Coming home with a newborn is different when it is your second time around. You were focusing on recovering soon from the childbirth with the first child but with another one, you are more likely to ponder how the older child would react to have a newborn in the home. This can be a crucial time for both you and the older child. But here is what you can do to maintain a little balance and prepare for the character building of your older child for new sibling.
Preparing The Older Child For New Sibling
You can start off by talking to the older child regarding the arrival of the new baby. Since the older child would not be the only child in the home, it would be a little difficult for him/her. Try to engage the child in picking out baby supplies for the new sibling or setting up the nursery for the newborn. You can also check into the sibling preparation classes in a nearby hospital. Try explaining to the older child that new baby would probably cry, sleep and eat. They baby would not become a playing partner right away. If you plan to move the older child from the crib to a new room, please do so and do not wait for the new child to arrive. This way, the older child would not feel jealous or depressed that you moved him just because you got another baby. Complete the toilet training for the older child if possible, before the new baby is born.
Introducing The Older Child To The New Sibling
Have a loved one or your partner bring the older child to hospital when the baby arrives. Give plenty of cuddles to your older one to make him/her feel that you still love and care for him/her. If you find him having an attitude problem, try to sit him down and make him understand about the situation. Consider giving the older child any gift that is from the baby, like a t-shirt saying ‘big sister’ or ‘big brother’. When you are home from the hospital, take the older child to any special place or restaurant for celebrating the arrival of the new baby.
Help The Older Child To Adjust With A New Sibling
If you have an older child, he/she might be eager to meet the new sibling but children of younger age might be upset or confused. Here is how you can deal with your children depending upon their ages:
- Children younger than 2 years: Children of this age would not understand the meaning of even a new sibling. Still you can talk to the child regarding the new addition by showing pictures in the book or on tv.
- Children between the ages of 2 to 4: At this age, children might feel a little uncomfortable when they see your attention getting divided with a newborn. Try and explain to the older child that a newborn needs a lot of attention and encourage the older child to participate while doing shopping for the newborn. Give the child a doll as it may teach them to be a caregiver.
- School going children: Children of such age might feel jealous from all the attention a newborn gets. You can point out advantages of being an older sibling. Display the artwork of the older child in the newborn’s room. Allow the older child to hold the newborn under your supervision.
Make sure that the older child gets enough attention when the newborn comes home. Of course, you need to work a bit on the character building of the child for this purpose. Point out the positive efforts he is making. Always try to include the older child in all the baby activities so that he/she does not feel left out.