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When I found out I was pregnant again, my first thought was how Erin, now only 15 months, would react to having a sibling. But so far so good. Conor is just over a week old and has only been hit on the head a couple of times by his big sister. So other than a few bumps, and the indignity of her calling him “mama” instead of “brother” or “Conor”, he seems to have survived the first week unscathed. I, on the other hand, have not been so lucky. Erin has discovered that pinching is a good way to get my attention if I am doing something for Conor, and a few days ago she bit me while I was feeding him. She also insists on climbing on top of him if he is lying on my lap.

Craig and I have been taking turns looking after them, so as to not favour one over the other. For some reason though, we keep getting them confused. Craig says “her”, when he means Conor, and will refer to “his” bottle when talking about Erin. This has made for some rather amusing and confusing conversations when we discuss how “she” is recovering from the circumcision or whether we should feed “him” mac and cheese. I just hope the wearing of his sister’s hand-me-down babygrows doesn’t add to the gender confusion.

Nonetheless, Erin seems rather enamoured with this new little person vying for our attention. She gives him long kisses and rubs his head while he sleeps. But it was when she started crying in solidarity with him last night, as we changed his nappy, that I first caught a glimpse of the close relationship they’re likely to have. She is already incredibly protective of her baby brother, or her “mama”, as she calls him. And it at least makes the odd pinch and bite I have to endure while she adjusts to the new addition, somewhat worthwhile.

Anél is Child magazine’s features editor and is currently on maternity leave.

Comments

KB wrote 7 years 9 weeks ago

Just a little tip I found helpful – create a "special feeding box" filled with fun safe toys that your older child can ONLY play with when you are either feeding or busy with the new baby. This way they have some exciting stuff to play with, which keeps them interested and busy while you are busy, taking the focus off the fact that you are giving the baby attention! So when it is feed time you say: "Let's get out your special play box!" Keep it fresh and interesting by updating every now and then. No matter how much older the "oldest" is – it seems to work.
Mom to 3!

admin wrote 7 years 9 weeks ago

Thanks, great tip!

Candy Whitehead wrote 7 years 12 weeks ago

Hi Ally,
Congrats again with the new addition. Conor is blessed to have such awesome parents. The biting and pinching thing is totally normal as I am experiencing the same thing at the moment with Cruz. Whenever he is frustrated or tries to get my attention I get a little nibble, normally on my inner arm as I'm holding him. I can't wait for him to get another sibling. Always wanted a big family. Hope you're ready for number three next year so we can be preggie partners again; will give you a couple of months to recover though LOL! Lotsa love from Jozi's Hotmama GP!

lisa van niekerk wrote 7 years 12 weeks ago

I can identify with the writer. I'm 19 weeks along with my second, and my little girl is 15 months. I'm so close to her that I worry how things will be when baby number two arrives, as my daughter is too young to understand.

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