How Do I Entertain Older Brother When the Baby Needs Me?

My 4 year old loves his baby sister. He loves to hug and kiss her and is convinced that he’s making her laugh when he makes funny faces for her if she fusses in the car. It’s sweet beyond compare. The only problem is he loses interest in her after about 2 minutes. And who can blame him? Newborn babies are boring. They can’t play soccer or identify Iron Man or build intricate block forts.

What small babies can do, my son is learning, is take up his mommy’s time. He’s pretty good about understanding that N needs to nurse and be changed and take long naps but there are limits to his patience. He’s an active kid and he wants his parents to play with him instead of sitting and endlessly rocking a baby who won’t settle down. Those times are when I want to kiss the person who invented iPhone games and on-demand cable systems that allow me to entertain C while I take care of the baby’s needs.

Disney Junior programs are a staple in our house. I like them because they’re gentle and smart and there’s nothing in them that I have to explain away for my son. It’s fine by me for him to imitate Doc McStuffins or Handy Manny. So when I heard about a free Disney Junior iPhone app about Jake and the Never Land Pirates, I was intrigued. I don’t let C have my phone often but there are times when a little technology is the ticket to keeping him happy. I have some carefully screened apps on my phone just for him to play with at restaurants, during long car trips, or when I just need both hands free to care for the baby. I thought Jake’s Never Land Pirate School sounded like a great addition to my high-tech arsenal.

It totally is. The game lets kids create a pirate icon with a photo of their own face in it and the icon takes pirate classes in things like steering the pirate ship, flying with pixie dust, and using a map and spyglass to find objects on screen. The instructions are both verbal and visual so it’s super easy for a little kid to pick up on what he’s supposed to do and do it without an adult helping. Within minutes of trying it, C was piloting the pirate ship like a pro! The map game was teaching him about directions and finding landmarks and the pixie dust game had him navigating mazes. And I was thinking that the combination of Jake’s Never Land Pirate School and a napping baby could create ideal conditions for mommy to take a shower! Win!

Disney Junior also has a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse Road Rally interactive “app-isode” for iPad that sounds equally consuming but, alas, we are iPad-less in our house, though there is talk of acquiring one. Moreover,  Disney Junior WATCH makes full length episodes of its popular shows available online at and via the free Disney Junior WATCH app on iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.   As a Comcast Xfinity subscriber, I’ll have access to premiere content, including a live feed of the network online and through the app (if you have other cable systems, you can call and ask them to add this service).  Woohoo!

How do you entertain your older kids while the baby needs you?

Want to learn more? Download the apps and join us August 8th at 9 PM EST for a Disney Junior Twitter party! You could win an iPad. RSVP at and use the hashtags #spon and #mackidtips

A big thanks to Disney Junior for sponsoring this campaign. Click here to see more of the discussion!

Read more from Rebekah at Mom-in-a-Million, The DC MomsThe Broad Side
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Photo credit: photo stock


Article Posted 4 years Ago

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