This week’s guest post is from Sandra Cobain, all about introducing your newborn baby to his/her sibling:
“When bringing your first child home from the hospital, you may have been overwhelmed with emotion, full of relief that everything went the way it did and now focused on spending some relaxing, intimate moments with your new family.
However, bringing your second child home to your now older child can be a whole other ball game. As you can imagine, things are going to be slightly different, and your eldest’s response to a new child can be hard to gauge initially.
Today, we’ll explore several ways to ensure this is a seamless change for you and your children, enabling you to make this the best experience possible for your family.
Preparation – Before Birth
You should start introducing the idea of another child being in the house way before your next child is born. There’s no harm in actually sitting down with your child and explain what’s going to happen. You can do this whenever you feel it’s the right time.
If your child is quite young, simply explain that your family’s newcomer is just another human and that they’ll cry, eat and sleep, just like they do. It’s also essential that you remind your child that this new baby won’t be able to play straight away until about a year old, and will need time to relax and grow before they’re ready.
If your eldest is also moving rooms, do this before the baby is born so they can get used to one bit of change at a time.
How to Introduce Your Newborn
Once your baby has arrived, it’s recommended that you get your partner or family friend to bring your child to the hospital. Always remember that this is going to be a very strange time for your child so it’s important that you and the person caring for your child is understanding and answers any questions they may have.
Introductions Depending on Age
The way you introduce your newborn to your eldest will solely depend on their age. If your child is very young (under the age of 2-3), they won’t understand what is going on, so it’s important you remain calm and collected. Baby picture books are a great way to get your child ready.
If your child is between 3-5, they may get upset with the new divide in attention, so you’ll need to explain that the baby will need lots of attention to begin with. It’s also a great idea to get your child involved in helping out and shopping for baby supplies.
If your child is older, they will be more understanding, but they may still get jealous. Explain your baby’s needs to your older child and give your eldest boosts of confidence, reminding them that they’re older and perhaps that they get to go to bed later.
Try getting your older child to interact with the baby and really remind them that they are part of the family.
Introducing your baby to your other children doesn’t have to be a stressful or daunting time. In fact, it’s a very exciting time. Take your time and be aware of how your attention is divided. All your eldest child needs right now is love, appreciation and acknowledgement.
About the Author: Sandra Cobain, a child psychologist by profession, took up the editorial duties of BestForTheKids.com out of her passion for parenting and kids’ toys. She loves spending her lazy afternoons outside with her two bubbly children”