One of the best tips I received about bringing a newborn baby into the house was how to make his older sibling feel included with this new addition.
Firecracker was born at midnight, and at 4 a.m. I had a lovely nurse stop in my room to check on him. As my husband snoozed away (as if he was the one whom had just given birth), our nurse quietly reminded me how to care for a newborn; and then she gave me some unsolicited advice that was golden: how to made sure our 2 year-old accepted the baby.
Her advice? When we arrived at the house with our new bundle of joy, make sure it isn’t Mommy who was carrying the newborn into the house. Leave that symbolic event to Dad.
Her second piece of advice was to bring a present for the oldest from “the baby.” This would show that the baby recognized the importance of having a big brother or sister.
At the time my 26 month old son was very attached to me; so we appreciated this nugget of wisdom. We did just as the nurse advised. My husband carried our newborn into the house, the baby gave his older sibling, Sunbeam, a set of bridges for his Thomas the Train set, and then we set the sleeping baby off to the side so we could devote our attention to Sunbeam.
After about forty-five minutes Sunbeam showed interest in the bundle that slightly moved in the corner. After checking him out for a couple of minutes, he ran off, found a toy, and gave it to the baby as a gift.
They’ve been best buds ever since.