Preparing Children for a New Baby
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Getting the whole family ready for a new baby can take some advance planning. Check out these tips on preparing children for a new baby.
Transcript: Helping your older child adjust to a new baby in your family takes a little finesse and a lot of love....
Helping your older child adjust to a new baby in your family takes a little finesse and a lot of love. In the weeks following the birth of your newborn, try to involve your oldest in the new daily routine as much as possible. Make a point to ask for your child's opinion: "Do you think the baby wants to wear a red shirt or a blue shirt?" If he wants to "help," allow him to fetch diapers, hold the baby , tell a story, or any other age-appropriate task. Even if the "helping" actually slows you down, it's an important way for the big brother or sister to feel useful and special. Then again, if your child just doesn't seem interested in his new sibling, don't force the issue... as the bonding process can take some time. Even more common than disinterest are feelings of anger, sadness, or even resentment toward the new baby. Know that this can happen EVEN if your oldest was excited about the PROSPECT of a new baby brother or sister. And your child may express these emotions in a variety of ways. It is common for a toddler or preschool-aged child to regress and act like a baby. Regression may include forgetting potty training skills, using baby talk, asking for a bottle, or trying to use the baby's things. Indulge this short-lived stage with good-natured humor and love, while reminding your child of all the things "big kids" can do, that babies can't. If your child is a bit older, however... he may misbehave, throw temper tantrums, or refuse to eat, all in an effort to engage your attention. While you should make it clear that such behavior is unacceptable... you can and SHOULD make a point to talk to your child about his feelings. Explain that it's OK to feel sad or angry, and ask him to tell you about these emotions. Encourage your child to talk with you about these feelings by asking very specific and pointed questions, rather than open-ended ones. Above all, it's vital that you reserve a chunk of time daily to spend with JUST your older child, no baby allowed! Even an extra bedtime story, a private snuggle, or a trip to the grocery store count. This one-on-one time is the best way to remind your child that he is just as important to you as he has ALWAYS been!More »
Last Modified: 2013-03-26 | Tags »
siblings jealousy, older sibling, sibling relationships, temper tantrums, regression, sibling rivalry brother, sister, birth order effects, family, siblings, newborn, toddler child relationships, brothers, sisters, family, baby health, baby mental health