27 October 2012

published: how we prepared caila for her new sibling

Last month, Mother, Baby & Child Magazine posted the following question on their facebook page: What is the best way to tell your child that he/she is about to have a new sibling? The question was timely because hubby and I had been preparing Caila for her little sister’s arrival, so I sent my answer which was based on experience, some tips of which I got from N@W. And early this month, I received an e-mail from the magazine’s Chief Editor saying that their October issue included my contribution. I was excited of course! For the first time, something I wrote had been published in a credible magazine that’s read by so many parents here in the UAE! Usually, there’s a mother’s view and a specialist’s view that answers their monthly question, but I noticed that this time, there was only a mother’s view (mine)…which, I would like to believe, most probably meant that what hubby and I had been doing were the right things to do. Wow!
If you’ve read what I wrote in the magazine (it’s on page 89) and you’re wondering how Caila is since our second daughter arrived, I’m proud to say that we prepared her well. Sure she was a bit jealous at first because of the attention her little sister was getting, but she was able to understand pretty quickly. When she comes home from school and her sister is awake, Caila tells Sharice about what she did in class. Random times throughout the day, Caila often touches her little sister’s hands or feet and says “Hi, Baby Sophie,” or plants kisses on her tummy or head. Whenever she hears Sharice cry, she immediately goes to her and says “Don’t cry, Baby Sophie; Ate Caila is here.” During the times she sees us carrying the baby, she also wants to carry her (which we let her do sometimes, with our support of course).
She also helps out by giving us things we need to dress the baby or throwing away soiled diapers. When I’m breastfeeding, she gives me pillows to make sure I’m comfortable, and hands me a tissue or cloth to wipe the milk that escape the baby’s mouth. And when someone is feeding Sharice by the bottle, Caila likes to help by holding the bottle as well.
Of course there are some times when she gets annoyed at her little sister, but fortunately there have been only two instances this happened during the past month. The first was a few days after I gave birth and we were still in the hospital. Caila was taking her afternoon nap on my bed when Sharice cried and wouldn’t stop. Annoyed at having her slumber interrupted, she angrily looked at the baby and said “I’m sleeping!” The second instance was during Sharice’s first check-up. When Caila saw her little sister sleeping in her old stroller, she suddenly wanted to sit in it (even though it’s been a loooong time since she used it). So when she thought no one was looking, she stood by Sharice and tried to wake her up, thinking that if she did, one of us would carry the baby and she could sit in the stroller.

So far, we’re really glad and proud of how Caila adjusted to her new role as the big sister so easily. I just hope and pray it continues, and the sisters will have a close relationship as they grow older.

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