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With the birth of our fourth child, it is tough on our 2-year old to do the right thing. Thus far when she is intentionally touching the baby, she is very gentle. But when moving about, she already has had several close calls where she would have fallen on baby and possibly caused injury. How do you re-enforce to your toddler the importance of being gentle around a newborn? -- Chris, Strongmoms Facilitator
Its so hard because they are not totally in control of their bodies...much less their bodies around other people. What you are asking her to do is to look at the entire environment, think about what she is going to do and then play it out in her mind to see if anything around her could or couldn't hurt the baby--that's too much for a 2 year old to do. So...your best best is to ensure that the baby isn't around where she could hurt him. When my daughter was born, my son was just 20 months--as such, I put her in her bouncy chair and then put the bouncy chair in the pack-n-play to keep her safe from him. She also spent a lot of time in her bed playing and looking at the mobile instead of out in the open.
It is always tough to have eyes in the back of your head and the problem is it only takes a couple of seconds for there to be a serious issue/injury. Despite watching them like a hawk, with four kids there isn't going to be complete coverage at all times. Thankfully, there have been no serious incidents, but it is a truly exhausting!