The arrival of a new baby is an exciting time. However, for your older child, a new baby can be a dramatic life change. All of a sudden they aren’t the center of attention at all times. This new arrival seems to be mom and dad’s first priority, and doesn’t really do anything besides sleep, fill diapers and cry. It’s no surprise that this transition can be rocky.
Here are a few tips to help things go more smoothly.
Talk About The New Baby Ahead Of Time
It’s a good idea to start talking to your child about the new baby. While toddlers and young children may have trouble fully grasping the implications of a new sibling, at least it won’t be a complete surprise. It can help to point out different things around the house from time to time that the baby will use. For example, you might show your child a bassinet or crib and say this is where the the baby is going to sleep. Sometimes concrete examples like this can really help.
A Few Books On The Topic
Stop by the library and pick up a few books about new babies coming home to join a family. Often times these books will feature a young boy or girl adjusting to life with a new sibling. Stories like this are a great way to help your little one absorb the message, and better mentally prepare for life with a baby in the house.
One Life Altering Change At A Time Please
The arrival of a new baby is a really big change. So, try to avoid putting your child through any other major changes at the same time. For example, if your child is going to be moving from a crib to a bed, it’s a good idea to make the move a few months before or after the arrival of your new bundle of joy. Too many changes all at once can be overwhelming.
A Present From Baby
It doesn’t hurt to get your child a new present from the baby to help ensure that they get off on the right foot. Toys are often a winning idea. Older kids might question how an infant was able to procure such a gift. But, toddlers and younger children will just be excited and won’t give it a second thought. Either way, a gift is likely to be well received. This present may also help make up for the fact that the baby is using your child’s old stroller, car seat, and toys all of a sudden as well.
Sometimes kids embrace new siblings right away, and other times feelings of jealousy create a little friction. If your older child acts out a little and throws a tantrum here and there, try and be patient. Going through a change like this can be stressful, and young children sometimes have a tough time coping. Give it a little time though, and sooner or later things will feel like they are back to normal for everyone.
Ryan Howard runs SmartParentAdvice, a site that provides parenting advice for moms and dads. Ryan writes about all of the different ups and downs of parenting, provides solutions to common challenges, and reviews products that parents need to purchase for babies and toddlers.