When I had my first child, I did what all new parents do. And what we are all told not to do. I spent hours ‘googling’ about all things baby related. What else was I going to do to keep me occupied in the hours I spent breastfeeding? Well apart from trash TV!
Was our routine (or lack thereof) normal? Was his poo normal? Is he feeding enough? If he doesn’t sleep enough will it effect his development? How am I best to settle him to not create a rod for my own back? For every suggestion there was always a counter argument from someone else. That’s just how life works isn’t it? This ‘googling’ however, left me more confused and stressed than ever.
When I had my second child, I was a lot more relaxed and just went with the flow. I didn’t try to force a routine. I let her ‘lead’ me and I honestly didn’t worry about ‘doing this or not doing that.’ You kind of ‘just know’ what to do and there is no right or wrong. Just what’s best for you and your child and your situation.
What I didn’t know this time however was how to handle a newborn and an extremely active toddler who was on the verge of understanding what was happening but not quite there yet.
In my many hours of ‘googling’ the first time around, I had stumbled upon Pinky McKay’s website. A international certified lactation consultant with five children of her own, Pinky provides real-world, no-nonsense, parenting support and approaches. She is not everyone’s cup of tea and is not without controversy but isn’t everyone who tries to give advice about babies and children? For me however, her methods and advice seemed to fit my style ‘most’ of the time. I say ‘most’ because I don’t agree with everything she says.
Anyway what I am getting to is this post. When you bring home a new baby, its not easy for your other children especially if they are still too young to understand what is happening. As Pinky so aptly put, its like ‘After hearing that your partner loves you and his new lover equally, you are asked to share all your things with this intruder. It also turns out that you won’t be getting as much attention as you used to because the new lover is a bit upset about something….’ She provides some great advice as to ways to reduce ‘incidents’ of jealously. Some of the tips that are working for us are:
- Teaching him ‘gentle hands’
- Commenting positively and acknowledge when he is being helpful
- Giving him some designated one on one time that he can count on every day
Luckily for us we haven’t experienced too much jealousy so far but it can happen anytime. We still have eyes poked and faces scratched. A normal toddler trying to hug and play with his ‘sista’ and having to be taught ‘gentle’ tactics. Maybe it’s luck or maybe it’s actively employing some of these strategies. Who knows with children?
Do you have any other good tips that have worked?