Youngest has been around babies a lot, but she has no child care experience. Being the youngest child, she has not been a big sister.
You would think that having six nieces and three nephews she would have more experience, that is true and, at the same time, not true.
A Young Auntie
Youngest was a surprise child. She is 10 years younger than the next youngest and 20 years younger than the oldest child. Youngest was 9-weeks old when Oldest got married.
Youngest would probably have been only 18 months old when she first became and auntie if Oldest had not had difficulty conceiving. As it was, Youngest was 4-years old when her first 2 nieces were born. Old enough to hold a baby and play with them under supervision.
Youngest was eight when the next niece and first nephew were born. Again, she held babies with supervision and was given basic instruction on how to hold them, lift them, and carry them. However, older nieces wanted her attention even more. Youngest became busy playing with them and didn’t do much more than hold or play with the babies occasionally.
By the time Nephew was a year old he was so big and active he would knock over his sister and his auntie to give them hugs. He was a very large toddler and Youngest was a very petite child. She couldn’t have lifted him if she wanted to and he was so rambunctious that he actually frightened his Auntie.
Half of Youngest’s nieces and one nephew do not live locally so babysitting experience has been lacking. Now that Youngest is a teenager, babysitting is not something she feels confident doing. So, I have put together some basic instructions.
How to Care for Your Baby
Being A Good Auntie
While Youngest may not have much experience with babysitting and infant care, she is still a good auntie. She does the things that matter the most to her nieces and nephews. She gives them her time and attention.
While more babies are coming, Youngest spends time with the older ones who are feeling frustrated by little ones who are “stealing” their parents attention. Stories, games, and laughter are her specialty.
Youngest does spend more time with the babies than she used to and she is becoming more confident in her interactions with these precious little ones.
We were visiting Oldest and her family. After dinner I love to bath the little ones and play with them in the water.
When it was time for the toddler to get out of the tub, I wrapped her in a towel. Then I handed her to Youngest and told her to put her diaper on and get her dressed. I then went in the other room to visit with Oldest.
We listened through the baby monitor has Youngest and her niece (the older sister) chased the toddler around her room trying to get her dressed. After about 20 minutes Youngest came out because they couldn’t get the diaper on the toddler.
I went into the room, picked up the toddler, and laid her on the bed. I took off the diaper that was hanging by one tab and put it on correctly. Then I smiled at the girls and left the room. It took me about three minutes.
Oldest and I then listed for the next 20 minutes or so while the girls chased the giggling toddler around the bedroom trying to get her pj’s on her. With triumph we heard the girls say, “Finally, the onesie is on!”
Oldest looked in at the door and said, “She doesn’t wear onesies anymore.” There were groans as the chase began again. At least the onesie was easier to get off then on.
Oldest and I sat in the living room smiling and chuckling as we listened to these two girls get the toddler into her pj’s.
Finally, with a sigh of triumph, the two girls came out with the toddler in her pj’s. Laughing, Oldest and I congratulated them on finishing their first toddler rodeo.
It only took just over an hour. The girls were tired and disheveled. The smiling toddler had just had the best game of chase ever.
Youngest Loves Being an Auntie
I am enjoying watching Youngest learn to care for the babies as they come, but I am mostly just enjoying watching a young auntie learning to cherish the small and precious moments she shares with her nieces and nephews.
Bonds are built with each child as the do things together.
- The toddler rodeos that Youngest shares with her oldest niece as they both learn important child care skills.
- The books that Youngest reads to her nieces and nephews.
- The games of make believe that are Youngest’s specialty.
Love. Time. Attention. These are the three most important things to children. These are what is remembered after Auntie goes home.
These are the things they look forward to every time Auntie comes to visit.