One of the main challenges of a growing family is balance. When you have a new baby, your older kids still have their own needs. I’m not talking about food and shelter here. I’m talking direct attention, affection, and affirmation.
Now hopefully, your friends, family, and postpartum doula were able to fill in for you in your weeks after childbirth while you cocooned with baby and enjoyed postpartum rest. But when your husband returns to work and the visitors fade, you’re your kids main squeeze again. I worried about this when my third was born – babies have rightful and all-consuming needs. How would my boys get the attention they needed?
One of my simple answers was reading books! Easy, right? We have a small bookcase full of kids’ books and I try every day to spend time with them in this way. I don’t know about your kids, but mine love books. As soon as I start one, their heads pop up like prairie dogs and they all scamper in to listen, no matter what they were previously doing.
I love the flexibility of this activity. If we read on our couch, I can hold and nurse a baby while my older kids snuggle in on each side. They take turns fetching books for me to read, all the while getting personal attention from me. It’s an easy way for us to connect every day.
After 756 hours spent reading to our kids, we have some favorites:
Anything from Olivier Dunrea
Goodnight Moon and its parodies:
Goodnight Goon and
Goodnight Loon (especially awesome if you’re from Minnesota)
Sandra Boynton Books
The Napping House (current favorite!)
How simple! To make it even more enjoyable, try my tea time idea or take regular trips to the library to freshen up your stock of books and find more favorites.