Pretend play with a baby doll was the logical solution for us to prepare Matthew for his baby sister. A baby doll seemed to give him a more concrete experience of learning how to interact with the baby compared to just reading books about being big brother. He certainly enjoyed watching me feed the baby doll a bottle of pretend milk. He also gave the baby doll gentle kisses on the head. Yet, before bringing Elizabeth home, I still wondered how Matthew would adjust to his little sister. Will he be jealous? Will he ignore her? How will he interact with her?
It's been a little over a week since we brought Elizabeth home. Matthew hasn't shown a single sign of jealousy yet. He ignores her most of the time though but just because he's busy playing with my mom and his toys. Otherwise, her acknowledges her existence and is very curious about his little sister.
On his tippy toes by the changing table, he tries to sneak a peek at her while I change her diaper. When she's crying and in my arms, he comes close to see what's going on and sometimes gently touches her hair or head.
When he sees me feeding Elizabeth, he gets the baby doll and gives the doll a bottle. We were showing her one of Matthew's favorite toys (a musical star) one day and Matthew didn't try to take the toy away. He simply activated it for her (and his) amusement.
He's been a good big brother so far. Not once has he tried to pull on her hair (like he pulls on our cat's fur). He has not poked her in the face or pulled at her arms or legs. He's been gentle around her. Matthew also gives Elizabeth kisses on the head just as he did with the baby doll.
I'm sure the dynamics will change as the two get older. It will be interesting to see what they will learn from each other.
Toy Review Tuesday: Baby Doll
Preparing for a Baby Sister