Things Your First Kid Will Hate About Your Newborn

jessica alba honor marie warrenAs you are no doubt already aware, Jessica Alba welcomed second daughter Haven Garner Warren over the weekend. Congrats! A new baby is huge news, but as anyone whose first child is a toddler when their next child is born knows, the real news in Jessica Alba's house is that 3-year-old Honor Marie Warren is now a big sister. For better or worse!

Kids who are just about ready for preschool when their first sibling comes along ... well, the baby comes as a bit of a reality shock, let's put it that way. I'm speaking from experience here: My daughter had recently turned 4 when my son was born, and she was not exactly his biggest fan ... not at first, anyway.

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The problem is that by the time a kid is 3 or 4 years old, she's pretty well set in her ways as an only child. She's the center of your little family's universe, and she likes that just fine ... why wouldn't she? Sharing, contrary to what all those songs on Sesame Street tell you, sucks. Sharing your mom and dad's attention really sucks. There's no way around it; when a new baby comes on the scene, there are certain firstborn luxuries that must be given up.

These were the big sister lifestyle changes my daughter had the hardest time dealing with:

Waiting. I didn't realize it at the time, but before my son was born, I was in the habit of responding to my daughter's requests immediately. When she started hearing, "Wait until I finish nursing your brother," or "After I change the baby's diaper," instead of, "Sure, I'll get you a juice box," or "Okay, I'll change your doll's dress right now," she was sorta kinda outraged.

Bedtime. Call it colic, call it reflux, call it demonic possession ... whatever it was, it made my son scream at the top of his lungs every night at the exact same time my daughter was used to me reading her a bedtime story. My then-husband worked long hours, but luckily I found a solution that didn't require another adult's help and (pretty much) worked: Audiobooks. Of course she wouldn't let me leave her room, so I spent what feels like years of my life bouncing my hysterical son while my daughter tried to fall asleep to the sound of Junie B. Jones and Some Sneaky Peeky Spying, but whatever.

Volume control. If child development experts ever figured out how to conduct a poll amongst small children with younger siblings, I know what would get voted as their "least favorite thing to hear": Be quiet, you'll wake up the baby! The frustrating thing is that kids don't seem to realize it's in their best interest to keep the noise down; the longer the baby sleeps, the better the likelihood Mommy will be able to play tea party. As my great-grandmother used to say, "Too soon old, too late smart."

What were the toughest transitions to being a big sister or brother for your toddler?

 

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