When it comes to bringing a new baby home, it can be an exciting and scary event. New parents, and expert parents, never know what to expect with a new baby. Add an older sibling into the equation and things can get a little hectic. Young tots don’t know what to think of this new little human, who screams a lot and takes up all of mommy and daddy's time. All they know is that they don’t have all the attention anymore, and that can start some drama. Yelling and screaming, toy throwing, hair pulling, it could get nasty.
As they get older, siblings will fight a lot. Regardless of how many arguments need to be broken up, having older siblings in a family is, surprisingly, a good thing. Even their arguments have benefits, depending on how a parent reacts. When a baby is born, they will pay more attention to their sibling then they do with mom or dad.
Real talk, when there is a toddler running around screaming with a underpants on their heads, who wouldn’t pay attention? Although it may not seem like it, newborns who have an older sibling to look up to and mimic is, actually, beneficial for them. Here is a list of some of the benefits newborns have from having an older sibling.
15 Babies Learn To Walk Sooner
Most babies start walking around 12-15 months old. However, studies show that younger siblings start to walk sooner. They tend to shadow their older siblings and try to keep up with them. Although, this is not always the case. Most babies see their older brothers or sisters going places they cannot go, reaching for things that they cannot have, and jumping around, which are things they can not do.
Experienced kids are getting into things and climbing onto cabinets, while a baby may wish he could. Situations, such as these, can urge a sweet little babe to want to do the same, and some may even attempt it.
Astonishingly enough, there are babies that can skip the crawling phase altogether. They become overly excited to follow their siblings around that they skip the nonsense and go straight to walking.
14 They Will Grow Kingdoms Of Imagination
One thing I always had as a kid is an awesome imagination. To this day, I love to write stories and come up with exciting activities, because I learned about astronauts and scientists from my older sibling.
Babies who grow up with an older brother, or sister, tend to learn to play with toys that are targeted at older children. They have their big brother or sister, maybe even a cousin, teaching them the ways of exploring new kingdoms, fighting new dragons, saving new princesses. They mimic what their older influencers are doing and how they are playing.
With all these factors, this is what makes babies more creative. Watch out mom and dad, during the summer months, an older baby will always try to follow his brother or sister. Be honest and creative when telling a baby, who barely speaks, why he or she cannot go in the pool with mom or dad. Or the scenario when a toddler learns how to ride a tricycle, and the baby has to sit on the back of a dad's bicycle.
13 Kids Will Want To Help Soothe The Baby
As a first-time mother, each time a baby cries, her instinct is to run right to him. Without realizing, mothers can install bad habits in their child by doing this. They will pick up on the fact that every time they cry, someone will come running. In return, this can start to irritate parents, as their child will cry for attention and not because they are in need of something. Grandma will tell every mother that the best thing to do is to allow them to, occasionally, cry it out, as hard as that can be. A mother's heart will ache until she notices that the older tot is running towards the baby. Young babies will begin recognizing their older companion and begin crying for their attention rather than for mom.
Now, having a second child can make it hard on a mother, as they are being pulled in all different directions. She will have two kids to care for which can be a hassle with a toddler and a new baby. A mother will have no choice but to allow one to cry a little while she tends to her other child. If she were unwilling to sit back and allow her first child to soothe himself, now she will have no choice.
12 They Will Always Have Each Other
Growing up an only child can be a lonely time, in some ways. All a child will have is his mom and dad. At times, he will get to go spend time with his cousins and play with them, but it is still not the same. The greatest benefit of having a sibling is they're never alone. He will always have someone around to play with, talk to, even fight with, all the time. They can help with homework, getting bottles from the fridge, and whipping up a delicious batch of banana bread (avoid having toddlers use the ovens, that's self-explanatory.) Having siblings also means each child will always have a protector by their side, regardless if they are the older or younger sibling.
Just watch out, mommy and daddy, because as a baby, it is hard to reach for those yummy snacks that babies are supposed to eat. However, if there's a determined tot in the house, they will always there to lend a hand and help a baby get to those hard to yummy goodies, in those hard to reach places.
11 They Will Always Have A Translator
Babies have a hard time expressing what they really want. For a while, all they can do is lay down, sit in a vibrating chair that's dangling with all kinds of toys, and cry until mom picks up on the clue of what they want. As they get older, they learn to point, and babble made up words. As hard and frustrating as it is not to be able to understand a baby, at times, they learn, sooner or later, how to say what they want.
When another child is involved, the oldest becomes a newborn's personal translator. This can have its benefits for mommy and daddy as it makes it easier to know what they want. Big brother or sister is there to a baby's rescue.
Another benefit of having an older sibling to direct a youngster in the right direction, a baby will learn words from their role model. They have a better understanding of a toddler's way of speech, rather than mom's fluent language.
10 Babies Will Receive More Attention
Having a baby takes a lot of work. Mom's whole life revolves around her child and his needs. From changing diapers, constant feedings, mountain high loads of laundry, and frequent baths from all that spit up and unpleasant messes. A new baby needs his mom's constant attention. Now, let's add another child to the mix, and mom's attention becomes split in two different directions, three if dad's home. Let's admit, having a husband is like having a third child.
Newborns are helpless and can’t do anything for themselves, so they need mom and dad. Unfortunately, for the other children in the home, this means less one-on-one attention for them. However, this does not have to be a sad thing. The best way to share the attention is to ask your older tots to help out. And, most likely, they will be excited about being able to help with the new baby or at least mom!
9 Babies Will Learn From The Best
When you have a child, that child relies on you to teach him everything about life. Things like walking, talking, eating right, how to tie their shoes, how to dress, are all things that come from learning and mimicking. Some kids learn at a faster pace while others will take a little bit longer to learn certain things. The best thing to do is to let them learn at their own pace.
There is a benefit to having an older pal around. Babies pay more attention to their siblings then they do anything else. Here is this little human running around, shouting Lion King songs, and they are curious. The advantage is that they learn everything faster because of this. They will start to mimic their older sibling. He or she is a role model to them and they want to do what they're doing. What’s good about this, though, it not only benefits them as babies and toddlers but will, eventually, benefit them in their teenage years and adulthood.
8 They Will Learn How To Be Sympathetic
Sibling rivalry is a common thing around households. From the time they are babies, all the way to their adult life, they will argue. As soon as parents bring their new baby home, the oldest child will lose a portion of mom's attention. Depending on the age gap, this can start a jealous rage, or even insecurities, between them and the new baby.
When a baby becomes a little bit older, they will start defending themselves. Situations where screaming, hair pulling, toy throwing, and blaming the other sibling will occur. It can be overwhelming, for parents, to constantly be breaking up petty arguments.
There is an upside to all this fighting though. Depending on how parents handle the situation, it will teach them how to resolve an argument in the future. It teaches them how to settle problems by themselves and makes them more sympathetic individuals.So a word to the wise, instead of yelling at them or spanking them, separate them calmly and talk to them with a calm demeanor using kind words.
7 Mountains Of Toys Will Appear
Toys, toys, and more toys. Kids have toys, literally, everywhere. It's inevitable, which child doesn’t love toys? Stuffed animals, music makers, light up gadgets, and plastic pieces that went with a game that longer exists in the house, kids love them. In most cases, the first child is always the most spoiled child. They will get tons of new toys, clothes, and nifty gadgets. Parents may overdo it on the toy supply, and that is totally fine.
The benefits of having an older sibling continue as all those toys that were bought for the eldest child will be saved for baby #2 or #3. In addition to all the new toys that newborns will receive from relatives and friends, they will also be gifted their big bro's toys. In the end, the youngest of the clan will always come out on top with the most amount of materialistic items.
6 And Don't Forget The Endless Amount Of Clothes
When you have your first child, the number of clothes that you will receive and buy will be bigger than Mount-Everest. Between the things parents buy, the things they get at baby showers, and everything else in between that are labeled as "just because" can be a little overwhelming. You won’t know where to put it all. Some clothes will get stained and ripped and the best thing to do is to throw them away. However, the remaining clothes that will be left for the new baby, plus the things that will be gifted and bought, will also leave any parent overwhelmed, but grateful. Parents are always advised to slow their roles with the amount they purchase since their little peanut will outgrow them before some of them can even be worn.
But, of course, there's always a downfall to these very positive situations. Welcoming a baby of a different gender will leave parents stuck with the countless amount of clothes from their older child, and having to run out to buy new pieces for their upcoming arrival. If you're planning on having more kids, try to stock up on gender-neutral clothing such as onesies, and denim slacks.
5 Mommy Gains More Experience
First-time moms tend to stress out a lot. Calm down, mama, you're doing a great job! But, it can feel as though no matter how many baby books you've read, or shows you've watched, you are simply not ready. Moms could read every baby book in the world, but it doesn’t mean she will be ready for the new arrival.
By her second child though, she will feel like a pro. She will know which cry is meant for feeding, a dirty diaper or to be cuddled. Every baby has different personalities, and what may work for one baby will not always work on another. Will he or she be a good sleeper or will they barely ever sleep, will they enjoy the same formula as the first child? Heck, they may even prefer to sleep in their cot, rather than co-sleeping like baby #1 did. There are all kinds of different scenarios that can happen that will make any mom go rethink her strategies.
4 Sharing Is Caring
Being an only child, she will receive all the attention wants and needs to satisfy her tiny little heart. Between scoops of ice cream, and the latest flying airplane, the oldest child will want for nothing. When it's time to bring home the new baby though, money and time play large factors on the older tot not to get exactly what she wants when she wants it. First, it starts with having to share their mommy and daddy with a newcomer, then their old bottles and binkies, next up clothes and toys.
Learning to share is a big thing in every child’s life. Single child or multifamily homes, it doesn’t matter. When a child goes off to school, they will learn to share with their classmates, otherwise, they may not be allowed to play with that toy, or read that book. It is a good thing to teach your child, early on in life, to share what they have.
3 Run, Jump and Leap, Grasshopper
Toddlers, boy can they drain the energy out of you. The constant asking of the questions, wanting to play, and into everything. You will find out real fast how much of a handful they can be. The good thing is they will keep you on your feet and help you get your daily dose of exercise each day and keep your brain sharp from being on alert all the time.
When you have a second child some things may get a little bit easier though. The benefit of having a toddler is that they will bother your youngest more than they will bother you. Instead of bugging you to play, they will bug their younger sibling. Once your youngest starts walking, they can chase them around. The good thing is your baby stays active, the toddler has a playmate and you have some time to sit and relax now and again. Just be prepared for the negatives. More than one means more work in some ways. You got more kids running around and getting into things.
2 Babies Will Want What He's Having
When babies have someone else to laugh at and talk to, someone who will reach for their binkies when they drop it and make silly faces when they cry, it can benefit their moods. It makes them feel happy and safe. They have a lesser chance of developing anxiety and gives them higher self-esteem. They also have better eating habits and fewer chances of obesity.
Younger siblings tend to mimic what their older siblings eat. If the older sibling only eats a little each meal, well they will mimic and do the same. This can have good advantages, but there are also some bad effects to that. These negative effects can include higher chances of catching a common cold, or chicken pox, since the moment one child gets sick, the other will surely catch it as well. However, when it comes to chicken pox, some mothers will make their children play with other children who have it, and place the two siblings together, just so they can be done and over with it.
1 Ready, Set, Go... But It's Not A Race
When your little and growing up around an older sibling, there is always going to be competition. From babies, all the way into adult life. You will always have that feeling inside to want to prove who is genetically superior from sports, school, work, even who gets their first date. It can seem like a headache for the parents, but it actually can benefit your children's futures as they develop ways to compete in the workforce and to strive to be their best selves.
As babies and toddlers, they're always going to be competition to do certain things. Who can make it across the room the fastest, who can eat their food the fastest, or clean up their toys the quickest? Everything will become a type of competition in their eyes. However, parents, make sure to give both children positive feedback. When a child is in last place, remind them to continue practicing, and that it is all for fun.