In these past couple of months and I have been learning what being a big sister is all about. Babies are a lot of work but they can be a lot of fun too and my baby sister is certainly a little cutie. There are times when having a baby around can be challenging but it’s important for all of us to remember that she is a little person and a member of our family.
My baby sister might not be able to run and play the way that I do but that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun together. Family bonds are important and it’s never too early to work on those relationships. It’s only through our interactions that we can get to know each other and build those family ties.
Mommy feels that I can be a bit rough sometimes and that some of my attempts at interacting with the baby are too much for my little sister to handle. On occasion there have been some tears shed but no real harm done. Under Mommy’s watchful eye I have been learning safe ways to play with my baby sister that we can both enjoy. Here are a few of my favourite activities that we can do together.
1. Sing Circle
I have always been musically inclined and at only two and a half years of age I know the words to quite a few songs. I especially enjoy the songs that have animated hand gestures to go with the words and Mommy and I have added certain actions to our favourite songs to make them even more fun. Singing songs has always been something we have done every day.
Here’s a good one from The Wiggles.
With the addition of a baby to our family, we have another person to join in our songs. Granted, she doesn’t know how to sing just yet, but we all have to start somewhere. Mommy and I have been teaching my little sister our songs by the use of a song circle.
We put the baby in her bouncy chair so that we can all be at floor level. Then Mommy and I sit on the floor with the three of us forming a circle so that we can see and hear each other clearly. Mommy and I sing our songs while the baby watches. She seems to enjoy our animated gestures and the sound of our voices and we have fun with it too.
2. Story Time
Books have always been a large part of my life and for as long as I can remember Mommy and I have been reading together. Reading is part of our bedtime routine and a fun way to spend time snuggling on the couch together. The love of books is something that I am eager to share with my baby sister.
At bedtime I have Mommy all to myself and we have our routine reading time together but during the day the baby often joins us on the couch for a story. As long as I have my daily alone time with Mommy, I really don’t mind sharing Mommy with the baby during the day. In fact I like sitting next to my little sister and enjoying her company.
Sometimes when Mommy is busy I take it upon myself to be the storyteller. I don’t quite know how to read yet but that doesn’t stop me from telling stories. I pull up a chair to where the baby can see me and sit down with one of my favourite books. Then I talk about the pictures while my sister listens.
3. Toy Box Treasure Hunting
Turns out, there was a time when I was a baby. As unbelievable as that sounds I know it to be true because Mommy has shown me photos. There is also evidence in the form of an impressive collection of baby toys. Now it is time to pull those simple toys out of hiding and share them with my sister.
Babies don’t know how to play with toys so it’s up to me to teach my little sister what toys are all about. Mommy places the bin of baby toys on the floor and she puts the baby in her swing or bouncy chair. We sit around the baby where she can see us and we take turns pulling out toys from the bin. We show each toy to the baby demonstrating it’s use and making sure to point out all of fun and interesting features of that toy.
The first few times we did this my baby sister showed little interest in the toys. Now she looks at them much more attentively and lately she has been making some effort to touch the toys we show her. It’s very rewarding to watch my little sister learn and grow. I get a sense of pride knowing that I helped teach her how to play.
4. Dance Party
One of my favourite activities consists of dancing along with YouTube videos. I love it when we play my favourite songs on the big TV so that I can dance around the living room. It’s even more fun when Mommy and Daddy join in! Then the three of us twirl around the room together trying to invent new dance moves that we can all try out.
My favourite YouTube video.
My baby sister doesn’t know how to walk yet but that doesn’t mean she can’t experience the fun of dancing. While she sits in her bouncy chair I demonstrate some of my best moves for her. She seems to enjoy the music, the bright colours of the videos, and all the action and excitement of my dancing.
Sometimes while I’m dancing Mommy scoops my baby sister up in her arms and holds her tight while she dances. Then Daddy joins in the fun and the next thing you know the whole family is dancing together in the living room. Then we’re having a real dance party and that’s my favourite way to dance.
5. Mommy’s Helper
There is a time for fun and games, and there is a time for serious business. Babies are a lot of work and they require a great deal of attention. I take the job of being a big sister very seriously and Mommy has been teaching me how to take care of my baby sister. It’s important work!
Mommy has taught me that the baby cries because she is sad and needs our help. I know that my little sister likes her pacifier and I know how to get it gently into her mouth. My baby sister likes her soft blankie and I’m becoming an expert at tucking her in and making sure that her face isn’t covered. There is a lot to know when taking care of a baby and I’m still learning.
Whenever I hear my little sister crying, I immediately alert Mommy and Daddy to the fact the baby needs us. I am the bringer of tissues when Mommy is feeding the baby and I am the fetcher of dropped pacifiers. I have an important role in taking care of the baby and my little sister knows that she can count on me.
It’s never too early to start building family ties and my sister and I are well on our way. We’re going to be the best of friends!