You’ve decided to expand your family and you’re expecting another child! Brining a new baby into the family causes lots of excitement and anticipation. Preparing of a new baby can take a lot of energy and after the baby arrives there will be a change in where your attention goes first. This may result in some jealousy from the older children.
Here are some tips to make the transition a little easier.
When you tell your friends/family you are pregnant, make sure you tell your child too. She should hear the news from you, not someone else.
If you have plans to change the sleeping arrangements for your child, (i.e. sharing with another sibling, getting a different bed, changing rooms) make the transition well before the baby arrives so your child doesn’t feel displaced by the baby.
It’s a good idea to be straight up with your child. Be real with her about what to expect when the baby first arrives. You’re going to be tired and the baby will take a lot of your time. Also make sure that you little one doesn’t expect much from the baby at first. Besides a lot of sleeping, crying and diapers, the baby may not be as thrilling as they anticipate.
Let your child know how excited you were when she was born, and how everyone wanted to see and hold her. Tell her about the day she was born and what she was like as a baby. Look at old videos and pictures that show her she got the same attention when she was the new baby.
Having her participate in any way will be helpful. Have her pick out the baby’s coming home outfit. Have her help you shop for some necessities. Ask her what she thinks of the names you have picked. Let her make a welcome home sign for the new baby. Have your child practice holding a doll and supporting the head. Teach her how to touch and hold a baby very gently.
If you have a toddler or younger child, have the new baby bring her a gift when they finally come home. Something small like a new truck, doll or game may soothe any jealousy she may feel.
A sibling can be a big change and may be one of the tougher things your older child has to deal with. Eventually, it may be one of the greatest gifts you give them.