A new baby in the family often brings both joy and disruption from your old way of life. This is especially true if baby has an older brother or sister. For many children, a baby can feel like a threat to their own chance to be loved. Though this is normal, and will go away when the fears don’t come true, there is much you can do to help ease the transition.
In This Post:
1. Prepare Them
Whether you are pregnant or trying to adopt from an agency such as A Child’s Dream, start a conversation with your child about the new baby that is coming. Do this no matter how old or young your child is. Show them books, introduce them to other babies, and talk about what an amazing big brother or sister they will be.
2. Involve Them
Let your child help to pick out things for the baby. Colors and decorations for the nursery, clothes, high chairs, bassinets, or anything else you plan to buy. Even if it’s not to your taste, let your child have some say in the baby’s surroundings if it is out of a spirit of love and sharing.
3. Entertain Them (Quietly)
There will be times that your new baby will require your full attention, and your older child will need to be able to entertain himself or herself. Reading, puzzles, train sets, blocks or other quiet activities are a great way to give your child another thing to do while you are briefly unavailable to them.
4. Spend Time with Them
Mommy dates, daddy dates, and other special one on one moments are a great way to ensure your child that you are still important to them. Let them choose the activity, but encourage something that baby couldn’t come do, to further enhance how special they still are in your eyes.
5. Praise Them
This is the biggie. The more that they are helpful and supportive, the more you should be giving them good attention. If they are lacking that attention, they will seek it either by doing well or doing badly. By choosing the way to get the most special mom or dad attention (good is always better than bad), you will help to encourage them to do more to get attention instead of less. As a bonus, it means you get a caring big sister or brother and maybe a break from some of the hard work of a new baby or child.
Though every child is different in the way that they react to a new baby, following these steps can make the transition easier for the whole family.