Second baby on the way? Congrats! You are probably blissful and impatient to hold a new baby in your arms as you shed tears of joy, to caress him and to feel his new baby smell. However, even if your first experience as a parent was shiny and happy, please keep in mind that the second time around you are not only with your partner in this. You also have your first child in the equation, reason why you need to be emphatic and put yourself in his shoes. Even in baby number two is a huge joy for you, for your first this may become a cause of stress and sorrow, so you need to pay attention to his behavior and try to prevent him feeling left out due to the bun in your oven. And how could you do this?
There are some tips and tricks to try in order to prepare your older child for the arrival of his baby brother or sister.
- Talk to him. Communication is actually key to a successful relationship between siblings and it’s actually your communication with your first child that sets the tone of their relation. Explain him in detail everything related to the new baby, from the way he appeared, how he’ll be born, how he’ll arrive in the house and grow up there and so on. No matter the age of your first child, you need to be open towards him.
- Wrap up the news of the new baby in a way that positively affects him and tell him before everyone else. You know what’s important for him – like having a play friend or swimming with a buddy, so try to tie the news to something he loves and craves. Also, let him know before everyone else so he does not feel like you are betraying his trust.
- Let him take decisions until the baby arrives. He will feel important if he can decide the color of the new baby’s room, what clothes he’ll wear when coming home from the hospital and how his toys should be arranged on the shelves. Also, he’ll gain responsibility towards your new bundle of joy.
- Involve him in all the things related to the baby – take him to see the baby when you have an ultrasound, let him hear his heartbeat, prepare his onesies together before birth, shop for diapers and other baby essentials he can learn about.
- Shop for him! Is the new baby inheriting your first child’s car seat? Great! This means it’s time to bond some more with your first over a shopping spree. He will be delighted both to have new things and to pass on to the tiny brother or sister his baby stuff, as he’s already soooooooooo big, right?
Of course, if your first is a teenager, these don’t apply anymore, but as long as you have to deal with a little child, success is close. Keep in mind that children are different and if some of the strategies may work with yours, some probably won’t. That’s not a problem, though, as long as you find the best solutions for what may be a problem.