When I found out that we were having another baby I had mixed feelings about how I thought Jasper would be. There were lots of factors that gave me confidence that he’d rock being a big bro; for example I knew that he liked babies as he would often point to them in shops or on tv and talk about them. I also knew that he was used to sharing his time and attention with another sibling already (Rhys) and that made me feel happy that he’d be able to do it again. Jaspers speech is really good; he has a great understanding and is able to express what he wants really well. He’s also able to feed himself, get himself dressed/undressed and is potty trained in the day time so I felt happy knowing that if I were busy feeding or changing the baby; he’d be confident to feed himself, change his clothes and understand if I ask him to pass me something or tell him where a particular toy he wants is.
Even though there were so many factors that put my mind at ease; I also had a lot of worries. Being only 2 years and 4 months when Arlo arrived I was so worried that I was pushing my baby to grow up too soon. He still loved to climb into our bed in the middle of the night; he liked to be fed after a tiring day and I really noticed during pregnancy how much he wanted to be picked up and carried around. I don’t know if this was because he felt a little more mummy-fied or if I just noticed more as I couldn’t pick him up as much and was therefore focusing on it.
I knew that he was good at sharing with his older brother and at nursery but during the week, he was used to it being just me and him; my attention, my time, his toys and his routine. We didn’t have to consider anyone else and I rarely had to say no to him or ask him to wait because there was never anothers routine to add into the mix.
I made so many plans before the baby came to make Jasper feel comfortable and most importantly not left out. I involved him in buying and planning for the baby; read him books and showed him cartoons about new siblings and even made sure that I met him outside of the hospital room to walk in and meet the baby together, rather than him coming in and seeing me with the baby and feeling pushed aside.
Well I can honestly say that I never expected him to act how he did. I was told to prepare for his sleep and potty training to regress; and for him to be jealous and even unkind towards the baby; but aside from a bit of terrible-two style behaviour which I’ll talk about later; he has been absolutely amazing!
Instantly when you have a new baby, your little one seems to double in size. Everything from Jaspers weight to the width of his hands just seemed so huge and to match this came this instantly more grown up little boy. His speech seemed to develop rapidly; I thought it was because I was then comparing it to a newborn who could only coo and cry but so many other people have said they’ve noticed his speech getting even better too.
His imagination also came on in leaps and bounds, demonstrating such creativity in his play. He was suddenly this little boy not a baby; having proper conversations and being more of a person if that makes sense.
His role as a big brother was instant too. Straight away he cooed over Arlo; stroking his head gently; wanting to hold him on his lap and give him kisses. He calls for me whenever Arlo cries and loves telling me what he’s doing from being sick to ‘eating my boobies’.
Only once in the past three weeks of Arlos life has Jasper asked me to put him down because he wanted a cuddle and I honestly think that’s amazing! I asked him the other day who Arlos mummy is and he said ‘you mummy, and you’re my mummy; and Rhysies mummy’ – be still my beating heart!
I guess this post is a bit of a gushy one; to simply say how proud I am of Jasper for rocking being a big bro. There have been tough times; he’s acted out in other ways like his amazing talent of selective hearing, tantrums and his new skill for throwing fragile objects but aside from that he has taken to his new role of being a big brother amazingly.
It’s tough for me at times; pretty much daily I shed a little tear for one reason or another. Whether it’s guilt from shouting at him to not lean on the baby when he’s only trying to give him a kiss; or sadness that I was feeding the baby and couldn’t be the one to put him to bed, even though it was me that he asked for. I hate it when I have to ask him to be quiet or wait when he’s not been used to having to do so but he’s made it so much easier and for that I’m so grateful.
There are times, honestly, where I wish I could just let the baby cry (if he’s just being fussy) and go to Jasper; I think because I know that Arlo isn’t aware and won’t know any different whereas Jasper is at an age where he knows and is imprinted by my decisions.
As much as I love my time with both boys and treasure my moments where Jasper is asleep or at nursery and I have one on one time with Arlo; I really cannot wait for some Muma-Jasper time. We’ve been talking about what Jasper would like to do with just me; I suggested a cinema date, trip to the toy shop or going for ice-cream but he only had one thing he wanted and that was ‘playing’. This of course made me blub as it’s shown me that he hasn’t felt like I’ve played with him as much since Arlo arrived; so one day this week, I’m going to express enough for bambino to be left with my parents for a few hours and me and Jasper are going to play wherever he wants, the park, soft play or simply at home, just me and him!
If you’re worried about how your baby will react when a new baby arrives then as hard as it may be, try to give them a little credit. Be open-minded because they may just surprise you. Prepare them as much as you can and then follow their lead and see what a wonderful older sibling they turn into.
Thanks for reading,