You may be excited about the thought of having another baby to
complete your family, but your little darling first born may not
quite feel comfortable with the idea of having a sibling! The
spotlight that was on her all these years is about to shift and
she may feel threatened. Help her make the transition a smooth
ride and let her enjoy the experience of having a little
'You are gonna be Big brother!'
It is crucial
to prepare a sibling for the arrival of a new baby, much in
advance. Tell him he is soon going to have a playmate as soon as
you begin to show. Address the baby as his little 'sister' or
'brother'. Involve him in all decision making about the new
baby. You can even take him along to the doctor on your
antenatal visits so that he can listen to your baby's
Decide whether you want him to attend the
Discuss his favorite baby names to
christen his sibling. Ask him to decorate the nursery or take
him along to shop for baby's wardrobe, tell him to select a toy
for his new sister/brother.
If you plan to make any
changes like shifting him to a new bedroom do it much before the
baby arrives, so that he does not feel he is being displaced to
make way for the newborn.
Don't be alarmed at the volley of questions your little one
fires at you when you break the news to him. "Will it be a
brother or sister?" "Where will he/she/it come from?" "Whom will
he look like?" "Will you love him more than me?" and so on.
Tackle his concern with patience and understanding.
out books about pregnancy, birth and babies to him. Bring out
photo albums of his baby days and explain how he was as a baby
and how much he has grown up. Read to him stories where main
characters deal with sibling rivalry and mixed feelings.
I want some attention!
Even if she seems excited
about the new baby, it is normal for an older sibling to feel
neglected after baby has arrived. It may be a rude shock for her
not to see a merry playmate but a baby that only sleeps, cries,
feeds and pees all the time.
Even if you prepare a
sibling for the arrival of a new baby adequately, sibling
rivalry reaches its peak after baby's arrival. Don't be
surprised if she gets back to thumb-sucking, throws temper
tantrums, reverts to baby-talk or wets her pants. It may be
attention-seeking behavior. Reassure her you still love her.
If she chooses to ignore the baby, don't force her to do
otherwise. Let her take her own time.
We are family
Seek your older child's help to dress, bathe or feed the baby,
and let him push her pram. Praise him for his efforts.
Spare some time to be alone with him daily. Do talk about
something else other than the baby.
With a little help from you, soon you will be overwhelmed to
watch big brother smothering his little sister with all his love
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