Welcoming a newborn into the world is a great event, as is bringing him or her home. On the other hand, taking care of the baby for the next few years can be a bit more hectic. Fortunately, parents with more than one child have a saving grace – the other child. It’ll take a little bit of teaching, but you can show a young child how to take care of their newborn sibling. As a parent, you must remember that it isn’t your child’s job to take care of the newborn though. Let’s get started!
Going Through the Motions
In the beginning, you and your husband or wife will want to take care of the newborn. No child should handle a newborn until it has been home for a few days – at the very least. During this time, you should have your young child watch you as you take care of the newborn. Show your older child how to change diapers, prepare formula, and all of the other things. Just get your child familiar with what a newborn needs each day. Basically, you’ll want to make sure that your child knows how to do the following:
– Prepare formula and feed the newborn
– Change diapers and clean the newborn
– Give the newborn a bath
– Rock the newborn to sleep
– Anything else you deem necessary
Most children will be more than willing to help out with the newborn since it is their younger brother or sister. So then, there shouldn’t be any problems with getting your child to help take care of the newborn. It’s mostly a matter of making sure that your child knows how to carry out each task.
Letting Your Young Child Take Care of Some Tasks
At some point, you will need to let your child help out with taking care of the newborn. This can be done anytime after the first few days of the newborn’s arrival. Your child shouldn’t have any problems taking care of small tasks for the baby, depending upon his or her age. Obviously, you can’t let a four year-old carry around a baby, but he or she could change a diaper or feed the baby. Just use your proper judgment to decide upon what your child can and can’t do without a problem. Six or seven year-olds can take care of most baby-related tasks though. Either way, a little bit of help for parents can go a long way.
Don’t Turn Your Child Into A Parent!
It shouldn’t be your child’s job to take care of the new baby. Therefore, you shouldn’t put all responsibilities on his or her shoulders because the newborn is your responsibility as a parent. Putting too much on your child’s shoulders is the exact wrong thing to do. In fact, that’s just neglectful toward both the newborn and his or her older sibling. No parent in their right mind would push all newborn responsibilities on their child, so you shouldn’t make such a huge mistake. You are the parent!
Here’s to Joyful Days!
Having a newborn in the house is a great and wonderful period of time that continues on until the newborn grows up and leaves home. For those first few years, you can get help from the newborn’s older sibling, assuming you show him or her how to take care of the baby. All parents must remember that they are the mother or father – not the child. A young child can and usually will help out with the newborn, but it shouldn’t be his or her full-time job!
For more information, visit Parents.com.