I just wrote a lengthy email which I accidentally lost... Here's what I can remember:
Because we don't know you or your children and what your relationship is; how old the older son is; who else is in the family unit, it is impossible to "know."
That said, something is motivating your email and that is what you need to consider. The most important thing a former friend said to me is: "Where there is doubt, there is no doubt."
Let's assume your son 'does not feel worthy of love.' Why would that be and what could you do about it? Let's further assume that it's not worthiness the kid is questioning, maybe he just feels DISPLACED. What can be done:
1. Include the son in your activities with the infant. Unless you don't trust him around the baby, why not let him 'help?' If you are washing the baby, as you hold the child, let your son run the washcloth over the infant.
2. If you bottle-feed, depending on the son's age, allow him to "help." Prop the older child someplace safe -- on the floor (it's flat, no dropping) or in the middle of the bed with his back to the wall or headboard, place a pilow on his lap, and the baby on the pillow, sit to the right and/or left of them and let him help with the bottle-feeding.
3. When the baby is asleep, resting or zoning out baby style, make a show of sneaking off and doing something with the kid. If you have a baby monitor, this is even easier. You can hear what's happening and respond if the infant needs you.
4. If you have less attention to give, are there re-inforcements: a sister, a good friend, a teenaged cousin, someone who can pick the kid up for special one-on-one time.
5. If you have someone you trust to babysit, leave the infant in that person's care and spend focused time with the older son.
6. If the child talks, what is he saying? What has he expressed? Is he acting out? Engage him in conversation.
7. Observe your own behavior and that of the other adults in the environment, make sure that your son has not in fact become invisible.
8. Do these children have the same father? Is that part of the dynamic?
9. Get the older child invested in a being a big sibling. At some point, siblings begin to have a greater and more immediate impact on their siblings than parents do... You want to create an enviroronment in which the big kid feels protective of and loving towards the little kid. How you treat the older son now not only impacts how he will feel abut himself and you but how he will feel towards the younger sib for MANY years to come. I am a younger sib.
10.) The final one: my mentor once said that people tend to lavish attention on infants - who are clueless unless they are hungry or gassy in the moment - when it's older children; the kids ages 2 thru 7or8, older even, who cannot be comforted by just anyone. Kids who can talk, think, walk, process, can also make comparisons and come to false assumptions.
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