Guest Post by Dianna Charles
You might have spent a lot of time and energy thinking about the moment when your older children will meet your newborn baby. You may have experienced mixed feelings such as panic, excitement, and anticipation. These feelings are entirely normal, especially if you haven’t had a baby after a long time. You should know that you won’t be able to predict how your older children will react; they might love or hate your new baby. But you don’t have to worry; you can make preparations for this time. And here, we have gathered the keys tips on introducing your new baby into your family of siblings to help you.
- Start preparing as soon as you start planning to conceive
As soon as you and your partner start planning to have another child, you should involve your older children in planning. Take time to sit down and explain to them that you and your partner want to have another child.
You can try:
- Asking their input on the baby’s name.
- Taking them with you when you go shopping for baby’s things.
- Teaching them how to care for the baby (feeding, bathing, changing the diapers, etc.).
Make your children feel that they are part of the process. Lastly, assure them that even if they have a new brother or sister, they’re still loved.
- Plan the conditions in advance
Some parents think that it’s a good idea to make their other kids watch their mom give birth. However, in some situations, this might not work. If you think that your children will freak out or experience shock in seeing you in the hospital, it would be wise to have them wait for you and your new child to get home.
Also, avoid introducing the baby when he/she is crying. This may cause the other children to get annoyed at the baby.
- Choose the perfect moment
You should choose the right time to have a get together with your new baby and your older kids. Don’t set the get together when your other children are feeling tired or grouchy or when you’re also not in a good mood. You can set the get together on Saturdays and Sundays, so all of you are well rested.
- Set the ambiance
The first meeting of your new baby and your other kids is a critical moment, but don’t try to make your kids feel that it is. If you decide to force things to happen, your older kids will only feel strained and may end up hating the moment instead of enjoying it. Let the kids do things on their own, but guide them along the way.
- Show them that there are no favorites
When introducing your new baby, try putting your baby in his or her crib and take your children there. Start by saying, “This is your little sister or brother, and he or she is excited to meet you. We hope you are excited as well.” By putting the baby in a neutral place, instead of carrying him or her, will let your kids see that there are no favorites.
Also, when you have a visitor coming, and he or she will be bringing gifts for the baby, try asking him or her to bring something for the other kids as well. This will show that your older children won’t be left out even there’s someone new in the family.
- Be careful of what you say
Most of the time words can have stronger effects than actions, and this is why you should be cautious of how you phrase your words when talking about the new baby.
Instead of using words like “my baby,” use “our baby,” or “my little girl/boy,” use “our little girls/boys.” Doing this will make your children feel that they are included.
- Be watchful
Your older children might be rough when interacting with your new baby. When you’re letting your children spend time with your new baby, you should supervise them. You can tell your older children, “Your little sister or brother is still small now, but when he/she gets older, you can have a lot of play time together.”
In the beginning, you might see some regression in your older children’s behavior. But you have to remember that this is entirely normal at the start. For the first few days and weeks, this may happen, especially if your other children haven’t reached teenage years yet. As a parent, you should be patient during this time; let your kids realize that your new baby is now a permanent part of your family.
Dianna Charles is a promising young law enthusiast that hopes to bring her youthful spirit in her field. She tries to add a refreshing modern take to topics on the legal world that people can learn from. Dianna enjoys her free time with friends and family, and loves to cook for them.