Staying Connected With Your Firstborn

Life with new siblings can be chaotic for your oldest child. Here’s how you can stay connected with your firstborn after new babies arrive.

Life with new siblings can be chaotic for your oldest child. Here’s how you can stay connected with your firstborn after new babies arrive.

For the first two and a half years of my son’s life he was an only child. He got all of our attention all the time. Since I stayed home with him while Hubs worked, he and I became each other’s whole world. 

You can imagine my worry when I became pregnant again. How on earth would I manage to take care of a baby and a toddler? Then there was the panic when I found out it would be TWO babies and a toddler. Would I have enough love to go around? Would he still know how much he’s loved or would he feel shoved aside and replaced by baby sisters? I spent many sleepless nights and tears worrying that baby sisters were going to ruin his life.

I imagine that other moms feel the same way and have the same worries. I’m here to reassure you that staying connected with your firstborn is absolutely doable. And it’s easier than you might think. This is what I do to maintain the bond with my son after his new siblings arrived.

Take full advantage of baby’s nap time.

At first your kids will probably be on different sleep schedules. When the babies nap and Monster is awake, that is our special momma and son time. It has become routine around here that when the girls go to bed for their first nap of the day (10 a.m.), we make smoothies and go cuddle on the couch. After that he plays or we do special activities. Baby nap time is a great time to make a special routine for just the two of you (three if Hubs is home).

Just the two of you get out of the house together.

Leave the new one(s) at home with Daddy or someone else. Go for a walk around the neighborhood. Go to the library. Run some errands. This is difficult for me because it’s not very often that I get to leave the house alone. But we always have fun when it’s just the two of us.

Life with new siblings can be chaotic for your oldest child. Here’s how you can stay connected with your firstborn after new babies arrive.

How sweet is this? He loves going grocery shopping with Daddy and bringing me flowers!

Keep his routine as normal as possible.

When the twins came home it felt like utter chaos descended upon the house. I think what saved us was keeping Monster’s routine and schedule the same. We’ve never changed his bedtime routine. He still gets his one-on-one time with either Mommy or Daddy (his choice). We cuddle, read a book, talk a bit, then he goes to bed. 

We also still have family dinners. It would have been easier at first to throw some food at the boy and eat later, but we made sure to sit down together and eat as a family. Before the girls were eating solid foods, we tried to make sure they were occupied while we ate. They played in their swings, baby gyms, and bouncers. Sometimes (more often than not), Hubs and I would end up eating with one hand and holding a wiggly baby with the other arm. That just made it more fun.

Get him involved in taking care of the baby(ies).

It didn’t take me long to figure this one out. If he wanted my attention but I was busy taking care of one of his sisters, I learned to say “I can’t do that right now, but how about you help me instead?” I found so many little things he could do to help with the babies, and he felt so proud for helping. He helped shake up their bottles, retrieved burp cloths, put diapers in the diaper pail, and put their clothes in the hamper. If he didn’t want to help I invited him to come sit on the couch with us while sister had her bottle. 

Life with new siblings can be chaotic for your oldest child. Here’s how you can stay connected with your firstborn after new babies arrive.

This boy loves keeping his sisters happy! He entertains them and teaches them all about dinosaurs.

Let him participate in big kid or adult activities with you.

With three kids, my time for household chores has shrunk… a lot. What’s helped is letting him partake in the “fun.” He has a toy vacuum that he follows me around with. I give him a dusting rag and let him dust every surface in sight. It would be easier to just do it myself (and my inner control freak might calm down a little), but this way I get to spend time with him, and he gets to learn some responsibilities. 

If you’re not too much of a control freak (I’m working on this), let him help you cook. Monster loves watching. However, his idea of helping is eating half of all the vegetables I chop. If I need bell peppers for dinner, I have to chop almost twice as much as I need (his daddy “helps” a lot with those, too). 

Life with new siblings can be chaotic for your oldest child. Here’s how you can stay connected with your firstborn after new babies arrive.

He certainly loves his little sisters!

Staying connected with my son has been one of my top priorities since his sisters arrived. I never wanted him to feel left out or unloved. I guess we’ve been doing it right because he seems even happier since his sisters came along. And I don’t feel like we’ve lost any of that closeness we had before the twins arrived. Sometimes it seems that all my worries were silly, but I wouldn’t be a mom if I didn’t worry.

What worked best for you when you had your second child? 


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About Samantha

I am a SAHM to three kids and a menagerie of pets. I love coffee, books, crafts, wine, cooking, and more coffee. Seriously, I couldn't function without coffee. Read more about me!


  1. Great tips here. Yea it definitely changes everything when another baby or two are added to the family, and I can see it being very difficult to give everyone individual attention at first. But once the dust settles on newborns, then giving the first born some individual attention is very important.
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  2. Good tips here. I found it challenging with my second was born. I felt the guilt about spending most of my time tending to the baby. But I did make efforts to have one-on-one time with him, especially when the baby napped.

    • Oh the guilt! Even now that the girls are over a year old, I still feel the guilt over that because they still require more care than he does, so they get most of the attention. That’s why I’m so glad he’s good at helping. And when we’re all playing he sneaks onto my lap for extra cuddles. 🙂

  3. I’ve never really had an “only” child, but as a mom to two, four, and then fivee, then six, then five again and now a forever sixth being added; this advice is AMAZING for any one of those additions. We try so hard to do one on one time with our kiddos, the youngest to the oldest.(though the youngest is easy, I can always just curl up and nurse him!). I love the idea of involving older kids in caring for new babies too-I think some people view that as a negative nowadays, but as the oldest of 7, it was a great bonding experience for me each time and that added responsibility really made me feel like a little adult. This is a great list even for adding more than a second(or in your case, second AND third :p) child!

    • I don’t know what we would have done if we hadn’t let him help us! He knows those are HIS sisters, and he wants to do everything we do to take care of them. I guess people have negative opinions about everything these days! 🙂 I’m really glad you enjoyed this!

  4. Thank you for this. The hardest part of being pregnant with my second is the guilt I already feel for taking away from my 17-month old’s ‘baby’ time. This post is really helpful for me!

    • I’m so glad this helped, Chrissa! This is exactly what I wanted to read when I was pregnant, I just didn’t know it at the time. Baby #2 will definitely throw things off kilter for a while, but it will be okay. If you’re already worried about it, that just means you’re an awesome momma! Congrats on your baby, and good luck! 🙂

  5. These are such lovely ideas, I bake a lot with my big girl while the little one naps and we try and have one day a week just me and her which is lovely. Even just taking them both to the park means that the eldest will feel like they’ve had one-on-one time (until the little one starts wating to play too!)

  6. When my daughter was born I made sure her older brother knew that she was “his” little sister only, no one else’s. He was involved in helping take care of her and teaching her “important” things. They were very close as children, and still are as adults.

  7. The first time I read this I just stared at all the cute pictures and ignored your words, haha. I need the heart eyes emoticon here! He looks like such an amazing big bro. We are actually struggling with this issue in my house right now. My boys are only 22 months apart and now that the little one is fully mobile, the toddler is having lot’s of feelings! One on one time helps and we need to do that more often!
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    • Awww! Thanks, Erin! I totally understand what you mean by the toddler having lots of feelings. It gets a little harder when the babies start moving around and somehow require even more attention.

  8. Your kids are so cute! :-). I really need to start doing this with my daughter. I always worry I don’t make her feel special enough. It’s really been on my mind with the new baby on the way.
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    • Thank you! And I think that’s the infamous momma guilt speaking. We always worry about everything. I lost count of how many times I cried over all that when I was pregnant with my son. At one point I was convinced giving him siblings would ruin his life. Just remember that it may be hard at times, but you’ll do wonderful! 🙂

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