This mama is done having babies, but I am proud aunt to twin boys. I had the honor and pleasure of babysitting them for about a month when they were less than 6 months old.
Watching the twins, plus trying to keep my two girls occupied was a challenge. However, my kids love their cousins so much and were eager to help out while I was babysitting. But how do you have older kids help with the baby?
Fofo is a natural born helper. She always wants to help with the twins, and at times I was at a loss for what she should do, she was 5 at the time. But after our babysitting experience, I had a nice list of things she could do to help me.
As a side note, these are her cousins not her siblings. I have no clue if she would feel as helpful if they were her brothers. Also, never force a child to be helpful if they don’t want to. Fofo LOVES to help, and I enlisted all the help I could get.
This is a list for a mom who wants to their older child to feel more included, needs to find ways to engage their happy helper, or a mom with multiples who needs 4 sets of hands. Hats off to those moms. I don’t know how you do it!
How Can Kids Help with Baby
1. Snuggle with baby. This also helps them bond with the baby.
2. Sing songs. I’m not the type of mother to sing songs to babies, but both my kids LOVED to. They couldn’t wait to sing along with YouTube to the usual childhood favs: twinkle, twinkle and the wheels on the bus.
3. Help with feedings. If you are bottlefeeding, let your older child help with the feedings. Fofo fed one of the babies while he was in his bouncy seat. Excuse the blurry iPhone photo.
4. Throw away dirty diapers.
5. Help with laundry. With a baby in the house, laundry is everywhere. Have your older child help gather all the laundry and take to the laundry room. Have them load the machines, and help fold when everything is all done.
6. Fetch things. This may sound a little lazy, but how many times have you sat down and forgotten something: your water, your phone, the remote. Eager helpers get a lot of joy from getting these things for you.
7. Play with the baby. Kids are almost as fascinated by babies as adults. Plus NEW toys! My kids are more interested in the baby toys than their toys we bring along for them to play with. My kids would set up the toys next to the baby, and he would watch while they played!
8. Read to the baby. Even if your child can’t read, they can still tell a story based on the pictures or help baby interact with board books.
9. Teach them how to change a diaper. Fofo wanted to change diapers. Far be it for me to turn down her help. She can’t quite do it herself but it was a confidence builder as she felt so proud after helping.
10. Life skills. Having babies around make you realize how grown-up your kids are. They are capable of so much more than we think. Use this time to teach your kids a lesson in independent life skills. Let them help you vacuum, sweep, cook, do dishes. This is of course if you have an eager helper like I do.
How did you let your big kids help with baby? Did you child have a hard time adjusting to baby? Thanks for stopping by!