Most everyone knows that bringing home a baby, let alone three, is all consuming. Although it’s fairly obvious, not everyone will understand it quite the way a parent does. One person in particular who may have some trouble dealing with such a change is your older child.
Your older child may struggle with the newest additions as your attention is focused primarily on them. However, with some reassurance and time, your child will come to love the babies and understand that the current situation is only temporary.
A New Adjustment
Before your little ones arrived your child was used to having all of your attention. With triplets, however, that attention shifts. As he or she watches you focus your time and energy on the babies, it’s easy for him or her to feel unimportant, or even replaced. Clearly, parents know this is not the case, but it’s much different from the eyes of a child.
Introducing Your Older Child to the New Situation
There are effective ways that you can go about introducing your child to the triplets. When first introduced, allow your child to spend time with all of you, as a family. This is a great time to encourage your older child to ask you any questions he or she may have about the babies.
When you have a moment alone, try showing your older child pictures from when he or she was just a baby. This will help reassure your child that he too was once little, and needed the attention of Mommy.
Another incredible way to let your older child find his “place” as an older sibling is to let him help! Although they may not be able to do too much, this is a great way for older siblings to feel like a part of the babies’ care. Just asking your older child to hand you a wipe, a blankie, or even talk to the babies, will have a great impact.
Set Some Time Aside for Older Children
It’s hard to focus your attention on anything but those adorably needy babies, but it’s important to take time to focus your attention on any older children as well.
It’s okay to let your triplets cry.
You may be surprised to find it’s okay to let your little ones cry. In fact, multiples often find themselves entertained enough with one another, so they won’t need your attention right away. Take that extra moment to talk to your older child, or do an activity with him or her.
One-on-One bonding time
Whether it’s your partner, mother, or friend, you can have someone help with the babies while you set aside some quality time with your older child. Go to a movie, make a craft, or read a story. This simple task will show your child they are still important and loved.
Set a Routine
It’s easy to become busy with three little ones in the house, and you may not always have time to share the attention. A great way to remedy this is to create a routine for your older child. This can be anything from reading a bedtime story, or giving your older one a bath each night.
Having this one event scheduled every day will help you, and your older child will be excited each time it rolls around.
Find Alternative Ways to Keep Your Older Child Content
Sometimes having triplet babies at home can disrupt any plans you may have had. It’s understandable if you find yourself overwhelmed with the need to care for them. If you can’t seem to pull yourself away from those adorable babies, ask someone for a little help.
Rides to School
Mornings are not going to be as smooth as they once were, and this is a great area for help. Ask grandparents to help with transportation to school. This new routine with other family members may help your child feel secure when your attention is elsewhere.
Trips with Family Members
If your child likes spending time with certain family members, ask them to take him or her out for some fun. For instance, a trip to the park, zoo, or even a picnic. This fun outing will keep your older child distracted from the demanding needs of the new babies.
Fun with Friends
You can also reach out the parents of your child’s friends. It’s likely they’ll be very understanding of your new situation, and they may love to help!
Dealing with the needs of triplet infants and an older child can be stressful. It’s important to remember to be patient with your older child while he or she comes to the terms with the new situation. They may develop an attitude or act out, but reassurance from you will help him or her come to love the new arrivals.