The relationship that your older children and new baby will share is determined by how you prepare your children for the arrival of the new baby.
It is important to find ways to involve your children in the process of preparing for the arrival of the new baby so that the children can adjust to their changing roles in the family and reassure them of your unconditional love even though the new baby will need lots of attention in the beginning.
The arrival of a new baby can be a fearful time for the baby’s siblings.
Their greatest worries may be that you may neglect them or love the new baby more. In addition, siblings may worry that they will not know what to do with the new baby. Encourage your children to talk about the fears and concerns they have about the new baby. Help your children adjust by asking them for name ideas and seeking their help when decorating the nursery.
Preparing your home for the arrival of the new baby can help the children adjust and become invested in the new baby.
Try to spend as much time as possible with your older children, especially during the late stages of the pregnancy.
This will help them understand that they will still spend quality time with you even after the arrival of the new baby.
Throughout your pregnancy
Involve your child in all pregnancy-related events from announcing the pregnancy to having the baby shower. This will make your child not feel left out and forgotten.
Explain to the siblings that you may spend significant amounts of time with the new baby once he arrives so that they understand the changes that are likely to occur and become better prepared for your initial preoccupation fulfilling the needs of the new baby. Connect the siblings to the baby during pregnancy by allowing them to talk to the baby and feel your stomach when the baby kicks.
Life after baby
Your children will enjoy getting gifts from you on behalf of the new baby. Gifts like a shirt with prints that say “big sister” or “big brother” can help your children adjust to their new roles as older siblings. They may also enjoy helping prepare a welcome party for you and the new baby.
Ask family members and friends to visit and spend some time with the older children so that they do not feel left out.
Focus on your older children whenever you get the opportunity such as when feeding the new baby. Take every opportunity possible to reinforce their understanding that they are still valuable members of the family.
Having a new baby comes with its own challenges, and older children may feel a bit left out. Such feelings are normal and tend to be short term.
You can help make your older children feel valuable and needed by asking them to fetch nappies or bring the feeding bottle.
If the siblings are struggling to adjust, consider asking a pediatrician to help ease the transition.
Did you do anything special to help your children adjust to a new baby? Please SHARE in the comments below.
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