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Wednesday,August 05,2020 15:57 PM

Involve your older child

By Vision Reporter

Added 21st August 2009 03:00 AM

CHERRY Matovu locks herself in her room while breastfeeding her four-month-old daughter. She does this to escape from her three-year-old son. “He is very demanding and gets in the way,” she says.

CHERRY Matovu locks herself in her room while breastfeeding her four-month-old daughter. She does this to escape from her three-year-old son. “He is very demanding and gets in the way,” she says.

By Rehema Aanyu

CHERRY Matovu locks herself in her room while breastfeeding her four-month-old daughter. She does this to escape from her three-year-old son. “He is very demanding and gets in the way,” she says.

Leanne Namwanje gets away from everyone, including her two-year-old daughter, to breastfeed her baby. “I do not disown my elder child when I breastfeed. I need peace to breastfeed the baby,” she reasons.

Both mothers concur that as much as their elder children need them, their babies are the priority. According to two Harvard Medical School researchers, ignoring the elder children to breastfeed the baby will impact negatively on them.

The pair examined child-rearing practices in the US and in other cultures of putting children in separate beds and not responding quickly to their cries. They say this may lead to incidents of panic disorders when these children reach adulthood.

“The early stress resulting from separation causes changes in infant brains that makes future adults more susceptible to stress,” the researchers assert.

Sam Mukisa, a psychiatrist with Childcare clinic in Namasuba, argues that older children need as much attention from both parents as the baby. He says when a parent attends more to one child and ignores the other, it may spark off feelings of jealousy in the other child.

“In such cases, the other child begins to view the baby as a rival. When the baby cries for attention, he will also cry or do something that demands your attention like breaking things,” he says.

Mukisa advises that to avoid this, parents should involve the other children in taking care of the baby “If you are breastfeeding him or her, for instance, rather than lock yourself in a room, ask him or her to sit near you and watch the baby feed or let him caress her hand.”

He adds that this allows the child to bond with the little one and feel involved. “So next time he sees you breastfeeding the baby, he will not try to distract you.”

Involve your older child

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