The baby has arrived and you want to lend a hand and help. If it’s about the baby, then the best gift is the gift of time and love for the new mum. If the help is with the toddler, then read my tips to assist you on your way. Birth is a bubbling, exciting and frustrating time for all the family members and even though you say you remember what it was like, time and situations do change. No two families operate the same way. My experience as Grandma Marg to the children in Brisbane tells me that it’s good to have a creative personality and energy to tackle the many situations that come your way. You might like to consider these.
1 Allow the toddler to kiss and cuddle the 5 week old baby. Take a photo of the two of them. ( a new romance has begun!)
2 Talk to the toddler about his new hair cut, new toys and his bedroom quilt cover -sometimes a distraction from the baby is welcoming.
3 Refer to the new baby in general conversation allowing the child to see the bigger picture of family.
4 Allow the toddler to show you some new baby gifts. Which is the biggest gift? Where does this gift go?
5 Have an outing in the stroller to the park or walk down the footpath collecting leaves.
6 Let the little one help cook with you or butter a sandwich or dig in the dirt. If it’s hot weather, a hose is the handy toy.
7 Draw a picture and decorate with stickers, circles, stars etc
8 The child can become very clingy and attached to mummy. Use the art of clever distraction – ice block, making a pretend muffin, cleaning the shower screen with spray bottle, tickles and cuddles, television cartoon, pets or painting a picture.
9 Let the child watch mummy feeding the baby. Occupy your time with a small job in the house.
10 Encourage the child to tell you things about their new sister/ brother. Does he like his bath time? What story might he like to listen to? Are you gentle with his face and arms? Encourage conversation.