For three-year-old Isla, having a little sister to play with is a dream come true. Lying side-by-side with baby Ciara Alexandra, the toddler from Ballygowan was a natural with the new addition to the family.
As Isla stroked the tiny newborn’s cheeks, parents Joanne and David Kennedy said they were delighted to see their two girls getting on so well.
“Isla has been really good with Ciara,” said David (31), an engineer. “She’s keen to help her mummy out with everything when we get home. They’ve spent a lot of time together and she’s very affectionate — she couldn’t wait to have a sister.”
Ciara was born just after 1pm on May 9, weighing in at a healthy 8lbs 3oz.
Mum Joanne (32), a Spanish tutor, said she wasn’t sure if the sleepy new arrival looked more like her parents or her big sister.
“I can’t tell who she’s like, but I can see similiarities between her and Isla,” she said.
“She’s going to be very tall when she grows up because she’s a very long baby.
“She’s been great since she was born — sleeping lots and there’s been hardly a peep out of her.”
With a Spanish-speaking mum, little Isla was keen to show off her language skills to her new sister.
“Hola” and “perro” were her two favourite words, with mum Joanne adding that she was keen to teach Ciara some Spanish when she learnt to talk.
“I’m sure she’ll learn a few words along the way — but we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves,” she said.
Ciara was born by Caesarean section in the maternity unit of the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald.
David said staff on the ward had helped the Co Down family feel comfortable during their stay.
“I’ve been coming and going and they’ve been great with Joanne,” he said. “We were here when Isla was born, so we knew the place and everyone has looked after us well.
“We’ve had some of the family up to visit but most of them are content to wait until we get home.
“It will be nice to get settled in and Isla is really excited about bringing Ciara into our house.”