December 18, 2015

Brothers


One of the most common questions I've gotten since Thomas was born is about James' adjustment to becoming a big brother. 

Before I answer this question, I just want to share that I knew this would be a pretty big transition for James. He would be 2.5 years old when Thomas was born, and we wanted to help him (and help ourselves) prepare for this big change. I found a local class through the amazing Family Room that specifically addressed the transition to becoming a sibling, and Alan and I attended in early October. We got some great resources and ideas that we were able to start implementing right away. 

You might remember that we got James a baby doll that would help us start talking about baby brother, and using gentle hands, and how to change a diaper, and how to push him in the stroller. I really think this was helpful. We didn't play with the baby doll every day, but we were able to talk about these concepts frequently and include the doll in our life. 

Too sweet.

We also thought about ways to help James be more independent (like reaching approved snacks in the  pantry by himself, and putting out a basket of clean washcloths ("towels") so James could clean up after himself without us needing to get him a cloth) so that when we were busy with Thomas he could still help himself (at least a little). 

Basically, we tried to talk about brother as often as we could, and include James in the changes as much as possible. While we might not be perfectly successful, it's been a love-filled transition. I feel very lucky and blessed. 

If and when meltdowns happen it's usually because James is over-tired or over-hungry. There hasn't been any animosity or anger or frustration toward Thomas. James loves his brother (tells us often!), and gives him kisses (by kissing his fingertips and brushing them against brother's head). James often requests to hold Thomas, and knows that babies cry because they don't have words yet. They cry to tell mama and daddy that they need something (most often, milk). And the addition of Thomas has made both Alan and me much more aware of the special "James-only" time we get throughout the day. We make a point to get some James-time in as often as possible. 

We're still learning, all of us together. But these loving moments between brothers are awfully special. 

James likes to "help" me feed Thomas by just putting his hand on my chest while Thomas nurses. 

Lots and lots of kisses for brother.



That smile... come on. 

What other questions do you have? Anything else you'd like to know? 

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