Preparing Your Child For a New Sibling
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Preparing your child for a new sibling can be challenging -- especially when that child is the firstborn. Feelings of jealousy aren't unusual. Use these tips to make your child feel loved and secure and help cultivate a positive sibling relationship.
Transcript: Is your child going to become a big brother or sister? Preparing your child for this change-and preparing...
Is your child going to become a big brother or sister? Preparing your child for this change-and preparing YOURSELF for your child's reactions-is vital! Setting the scene for a positive interaction between your children starts BEFORE you even tell your oldest about the impending arrival. It can be helpful to watch movies or read books in which siblings play a prominent, positive role. Or spend time with bigger families, so your little one gets used to the sibling dynamic. Eventually, you'll need to break the baby news, but most experts recommend waiting until AFTER your first trimester... And if you've decided to do genetic testing, like CVS or amniocentesis, it's smart to wait until you've gotten the results and are certain that things are as you'd like them to be with your pregnancy. Pick a time when both you and your partner can be present...and use clear, concise terms, like, "There's a baby growing in Mommy's tummy, and her belly will keep growing, and when it gets really big, a baby will come out, and you will have a little sister or brother!" If your child is upset, tell her that it's OK to feel sad or confused, and explain that talking about these feelings can help. If she doesn't seem to want more information, let it go for now. She'll probably have questions later. If she wants to know how the baby got inside of you, you can simply say that, "Daddy put it there." Often, simplistic explanations like these satisfy little minds. If not, answer your child's questions as directly and straightforwardly as you can. In the coming months, keep all talk about the new baby light and positive, even when you experience pregnancy symptoms. By simply saying, "Mommy doesn't feel well today," you'll ensure that your child does not associate the new baby with your sickness. If your child seems interested, allow her to help with preparations for the baby, like picking rompers or arranging the nursery. And speaking of nurseries, if you need to move your older child out of a crib or to a different room, do so as soon as you can so she doesn't feel displaced by the baby. Try to avoid any other major changes during this time, such as potty training or starting a new school. And above all, continue to shower your little one with love, affection and reassurance. These are the best ways to ensure she reacts positively to the new baby when it arrives!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-26 | Tags »
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