A little late to this party - have been busy with the baby shower and with manufacturing more siblings for my son :)
I have posted about this quite often on my blog. I think having a sibling is one of the best things that could happen to a child. There are so many benefits, from the ones for the parents ( i.e. free time because the sibs are busy playing/ fighting with each other) to those for the kids themselves - they learn to share, they learn to stand up for their own rights, they learn to watch out for those weaker or younger than them...most of all it is the emotional bond between the two which is the biggest reason to have more than one child. My son has grown up so much since the days that he used to get jealous of the attention his baby sister got - now he's her protector, even against us. He finds it so easy to share even his most favourite things. I think the festival of Rakhi has come to mean more to me because of the way my two have bonded.
Some of the things that I think we did right:
1. Involved him from the beginning when we conceived Puddi - took him for the ultrasounds, let him feel her kicking around. Of course, we may have overdone the up-talk about having a new playmate because when this small, wailing, poopy thing emerged after the long wait - boy was he disappointed.
2. We divided and conquered - A got some paternity leave and spent most of his time with Chubbocks. I had to go for daily physiotherapy sessions for a broken ankle so we always took Chubbocks along so he would get some time alone with us, sans baby. Even now, on some weekends, we plan activities that she can't participate in so gets some time alone with us.
3. We never compared and contrasted and thankfully neither did any of our visitors.
4. We were watchful but we also let him help with the baby - bring her bottle or diapers, button her shirt etc.
5. Most of all, we were as patient as we knew how when he went through a jealous phase - listened, paid him more attention, tried to explain, let him work it out. That I think was the most important - had we become judgemental or admonitory during that phase, the jealousy might have continued.
That's about it and the way the two of them are going, I think they'll be fine company for the third one - and hope we poor parents, soon to be outnumbered - will survive to tell the tale!