This year our we have had the joy of welcoming a little baby girl into our family. We already have a wonderful toddler son and now we feel truly blessed and complete to bring our new baby home.
But as many of you may know during pregnancy you are bombarded with so many feelings, joy, excitation, fear, anxiety… I was joined at the hip with my son, he was almost always with me so naturally one of my main concerns was his future reaction when it would be time to bring our new baby home. How is he going to take it? Will he be jealous? Will he question the love we have for him? and the list went on.
But thankfully I was pleasantly surprise by his reaction, by his strength, being away from Mommy for 3 days/nights ( I thank my parents and hubby for making a smooth stage), and by how he just loves his sister. It is a real joy to see them interact and spend time together now. When she falls asleep he cannot wait for her to wake back up, he sings for her and she in return smiles a lot and speaks back to him.
So we want to share with you 10 tips we used in for preparing our son for the time we would bring our new baby home.
Discuss your new Baby early
9 months is a long time so wait a little bit for your belly to show and start introducing to him the idea that a new baby will be part of the family very soon. You can also let your child feel the baby’s movement in your belly. There are a lot of pregnancy books that wonderfully explain pregnancy with pictures and also some to explain how it will be to be a big brother/sister.
We bought him this book and he just loved it:
Be honest with your child.
Your child will see your belly growing and will know that something is happening. Explain to him that a new baby is coming and that things will change a little bit. Baby will need a lot of attention from Mommy and Daddy will cry a lot because it will be his only way to express that something is not good. You can also explain that his help will be more than welcomed.
Encourage your child to help you with the baby arrival.
Take your child with you when you go shopping for baby. Show him/her the baby clothes and toys. You can also Let him/her help you when you install the baby crib in your bedroom.
Your young child might not be able to express his feelings by saying “I’m jealous when you hold the baby or spend time with the baby” but you will know how they feel by their action. Acknowledge that you know it’s hard to share but make him/her understand that the new baby is part of the family too.
Reminisce with your older child
Help your older child understand that he/she was a baby before too. You can do so by showing him a lot of pictures of him/her as a newborn and through the different stages. He/she would love it!
Involve family members or friends
Ask them to give a special attention to your older child by spending quality time with him/her and also encourage them to bring a little gift for him/her as well when the come see baby.
Know that regression might happen
Your child might regress and start to imitate your newborn’s behavior. Potty accidents, asking for a bottle, or interrupted night sleep are common ways for your older child to seek for your attention.
Set aside special time for your older child
As busy as you will be with your new baby, it is very important to set some time daily between you and your older child. Read a story, play a game, cuddle or just talk. Let him/her have your undivided attention.
Let dad have a special time
While Mom is nursing, caring for baby or resting, dad can take this opportunity to spend some special time your new big brother/sister.
This one is very important, praise your older child when he/she do something good or helps you with the baby. Encourage their relationship together and let them explore one another.
Please share your experience with us. How did you manage the transition in bringing a new baby home? We would love to read your comments!