For those who read a blog post that I had published before Elaina was born, this post is to follow up on that.
Those who haven’t, a little break down: I had heard of a method to prepare toddlers (esp those under two) for another sibling by introducing stuffed animals as a means of getting them used to having a baby. In our household Zayn opted for a stuffed bunny whom we called “baby”. I’d pretend feed it when Zayn would eat, bath it when Zayn would, invite the bunny to play when Zayn and I would be playing legos or painting. Long story short it was to try and eliminate the jealousy that toddlers feel towards a new sibling most of the time.
Well I’m glad to scream ” IT WORKED! IT BLOODY WORKED!”. As soon as we brought Elaina home, he wanted to take care of her just as much as I did. Till this very day change time consists of him running into her room, handing me her nappy, dragging his little stepping stool to hop on and ” ELP”. Help isn’t the word, he has surpassed all the expectations I had in regards to his reaction to another sibling in the house. I see parents with children close in age trying to make the other feel good by saying things like ” baby yucky, so and so is niiiccceee “. That is not the way to go. I understand children get jealous and maybe I’m just one of the lucky few however encouraging those types of comments will only lead to one thing ‘ superiority ‘.
Toddlers love to feel independent even though we don’t allow them to be most of the time they still try and tap into that side of them at every moment they get, so let them. The first thing I did when Zayn walked into the hospital room was hand Elaina over to him, yes a lot of people were and still are to this day sceptical of having a toddler carry a newborn ( with all eyes on them mind you ).. But not allowing them that right builds on the thoughts they might having going on in their little minds ” so only mum and dad can carry her, so she’s special, I can’t ” – these thoughts are there. So carry her he did, feed her he tried, played with her he failed but I never said no. Yes I approached them all with caution, but I wanted to paint a loud picture in his mind as subliminal as humanly possible -that she’s not all that special.
Big brother he has become, so stereotypical but yes he is protective. The moment he hears her cry in the morning, he’ll make sure her door is open only to bolt in and try to comfort her by saying ” laynaa ishh okaayy “. Once he realises that isn’t working, common sense kicks in and he screams ” MAMA LAYNNAAA WANNA EAAATT! ”
So yes, it feels good to know that I stuck to something and succeeded! It was boring as hell, fake changing a bunny, bathing, feeding, playing with a bunny !! In the end though I came out winning and boy am I cheering now.