A new baby is a big life change for everyone in the family. Preparing your first child for a new arrival can be an overwhelming experience, so we've created this list of tips and tricks to help you through it. We'll cover everything from dealing with jealousy and loss of attention, as well as how to talk about the changes happening at home.
- The first few weeks after the baby arrives are a great time to practice sharing. Let your child hold and cuddle the new arrival as much as possible, without becoming too attached or overbearing. Try not to take it personally if they become frustrated when you need them to share their toys or attention with someone else this is an important part of fostering their ability to empathize with others.
- The most important thing you can do for your first child is help them feel secure in the knowledge that they are still loved, even though a new baby has arrived on the scene! Talk about what life will be like at home after the big day - how much fun it'll be to share a room, how much your love for them hasn't changed, and how their new sibling needs lots of help to grow up big and strong.
-Involve them in the baby's care as much as possible - they'll feel respected and involved, and it will help build their confidence for when the time comes to be a big brother or sister.
- Try not to compare your children directly! Every child is different, so even if you had some fears about how your first child might react, don't let that color your judgement about what to expect from their new sibling.
-Don't try to rush the process! Your first child will be just as important a member of this family, even if they're not able to take part in changing diapers or feeding the baby right away. Make them feel special and included - it may seem like a daunting task, but it's one of the most important steps in making them feel comfortable with their new role.
-Keep your child involved by asking for their advice on baby names and clothes - they'll love feeling like part of the process!
-Get your child a gift. Even if they haven't reacted to the new baby well, or are feeling jealous that there's someone else getting all of your attention right now, finding the perfect present for them can be a great way to help them feel loved. A soft baby blanket, a new bamboo footie, or lovey security blanket are great options.
- Be patient with your first child. This can be a difficult time for them, and they may react dramatically at times. It's important that you try to empathize with their feelings - even if it isn't easy!