebrated his birthday at Walt Disney World. 
Before that, we celebrated almost every accomplishment, milestone and cute thing he did with tons of attention, cheers, outings and gifts.
He was the light of our lives-- our first child, the only grandchild on both sides of the family and my inspiration for so many things (including this blog).
But as of three weeks ago, Benny has a baby brother named Tobias. 
Throughout my second pregnancy, we explained to Benny that he would soon become a big brother. We read books for him on the topic and explained that our family would be growing into a family of four. We hyped the arrival of Toby and frequently reminded Benny that his baby brother would eventually become his best buddy.  
On the day Toby was born, Benny had a "Big Brother gift" waiting for him at the hospital. 
He was so endeared by his baby brother that day that he sung a lullaby for him, in front of all of us, in my hospital room. The cuteness and innocence of that moment practically had us all in tears!
But then came the time to bring our newborn home. And that's when sibling rivalry took over!

Benny is a sweet boy and we always knew he'd be nice to Baby Toby.
What was interesting though was seeing him go from giving his little brother soft pats and kisses to ignoring him altogether! 
During the first two weeks, if we asked him questions about Baby Toby, Benny would ignore us or change the subject. He started pretending to be an infant and would try going inside Toby's bassinet and ask for breastmilk. He was very sentimental and desperate for attention. It was as though he loved Toby but felt a lot of jealousy at the same time (which I've read is quite normal). 

But now that Toby is almost a month old, Benny has apparently come to terms with the reality that he is not the only child at home anymore.
He talks to Toby a lot and recently asked me: "Mama, when can I play with Toby?" 
"Is he old enough?"

Suddenly it occurred to me that toddlers need a "play" connection to feel close to other kids. 
So I put on my thinking cap and figured out a few ways to get my toddler to "play" with my newborn!

This is the first of three activities I will share to demonstrate how we made it happen. 
I must say, this was the most fun and laughs we've had in a long time (Hooray for Maternity Leave)!

Note: these play activities require adult supervision. AT. ALL. TIMES.

Benny the Pediatrician

I started out by creating a pretend doctor's office. In this activity, Benny was the pediatrician and I took my baby to see the doctor because he was showing symptoms of drinking too much milk...LOL. 

I printed and framed a few graphics and gathered all of Benny's doctor toys.

During the consultation, I explained to Dr. Benny that Baby Toby needed a check-up because he's always hungry!

Benny said: "Ok, let's put him on the bed"

Somehow he diagnosed Toby with a broken hand,,, (laughing)

In the middle of the consultation, Toby started crying and Dr. Benny turned around and asked him to keep it quiet."Shhhhhhhh," he said.

The doctor visit lasted quite a while, but fortunately, everything checked out fine in the end.... (hilarious)

 Thanks for reading... Stay tuned for Part II our Toddler-Newborn play activities!

1 comment:

songbirdandla said...

I love this :) so amazing!