No matter how young or old your child is, getting them used to the fact that the arrival of a new baby is right around the corner can be a difficult task. You may fear that your child may get upset, harbour feelings of jealousy or feel left out once their sibling is introduced into the family. Fret not, for we have you covered! In this article, we will look at ways in which you can get young children adjusted to a new baby. With just a few simple steps, your older child and your newborn will be best friends in no time, so read on to find out more!
1. Don’t Keep It A Mystery!
You may be tempted to surprise your little one with a new sibling, but chances are your child is going to be more upset than elated if they don’t have any idea of what is going on. Telling your child about the new baby ahead of time is always a good idea, and gives them time to process what is about to happen, as well as get used to the fact that there is going to be a new addition to the home.
Always accentuate the positives to your older child, explaining to them that they are now going to be an older sibling and that they will have someone new to play with and experience life with. You can even do things such as allowing your older child to pick the strollers that they think baby will love best. Keeping your child involved in the entire experience is key.
2. Give Your Child Special Jobs
Another fantastic way to keep your older child involved in the process is to assign them various tasks and jobs when you bring your newborn home. Perhaps they can assist during feeding or bath time, or even fetch the diapers and clothes for you when baby needs a change. Why not let your child help bottle feed the new baby as well? You’ll be surprised at how much your child will want to do when they are involved in the process. This will also foster a bond between siblings, ensuring that no one feels left out in the cold.
3. Reassure, Reassure, Reassure!
One of the most common issues that will arise when a new baby is introduced into the family is feelings of jealousy. Help your child cope with these negative feelings by reassuring them that their new sibling will in no way “steal” their love and affection from you. Tell them that they will always be special, and that just because there is a new addition to the family doesn’t mean that they are going to lose out on anything.
4. Educate Your Child
Newborns are vulnerable and need to be treated gently, so educating your child even before your due date is highly advisable. Where possibly, try to visit friends or family who have newborns and let your child interact with them as practice. Make it known that they have to be gentle with babies, and point out that babies may cry a lot and will be unable to “play” with them until they are slightly older. Instead, focus on things that your child will be able to do with the new baby – singing lullabies and holding them with your assistance. Keeping your child in the loop with what to expect is key here, so don’t miss out on any pointers!
We hope that this article has been informative and has taught you some pointers that you can use with your older child in a bid to prepare them for their new sibling. All the best!