about our elephant

Wednesday, February 3

going from 1 precious child - to 2

We were worried about the transition of 1 child to 2 with Riott. He is a first born, he's had ALL of our attention since day one, and he is HEADSTRONG. We were so afraid he was going to be jealous of the baby... not like the baby... maybe even hurt the baby. However, I can honestly say we have not had ONE bout of jealousy and he's never tried to do anything (on purpose or accidently) to Beckham except love on him. I learned most of the techniques below from a college professors wife (they had EIGHT children and I really respected how they lived and loved each other). It may not be for everyone or every child, but it worked wonders with us!

Here's what we did/do:

-We never try to keep Riott away from Beckham (we want them to love eachother with a great love... we want them to never be able to remember a time they weren't "best buds" - even from day 1 of B's birth). Yes, especially when you have a new NEWborn you have to watch them a little more closely, but that wears off in weeks. Literally weeks.

-When B was born, we brought a gift to the hospital "from Beckham" to Riott. So when Riott saw the new baby for the first time, he got to play with a baby (which he loved babies) AND he got a present (a motorcycle) that he LOVED!!! To this day Ri calls that motorcycle "Beckham present motorcycle".

-We never prevent Riott from being able to touch Beckham (unless he's sleeping - we don't want him to wake him up... or unless he's eating - b/c that annoys mom. haha.). Once the baby was about 3-4 weeks old we had Riott trained on "soft" or "gentle" touch. And Riott LOVED to point out the baby's "eyes", "nose", etc. We also had off limits areas: the soft spot on the head and the eyes. We never told Riott "no" (he finds "no" so offensive and we didn't want anything associated with the baby to be a "negative" in Riott's mind). Instead, we tell him "let's not touch the eyes, we don't want to hurt him. He can't see when you touch his eyes." We had a scary moment once when Riott was yanking on B's leg... but I quickly realized he was just making Beckham dance like I do... and ultimately, babies are really tough. A little yank here and an accidental bump there is not going to cause damage.

-At least once a day we let Riott "hold" Beckham. Riott would get up on the couch and sit in MY lap and then I put Beckham in Riott's lap. I have complete control over the situation but Riott feels like he's in control. He usually only wants to hold him for a few seconds b/c the baby is heavy and wiggly.

-Since B's eyes have been able to follow an object, he's followed Ri. We can already tell he ADORES his big brother. We ALWAYS ALWAYS stress to Ri, "Riott look. Beckham's watching you... he loves you so much.... he loves his big brother." etc.

-We stress to Riott the importance of "taking care of Beckham". We tell him that Beckham is just a little baby and he needs someone to take care of him. We also stress this when Riott wants to play too rough or is touching a little too hard.

-Riott has become a big help. If i'm cooking/cleaning or whatever and Beckham is crying... Riott runs to me and says "Beckham crying. Hold him?" He already has such genuine concern for Beckham. If I can't go get the baby at that moment, I'll tell Riott to go play with him and Ri will go and try to entertain him for a few minutes. He knows what he can and cannot do. This has helped so much b/c i know i don't have to have my eyes on the baby 24/7. I can fix lunch... or do a load of laundry. And i never have to run and check on the baby because I trust Riott 100% (yes it took a few weeks to get to that point... b/c he had to learn too... but after that - no worries at all!).

Take it or leave it but it's worked wonders for us. No jealousy. Non-stop hugs and kisses all day long from Riott to Beckham!!! Only one accident that really hurt beckham (riott dropped a heavy toy on him) but we calmed B down quickly, Riott said sorry on his own, gave him kisses, and everyone was just fine. AND they love each other so much! Already! It's amazing!!!!

Hope this helps someone out there. :)

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Good advice for the future! I love the blog makeover:-)