News of a new pregnancy is always celebrated with joy but for the little ones in the family this may not be so. There is the saying, he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother, but when the attention is shared, the claws aren’t spared.
It’s important to introduce your older child to the new baby even before birth to ensure an emotional bond between the two once the baby comes along. As a mother, you can show him or her the image scans of the baby and allow them to touch and listen to the life growing inside your belly. Explain to them what both of them will be able to do once the baby is older and all the games they’ll be able to play together.
What you can do is to show your older child some images or videos from when they were born to repeat that experience to them such as the day they were born and how they looked like, returning from the hospital, feeding times and having their diaper changed. This will help to mentally and emotionally prepare them for the arrival of their new sister or brother. Also engage your child in the naming process as well as when it comes to picking out new items for the baby. Ask your older child questions like, “What do you think the new baby would want to wear or play with?”
We know how tiring it can be for parents with the arrival of a new child what with the sleepless nights and all but never forget to give equal attention to your other kids. Take time to explain your situation to them, always know they are still young and will easily feel ignored. This may lead to destructive behaviour such as attempts to harm the baby or venting their anger towards the parents by throwing tantrums to get attention (read: possessive!) They may also resent their younger sibling in the long run which also means more problems for you!
Encourage the older child to share their toys and give them small responsibilities such as helping during feeding times or get them to put away the baby’s toys. Whilst the little one may have to do without mum sometimes, dad should step in and take him or her out for some fun. Remember to never take out your frustrations on your kids to always maintain harmony and you’re in for smooth years ahead!