Welcoming another addition to the family? While you might be thrilled, your first-born may not share your excitement. After all, this can be an incredibly sensitive time for little children as they may be filled with confusion, anger and jealousy, sometimes all at once. Here’s what you can do to ease the situation:
Get your first-born to express his feelings
It’s typical for a toddler to experience a range of emotions when he or she is no longer the youngest member of the family. After all, now mom, dad, dadi, dada, naani, naana are all going to be fussing over someone else as well. What you need to do is regularly check up on your first-born and ask how they feel about the new addition to the family. Gently get your child to express their feelings. This can help them truly enjoy the experience of being a big sister or brother.
Understand your older one’s temperament
How your child adjusts to their sibling is largely dependent on their nature. Children who are more independent and adaptable usually find it easier to adjust. It may take longer for children who are sensitive or have been pampered a lot. Just remember that your first-born too will want to bond with his new sibling. You just might have to be a little patient before this actually happens.
Empower your elder child
Increasing your first-born’s involvement in the everyday process of his younger sibling’s life is a great idea. For example, let your first-born pick out your baby’s outfit or select what books you read to both of them. Their involvement will make them feel like an important part of the baby’s life and will make them feel heard and valued.
Books can be a big help
There are certain books you could read to your first born to get them excited about their baby sibling. ‘My New Baby’ by Rachel Fuller, ‘Little Big Girl’ by Claire Keane, ‘I’m a Big Sister’ or ‘I’m a Big Brother’ by Joanna Cole, ‘Big Brothers Are the Best’ or ‘Big Sisters Are the Best’ by Fran Manushkin, ‘The New Baby’ by Mercer Mayer, ‘What to Expect When Mommy’s Having a Baby’ by Heidi Murkoff are some popular recommendations.
Reassure your first-born often
As impossible as it may seem, try and make a little alone time for you and your first born, just so they feel like not much has changed between you two. Make them feel special and important by making their favourite meals or reading their favourite bedtime stories. Do let us know what you thought of this blog in the comments below. We’re always eager to hear from you, dear smart mums.