Baby Stage, Family, Toddler Stage

Bonding with Babies and Toddlers

Little Fox loved Little Badger from the moment she first saw her. Well, maybe the first look was just confusion. But after that it was hugs and kisses and smiles. Sometimes Little Fox even argues with me over who should be holding the baby. Generally she thinks she should be the one to hold her baby sister.

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The affection Little Fox has for her sister is already adorable and lovely. But, sometimes Little Fox feels a bit left behind with all the time and attention Little Badger needs. Since Little Badger’s birth the number of tantrums she’s had tripled. My husband and I agree that she is probably acting out because she isn’t getting as much attention and feels like she isn’t as loved as she used to be. And it seems like every time I settled down for one on one time the baby wakes up. So, for the past two weeks I’ve been working on finding ways to encourage more bonding between Little Fox and Little Badger and finding more activities I can do with Little Fox while holding or feeding Little Badger.

And, not only do I want to be doing more with my older girl, I want to be able to do activities with both my girls together. Here are three of the ideas I am using for bonding in our early days together.

Bonding with Books

Before Little Badger was born, I spent a large portion of the day curled up on our sofa couch reading to Little Fox. After delivery, I continued this reading regime. Little Fox loves books and this is an easy activity to do while nursing or holding a baby. While it wasn’t enough to keep Little Fox from temper tantrums, it did keep her happy most of the time. Especially since she got to choose most of the books.

Playing Ball

When Little Badger was born, we gave Little Fox some gifts, including a textured yellow ball. This was definitely her favourite new toy. Two weeks ago, I realized this was also a great toy to play with together while I nursed or held Little Badger.

Once I have the ball with me, I get Little Fox’s attention. Then I toss/roll the ball away in one of three directions and Little Fox goes chasing after it and brings it back to me. Just playing with the yellow ball makes her happy. But she loves it even more when I join her and am focused on her and “where did the ball go?” This activity also helps expel some energy, which is an added bonus.

Show and Tell

Now that Little Badger is two months old, she is becoming more alert. This means that she enjoys looking at people and objects. While she can’t hold toys yet, she is now old enough to enjoy looking at them. This was the inspiration for this bonding activity for her and her big sister.

Little Fox likes to bring me toys while she is playing. So now, I take the toy and show it to Little Badger. Then I talk about the toy to help Little Fox learn her words and concepts.

So if she brings me a plush dog then I say “Look Little Badger. This is a puppy. Puppies say woof woof.” Then if she brings me a toy car I say, “Look Little Badger, this is a car. Here is a wheel. It is the shape of a circle. Let’s count how many there are. One, two, three, four. There are four circles.”

The Byzantine Life

Thank you for checking out this week’s article. If you haven’t already, you can read our article about surviving the first two weeks home with a new baby. Or our article on busy bags here. 

Don’t forget to follow us on social media. On our Pinterest we have boards full of baby and toddler activities! New posts are always shared to Facebook, and my husband runs our Twitter (@LifeByzantine) and Instagram accounts (username: thebyzantinelife)! And if you want to support our work at TheByzantineLife.com, consider joining us on Patreon. For as little as $5 a month you can get exclusive access to special posts, photos, and updates from our family! https://www.patreon.com/thebyzantinelife

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