Your first child is so used to getting all the attention and then suddenly with the arrival of a new baby, the child may feel that all the focus is diverted to the new sibling making him feel out of place. It is quite a challenging job as a parent at initial stages to give each child personal attention they need. There are different ways you can make your children feel valuable.
The initial days or weeks seem to be very hard but nothing is impossible. Look at some of our tips on how to manage both kids.
- Always take any help if offered. Ask a family member or one of your parents to stay with you for few days after birth.
- It doesn’t matter how your house looks during these days, your main concern at this time should be giving enough time to your new-bo
rn as well as your older child.
- From the very first day tell your toddler the baby loves him and is always watching how and what he plays as he would later join him too.
- Take little help from your tot and make sure you tell how much you appreciate his help.
- Ignore your older child’s negative and unwelcoming behaviour, but be firm when any line is crossed.
- Going for short walks daily will give you a boost and make you feel amazing and stress free.
When you’re pregnant:
- Make preparations well in advance. You can cook and freeze food when you’re pregnant so that you have good amount of nutritious food during initial days after birth. Stock and store ready to eat meals, dry foods.
- Let your toddler explore things and play on their own so it’s easier when new sibling is here, he will be used to be by himself for a while.
- Teach your older child to wait and have patience, do not give him/her things right away when asked for them, let him wait and cry a little, eventually he will learn to wait. Do not forget to give him a reward for being patient inform of hugs and kisses.
- Make sure he is not completely dependent on you; if his/her routine is based on you only try to change it slowly well before the birth.
When baby is here:
- Make him understand he is the big brother/sister. Tell what older kids can do like riding bikes, swimming, playing football, building Lego, reading books, painting, etc.
- Tell them what babies can’t do or what they can’t eat like pizza, burger like he does which will make him feel superior.
- Do not make changes in your older child’s routine. Avoid transitions.
- Try to find opportunity for your older child to interact with new sibling.
While you are nursing, activities you can do with your older child :
- Read books together, if you are holding the new born ask your toddler to hold book and turn pages while you do the reading. I’m a Big Brother and I’m a Big Sister by Joanna Cole is a good book to read out to them.
- Stock lots of activity books with puzzles in it, drawing, colouring, build legos or blocks with tots will keep them closer to you and baby and therefore will not feel neglected.
- Watching movies or playing games on laptop together.
- Play dough, water play or painting can keep toddlers busy for a longer time. You can take some rest or a power nap during this time.
It is possible that your older child might ask you to nurse at certain point when he watches you feeding the baby. If you are comfortable you can give the opportunity mostly toddlers will just touch or kiss and laugh out and continue playing. Some mothers might not prefer to offer and would distract the child into some other activity.
This sure is a difficult time, but along with time it will get better. As kids grow older, both children will play with each other and that would be a wonderful experience in itself.