When I became pregnant with my second child, I spent a lot of time worrying about how my son would deal with having a baby. Would he get jealous? Make her cry? Compete for attention?
I should’ve been more optimistic. My son adjusted to his new sister, and despite the occasional fight over toys and attention, the two adore each other. New research also shows that babies benefit from having older siblings! Read on for more info.
Studies show that 60% of second kids would walk earlier than their siblings. A lot’s got to do with copying—they want to join the game! Older siblings are also eager to hold their hand while they take their first steps, or pull toys for the baby to chase.
We get really guilty about having to divide time between our kids, and shortchanging our baby because we can’t ‘dote’ as much on them as we did with our firstborn. But your second or third child has something really special—older siblings who can shower them with attention! My son likes to read to his sister, help her build block towers, tickle her, etc. And truth be told, my daughter’s favorite person in the house isn’t me or her dad, but her brother!
She said what?
It’s amazing how attuned your kids will be to each other. When your baby starts talking, often using a mishmash of sounds that make little sense, your older child will be one of the first to figure out what she wants. It’s just that connection that kids have.
Double the opportunities to learn
My daughter loves following her brother around and copying what he does. Naturally, he’s interested in ‘big kid’ things, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t pick something up from them. For example, he’s really into taekwando. Each time he practices new kicks and moves, she gets up and tries to do the same. It’s a good workout for her—she practices coordination and motor skills, and is having a lot of fun! Copying her brother’s fascination for cars also helped improve her dexterity. And all this is cheaper than enroliing my baby in expensive enrichment classes!