More Than One Child



Gifts from the baby to the older brother or sister help make this more of a family celebration! The older child might feel ignored when people give gifts to the baby and not him. Therefore, you may wish to have a secret supply of gifts to be given so that the older child always feels like a participant. Convey to your older child the pride you feel in your growing family.


“Actively sleep” is a phrase which simply means that you think of sleeping your baby as an active process. Sleeping is not something which passively occurs now and then without any pattern. Try to anticipate when your baby will need to sleep. Your baby will need to sleep every 1-2 hours during the day. Therefore, soothe your baby to sleep every 1-2 hours. The purpose of soothing is to make the transition from light, play, wakefulness towards dark, quiet, sleep. Think of the soothing time as wind-down period. At the end of the soothing period, (which may include feeding) place your baby in a motionless place to sleep. Just as you do not feed your baby on the run, try to avoid naps on the run. That is, do not nap your baby in the stroller while shopping. Just as you do not deny food when your baby is hungry, do not deny sleep when your baby is tired. Often you try to anticipate when your baby will become hungry; likewise, try to think of sleep as food for the developing brain which should not be denied simply because it is socially inconvenient for you. Because you have more than one child, there will be times when the baby’s sleep is disrupted and it is usually impractical to always hold the baby during daytime sleep periods. On most occasions, practice putting your baby in a crib or some other motionless place to sleep after soothing, whether your baby is asleep or awake at the time when the soothing period ends.

Perfect timing produces minimal crying. Sometimes your timing will be off and there will be some crying as your baby winds down to sleep. Letting your child cry for 10-15 minutes will not harm your baby and will allow the baby to learn how to soothe himself to sleep. You can begin the practice of actively sleeping your baby as soon as you get home from the hospital because you have had experience in helping your first child learn how to sleep well and this experience will allow you to sense when it is that your baby will need to sleep. Do not assume that there necessarily will be any crying, but do not feel bad if there is a little. Read Your Fussy baby: How To Soothe Your Newborn and Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child to understand more about crying and sleeping.


Your first child will feel uncomfortable because you are less available. Your response times are slower and you will have less time and energy for the older child because of the time required to care for your new baby. To help your older child adjust to the changes in your behavior, set aside a time, which is labeled “Amy’s Private time”. The time may be brief, such as 10-20 minutes, but it should occur every day at about the same time. You may wish to use a kitchen timer to control the duration and give the event special importance. The time may be before or after dinner or before bedtime or any time when you know that someone else will care for the baby. This is the time when Amy will expect your undivided attention and you do whatever Amy wants to do during this time. Thus, throughout the day, when you are exhausted or have to care for the baby, you can say, “I’m sorry, Amy, but we will have to wait for our private time”. Amy will feel more secure with the arrival of the new baby because “Private Time” structures her expectations. She knows that there will be a daily time when she does not have to compete with the baby for your attention.


It will take about 3-4 months for your baby to develop regular and predictable sleep patterns. During these first 3-4 months, the biologic immaturity forces social irregularity into ordinary home routines. This irregularity in your house upsets the sense of security for your older child because security is partially based on regularity of routines. During the 3-4 months required for the older child to become adjusted to the new home routines, his behavior might reflect this stress. Be more tolerant and less strict in matters of discipline.


Avoid crowds of strangers, but allow your friends to visit. Their children should not touch the baby or should wash their hands before touching.


Feeding your baby should be a relaxed family event, but initially your older child might become bored, jealous, or learn quickly that this is a vulnerable time for you. He may become deliberately disruptive in order to get more attention from you. He loves you very much. . . he’ll take whatever attention he can get. A sweet request to settle down or a stern command to stop what he is doing equally provide him with what he wants: more attention from you. Therefore, if his behavior interferes with the calmness you need to feel when feeding the baby, practice separation. You announce, “Feeding times are quiet times and when you behave this way, I do not enjoy the pleasure of your company.” You separate yourself from the disruptive child by retreating to your bedroom or bathroom and close the door behind you.

Remember, you are trying to maintain calmness for the baby’s benefit. You have to outlast the commotion caused by the older child but as soon as he stops, welcome him to your arms. If you do not outlast him, then he will learn to be more persistently disruptive. Praise him well for stopping the specific behaviors that were disruptive. He will learn faster if you say, “Thank you for stopping the yelling.” than if you say, “Thank you for being a good boy.”


“Smothering” means holding too tightly, embracing too strongly, gripping too tightly. When your older child is too forceful in handling or caressing the baby, SAY NOTHING. Say nothing unless the baby cries or grimaces. Usually the baby is not hurt by the strong or rough handling by the older child. You promote sibling love by saying nothing at these times because the older child becomes more disinhibited around the baby. If you are often saying things like “be careful”, “not too rough”, “be gentle” with a cautionary tone of voice, but at other times you say with an encouraging tone, “let’s touch”, “let’s hug”, “kiss the baby”, your child could easily become confused about exactly how he is supposed to act around the baby. The older child might resolve his dilemma by avoiding all contact with the baby.

Be silent and control your natural fear that the older child will hurt the baby. Praise the specific behaviors you want to see repeated. When the baby does grimace or cry because he is hurt or startled, then point out to the older child exactly what he did which caused the baby to cry and then model how you wish him to act by demonstrating what it means to be more gentle or soft with the hugs, kisses, or embraces. He then learns by observation of the baby and your demonstrations how he is expected to behave.


You will feel guilty because you will note that you are spending less time with your new baby than you did with your first. There is no reason to feel guilty because your new baby has two advantages, which more than compensate for the decreased time from you. The first advantage that the baby has is the presence of an older brother or sister. The older sibling will stimulate and facilitate your baby’s development in ways you cannot now imagine. The second advantage that the baby has is that you are experienced parents. At every stage, at every age, your newborn has the benefit of more calm and knowledgeable parents.


A single “supplemental” bottle given to a breast-fed baby will not cause “nipple confusion” or interfere with lactation. The bottle confers the following advantages: your husband and your older child have the pleasure of feeding your baby, mother can take a break, parents can go out on a date and the future transition to weaning or partial weaning will be easier. The bottle could contain either expressed breast milk or any type of formula. Expressed breast milk may be mixed with the formula in the same bottle. Offer 4 ounces, but your baby will probably be satisfied with less. On special occasions, it might be necessary to give more than one bottle per 24 hours. This will not interfere with successful breast-feeding. In general, however, the single supplemental bottle is given only once within a 24-hour period. The bottle may be given by different people and at different times of the day or night. The content of the bottle may vary at different feedings. If you have successfully breast-fed your previous baby, the single bottle may be started immediately.


Your second child is more likely than his older brother or sister to be disturbed by the arrival of the new baby. Your first child has more friends and activities outside the house. Therefore, although you may offer “Private Time” to both of your children at home, it is the younger child at home who will need most of your undivided attention. Request that your first child spend 5 to 10 minutes with your second child just as you have: reading, coloring, building, or quietly playing together. This gives you brief breaks from caring for three children and encourages the older child to assume some responsibility in caring for the younger members of the family.

Northwestern Children's Practice

Pediatricians located in Gold Coast, Chicago, IL

The Northwestern Children’s Practice team educates parents to help them raise healthy and loving children and educates children to help them develop healthy habits. As one of the best pediatrician offices in Chicago, our health care providers are dedicated to providing anticipatory guidance to help families navigate from one visit to the next. Founded by Dr. Marc Weissbluth in 1973, the Northwestern Children’s Practice continues to thrive in Chicago’s Gold Coast, a few blocks away from Lurie Children’s Hospital. This welcoming team of experienced child health advocates cares for families in the Chicago-land area and beyond. The Northwestern Children’s Practice offers annual check-ups, lactation support, adolescent visits, sports physicals, vaccines, and more. Besides providing health care for children from infancy through young adulthood, the practice has doctors and nurse practitioners that specialize in sleep consultations, nutrition, and weight management counseling, treatment and prevention of childhood obesity and safe immunization practices. Several of our nurses are trained as lactation consultants to provide support during newborn well-visits. Our lactation consultants and doctors also lead a weekly support group for new parents. Topics often discussed are newborn feeding, including breastfeeding, sleep, development, and safety. 

The Northwestern Children’s Practice has continued to grow throughout the years and now includes a team of doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses and office staff who work together to provide comprehensive care with individualized attention. The office is located several blocks from Lurie Children’s Hospital, Prentice Women’s Hospital, and Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Patients can be seen at Northwestern Children’s Practice’s convenient walk-in clinic at 8-11 am, Monday through Friday and at 10 am on Saturday and Sunday. No appointments are necessary for the walk-in clinic. Scheduled visits are available Monday through Friday as well as a limited number of well-visits on both Saturday and Sunday. 


  • We offer complimentary prenatal visits to expecting parents as a forum for the concerns of new parents. We have an exchange of information to discuss any prenatal issues, family history of medical issues, what to expect in the hospital, what to expect from your doctor visits in the hospital and what to expect during the transition to home. We will discuss important things to think about including newborn feeding, circumcision, vaccines and newborn screening tests.

    We also offer similar visits to adoptive families and to families who are considering changing pediatricians.

  • Come in for your school physical!

    Make sure your child is up to date with vaccines. At the 11 year old visit we recommend the 3 adolescent vaccines including Tdap, Meningitis and HPV.

    At the 16 year old visit we give a booster for meningitis, and we initiate the Meningitis Type B vaccine series.

    To learn more about the HPV vaccine, please click here.

    To learn more about the Meningitis Type B vaccine, Please click here.

    American Academy of Pediatrics, 


  • We have walk-in clinic hours 7 days/week. Patients can be seen at 8 am by physicians and pediatric nurse practitioners on Monday through Friday. Later walk-in hours with a nurse practitioner are available until 11 am also on Monday through Friday.

    Patients can be seen during our weekend walk-in clinic hours on Saturday and Sunday at 10 am.  

    No appointment is necessary


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Accepted Insurance Plans

Listed are the major insurance providers we accept. Contact your insurance company or Human Resources to verify if we are in network with your specific plan. Please note, currently, we are out of network for all Marketplace Health Insurances.

Coventry Health Care
Land of Lincoln Health
Multiplan PHCS
United Healthcare

Words from our patients

  • Yelp

    "I have been taking my 6 month old son to NCP since he was born and I have only encountered top level service and medical advice from the doctors and nurses."

    Don J.
  • Yelp

    "We've been going to NCP for almost ten years...I am more than ecstatic to say that they've been very dedicated and have always been there for our family health issues."

    Sylvia O.
  • Yelp

    "They are in tune with our girls, proactive about health care and give honest, practical advice. We moved out to the suburbs but will not stop going to this practice..."

    Pam B.
  • Google+

    "Very happy with my experience with NCP for my three children! Our primary is Dr. Hirsh but had great experiences with Drs. Unger, Li, King and Goldstein as well!"

    Sanna B.
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Northwestern Children's Practice
680 North Lake Shore Drive
Suite 1050
Chicago, IL 60611