The arrival of a new baby can bring many changes to a family. Parents spend a lot of energy preparing for the birth and after the baby arrives, much of the family’s attention goes into caring for the newborn. This might leave your eldest one feeling isolated and left out, stemming pangs of jealousy and they might tend to act out as a way to cope with all the changes.
However, parents can prepare kids for the new addition, by talking about the pregnancy in terms that will make sense to their little ones.
Here are a few parenting tips on preparing your eldest for a new sibling:
After breaking the news to your little one, allow their doubts and questions to guide the conversation. Your child may be interested in where babies come from, when the baby will arrive, and so on. Answer all your kid’s questions, as this will pique their interest in the newborn.
After child birth
- Once the baby is home, you can help your other children/child adjust to the changes, by including them in the daily activities involving the baby so that they don’t feel left out.
- Many children want to help take care of a new baby. Depending on their age, you can assign chores such as, diaper change, pushing the stroller, talking to the baby, or help dress, bathe, or burp the baby. If your child expresses no interest in the baby, don’t be alarmed and don’t force it. Just give your eldest some time.
- Take advantage of chances for one-on-one time with older kids. Spend time together while the baby is sleeping and, if possible, set aside time each day for older kids to get one parent’s undivided attention.