When parents ask me about how do they make it easier for their child to adapt to a new baby; there are two things that they can work on. First is before the new baby arrives and the second is after once your baby is at home. Both require different strategies to help your first child to cope, and like the new baby.
Lets just pause and think about this whole process from a different point of view, your child’s. You tell them that you are having a new baby and expect them to be excited as is everyone else. What you are telling them is that, we have enjoyed having you so much, its been so much fun that we have decided to have another one. Now just imagine your spouse saying the same thing to you. You’ve been such a good wife, I’ve decided to get another one! Then on top of that you’re expected to share all your clothes, your toys, and that new baby takes up a lot of your mother’s time, time which you used to have!
I like to suggest that thinking this way for a few minutes helps you to understand the feelings that your first born may struggle with and how their world may have changed forever!
Here’s just a few strategies that help ease into a new life. Before the baby arrives, be sure to explain to your child what having a baby in the house means, show them the photos and video of when they where a baby if you can. Explain how daily life was. Get them involved – involve them in helping to set out the clothes in the baby’s room, arrange the nappies, talk to them about how they can help you out, pass you the nappy, wipes, etc. Find a role for them to do and how to help with the baby. This creates bonding. Be sure to do this afterwards. You bond by doing and caring for others.
Next and most importantly, teach your older child to wait by not jumping to their every request as this will be almost impossible once the baby has arrived. Teach them to be as independent as possible so they are not waiting for you to get them a drink or breakfast.
Talk about their feelings rather than brush them aside, talk and say you understand how they feel and that sometimes they don’t like the baby and wish things were back to just them. Most parents don’t air these feelings as they want them to disappear but by not talking about it they just bubble away under the surface. By acknowledging them they feel understood and the feelings start to fade away. These are just a few strategies to get you started.
If you have further inquires or are in a situation with a toddler not responding well to your new little arrival; please contact us at email@example.com or call 07 47 24 2600 and make a in office/skype/facetime/phone or email appointment.