Older children are capable of a deeper understanding of the benefits and purposes of baby wearing and can even be included in the activity. If they grew up being worn themselves and then moved onto doll wearing, wearing a younger sibling will be a natural progression.
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How to Include Older Children in Baby Wearing
Depending on the age of your “big kid,” you can help them babywear by starting off in a supported seated position so your newborn is safe and your older child feels comfortable and included. This can transition to moving around for short periods and even doing skin-to-skin contact.
Parental involvement is vital in maintaining safe baby wearing habits and keeping a watchful eye on both children will ensure that no accidents happen. Some recommendations for safe older child sibling baby wearing habits are: 1. Parental supervision at all times. 2. Have the older child avoid baby wearing on unsteady paths or on the stairs. 3. Start with short periods. 4. Continue to follow T.I.C.K.S. for safe baby wearing.
Benefits of Allowing Older Children to Baby Wear
Since the addition of a new baby is bound to be an adjustment for every member of the household, including older children in the care of your newborn can help ease any feelings of jealousy by getting them involved and then praising and encouraging their efforts.
Raising siblings to have a tight-knit bond no matter the age gap can be challenging. Getting the older child baby wearing can assist in the bonding process. Naturally, it shouldn’t be forced on either participant but made to be a fun activity when and if both kids are happy with it. This bonding time can also be used to teach your older child about baby cues and facial expressions.
Have you incorporated baby wearing with your older children? Let me know your experience in the comments below!