Congrats On Your Newborn — Don’t Forget About Your Toddler!
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss our first born while waiting for the delivery of our second. At times I worried if Sebastian felt left out or even thought about where we might be.
We’ve talked to Sebastian several times about having his baby brother. And although he understood he was going to be a big brother, he didn’t quite understand what it meant when we left him with my father the morning my water broke.
It Started With A ‘Pop’
I’ve always joked about “when I was going to pop” and then it happened. My water broke around 4 a.m. and I heard and felt a pop down below. Sebastian did too and said “mommy” as to signal something was to come after.
And he was right.
His baby brother was delivered that day by VBAC and we were at the hospital for three days. Sebastian didn’t mind the first the night. The following day was the toughest.
Because he was brought to the hospital to meet his baby brother the night he was born, Sebastian was just happy to have us together again. He even made room for everyone on the hospital bed. Jeff and I joked about where Rocky would go, and Sebastian actually made room for him. It was sweet.
But there were tears… And lots of it.
The following day, we got a phone call from my dad and could hear the screams of our toddler. He begged my dad to take him outside and into the car to see his baby brother at the hospital.
It was touching, yet painful to hear our big boy in tears.
Without hesitating, Jeff decided it’d be best to pick him up from home and bring him over. I left some food for them to share since it was dinner time. It was one of the best things I could’ve done to calm his nerves. Sebastian seemed worried that we wouldn’t be paying attention to him.
And to be honest, it was tough for me to balance both at first. So here’s what we started to do:
We made time for both.
Because they’re both a product of our love, Jeff and I began to split ourselves between the two. If I was busy with Christian, Jeff would explain why I wasn’t available at the moment and vice versa.
We continued to share precious moments with Sebastian.
Our big boy loves to cuddle on the couch and watch TV as a family and share snacks with us. Jeff and I made sure we kept his “tradition” while we were at the hospital. I’d save fruits and juices from the staff just for Sebastian and Jeff would do the same whenever he’s grab a bite outside the hospital. Sebastian would climb on the bed with me and chow down. This really made a difference for him since I’d have the baby changed, fed, and napping by the time he’d arrive.
Little inexpensive gifts for the big brother.
The hospital supplied two little animals made out of towels and stickers for eyes. We kept them to the side for Sebastian to play with. It made his day whenever he’d see them.
During one of Jeff’s trips to a local CVS, he picked up a small Mickey Mouse figure for Sebastian to play with. Out big boy was so excited to show me the next morning over FaceTime and walked around the entire house so I could see everything that was going on while I was away.
Talk to them both about each other.
Jeff and I have been telling Sebastian about his baby brother since the moment we knew we were expecting our little guy. We’d explain to him that no matter what, we’d equally be there for them.
Do you have any tips for us on caring for a newborn and a toddler?