Anna Wahlgren is a mother of 9 and a grandmother of 16! She has LOTS of experience in child raising. She has written For The Love Of Children and A Good Night’s Sleep, parenting books on her tips for various aspects of child raising. She is well known and well followed in Europe, being from Sweden.
As a mother, I am always on the look out for great advise from someone who has done this “mom” thing for a while. I have great friends who I can turn to! But I also like to turn to books for another perspective.
There are two topics that I was particularly interested in that Anna has great expertise in… Introducing a new baby to siblings, and getting Baby to sleep through the night.
Big Sis handled meeting Little Man really well! She was young, but she loved on him immediately! However, as we plan to have more children, I would still like to know how to effectively and lovingly introduce the new baby to their siblings. (NO! I am not pregnant! Just saying, for in the future…) Here’s what she had to say about introducing siblings!
A sister or brother is a life’s asset comparable to nothing. Someone of your own generation is there who shares your background, biological origin and basic experiences in life.
No love is as strong and lifelong as the love between two siblings who are close to each other. As a parent your main task is to prepare your child in the very best way for a life without you. One of the best ways to do that is to give your child a sibling.
1. Make it clear to the older siblings that “we belong together” and “we need each other.” We all count on each other and we wouldn’t manage as well without each other.
2. The more clearly and reliably the belonging is confirmed among family members, the more strong and intense they will experience their togetherness, and the more positive their community will be.
3. During your pregnancy, when your child asks you questions about the baby and its arrival, answer the questions but don’t expound on things the child doesn’t seem curious about. Your goal is to provide guidance.
4. When you are introducing the baby to its older siblings, do so in a quiet environment. This is a sacred moment and nothing should disturb it. This is the time for the child to touch and examine the new baby and become familiar with the baby.
5. If you have recently had your second child, you might not always be able to call on another adult to help you with your first. Necessity is the mother of invention, and inventiveness (along with a certain knack for bribery) is a quality that you will definitely need. Sometimes the older child will have to wait, and sometimes the baby will. You will learn to tend to the baby’s needs and the needs of your older child simultaneously. Your arms will extend, and you will grow an eye in the back of your head.
It is important to try to rise above the chaos, stand by your older child and maintain your bond. It should be emphasized that the whole flock should be looking after the new arrival.
The other topic that I was extremely curious about was getting Baby to sleep through the night. Little Man is (almost) 11 months old! He is still getting up 3-4 times at night! Mostly out of habit. But it’s hard to tell. So I want to get him used to sleeping longer at night without waking to nurse as often. I was encouraged by what she had to say!
TIPS FOR HOW TO HELP YOUR BABY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT
Be the parent/leader. Establish routine with fixed times.
1. Make sure the baby is fed. If not, hunger will set in and you will be awakened.
2. Place the baby on its tummy with its “shell” upward to prevent danger.
3. Gently and steadily “buff” the baby’s bottom to convey calmness.
4. Sing or hum the bedtime jingle.
Avoid the permanent crisis mode. If you are upset, nervous, scared, your baby will be too.
1. Stick to the routine.
2. Don’t pick up the baby.
3. Calm him or her where she is lying.
4. Convey reassurance of safety and security.
These tips seem easy enough and I hope to be able to start working on them right away!
If you’re in the NYC area, you can meet Anna at IKEA in Brooklyn on April 20 (tomorrow) at Noon. You can also meet her at the Brooklyn Library on April 24 from 10:30am until Noon. I wish I was in the area! I’d LOVE to meet her!