The second baby is coming – how to strengthen the sibling relationship

Strengthening the sibling relationship is an important task that should begin during pregnancy with the second baby. For me it has always been clear, I definitely want to have two children. Then they always have each other, always have someone they can count on to be there for them, even if it's not us as parents anymore. For my children to have a reliable and good relationship, it is important that they have a deep bond with each other.

So I have already thought in advance how I can promote the sibling relationship from the beginning and strengthen the bond between my children. When I found out I was pregnant with my son, our second child, I bought two books for our daughter about having a sibling, including illustrations of how he or she is first still in the womb and then later, when born, lives with the family as a baby. All not too clinical or detailed, but very nicely told for small children. I can highly recommend the book "A baby for all of us" by Gunilla Hansson. Or also the book "Leonie gets a sibling" from the Leonie book series.

Strengthen the sibling relationship: Involve the older sibling from an early age

So I often read the sibling books to my daughter in the evenings so that she could get an idea of where her sibling came from and that he was already part of our family in my belly and not, as they used to tell the kids, had been brought over by an ominous rattling stork. She should know that her sibling is growing up in my belly, just like she used to and then is born. I also showed her my growing belly and let her feel when her brother moved around. But since my daughter was still quite small herself at the time of my second pregnancy, she didn't have much interest in what was going on inside my belly.

When my son was born, my daughter visited us in the hospital in the evening and even then everything was rather confusing for her and she was not very interested in her little brother. Back home, our son slept in the family bed, which in my opinion strengthens the feeling of togetherness as a family, at least in the first years. You can read my post about our experience with the family bed here.

Giving the older sibling the attention he needs

In any case, it was important for the strengthening of the sibling relationship that I always tried to divide myself between my children as much as possible in everyday life. It wasn't easy at all and I often felt like one of my kids was just missing out. Nevertheless, I was very careful not to disappear from the scene of my daughter and to crawl into bed with my son for one or two weeks, but I put my daughter to bed every night as usual (because she also demanded it strongly). So there was no change at all for them in this area. In addition, I just took my son everywhere with me whenever I did something with my daughter. When playing together, I simply held him in my arms while I played with my daughter. So my son had the important physical closeness he needed and my daughter continued to have my (almost) undivided attention.

I think that it was very important for the sibling relationship of my children that my daughter did not have to do without much in terms of my closeness, presence and attention. I was still there for her a lot and therefore she did not develop any real jealousy of her little brother. Bits of jealousy occurred only very rarely in certain phases. But of course the new family situation was something my daughter had to get used to first. This was especially noticeable in her behavior at the beginning, when she first kept her distance from me. This was pretty hard for me because my daughter and I had a very deep relationship up until then. After a short time our relationship became more normal again, but it has already changed a bit, which is not at all absent when the family constellation changes.

Later, when my son also demanded my attention, it became more difficult for me to divide myself between my children, to give each of them the attention they demanded and to do justice to both of them. It was and still is especially exhausting when both of them want something from me at the same time.

A strong sibling relationship is important

When my kids were younger, I couldn't imagine that they would be able to spend so much time with each other that I could really do the laundry or make dinner in peace and quiet. But already when my son was about one year old, they started to play together and the playing together became more and more as time went by. At the same time, my daughter clearly set the tone at the beginning and guided her little brother in the play world. As a result, my son has been playing differently since he was 10 months old than children of the same age without an older sibling. Even at 1 and 2 years old his play was very imaginative and dominated by lively role play. I definitely attribute that to the influence of his big sister who showed him how to play.

It is so nice how my two children can play together for hours, even if they argue regularly, which is just part of it. Despite the quarrels they love each other and take care of each other. That is very nice to see and pleases me every time. What I also find very valuable is that my children comfort each other when one of them is angry or sad and that is sometimes exactly what they need at that time.

A regular mom also wrote a blog post on the topic of sibling relationships. It is also nice to read the interview by Frau Mutter with the blogger Nathalie Kluver on the subject of "Eine ganz normale Mama". Look nevertheless gladly times purely&

Do you also have two or more children and have had similar experiences? Or is the second one on the way and you are wondering how you can reduce the jealousy of the firstborn and strengthen the sibling relationship?? Then I hope that I could give you a few suggestions about it.

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