So you’re welcoming another addition to the family soon – congratulations! Your family is on its way to grow just a bit more and bring even more joy and love into your shared lives. The prospect of having a second (or third, or fourth, or any, really) child is both super exciting and nerve wrecking, just like it was with the first baby except the questions are slightly different.
Sure, you are already much more experienced and calm; on the other hand – you’ve never done this with two before! How will that go? And most importantly: your beloved child, who got so used to getting all the attention – how will they take it?
Some kids have a hard time when a new baby comes along. It’s a big change and it can be confusing. The most important thing is to be there for them. Prepare them for the big moment, explain to them what’s going on (the best you can…) and once the baby had arrived, try and include them and make sure they don’t feel neglected.
How to prepare for the baby together
Involve the child in the preparations. Let them know a new sibling is on their way and prepare them for how shocking those first few weeks/months are going to be. Your son or daughter will surely be pleased to have a new playmate joining the family, but they also need to understand that it’s going to be a while before they can play together, otherwise they will be very disappointed. For instance you can show them how much fun it can be to play with your sibling…
You can also let your toddler help and take a part in all the surrounding excitement. Choose items for the nursery together. Talk and speculate about what the baby’s doing right now, inside mommy and what they will be like once they’re out. Show your child photos of them when they were a baby to help demonstrate what to expect. If your kid is old enough, maybe they can even help choose a name!
You can go visit a friend with a newborn – that can be really helpful, too. Let your child spend some time near babies and get used to them. Or take her or him with you to the doctor’s office to hear the baby’s heartbeat and see their sonogram.
Another thing that will really help is to prepare the older sibling for their role as such: sure, they will suddenly get less attention, but there are plenty of perks to being an older brother or sister! They get more responsibility. They will be able to teach young baby everything they already know. They get to be the mature, protective ones and strengthen their confidence. Being an older sibling can be fun and rewarding – so make sure they know that!
How did you prepare your older child for a new baby?
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