It’s time to welcome the new baby who is growing inside you since so many months! You must be exhilarated and thrilled, now that you have been through this before, and are more assured and composed at the thought of labor. You are anticipating the birth, but then, what about your first child? How did you break the news to him? Will he be happy or find it difficult to adjust, or does he have a mixed bag of emotions? To ensure smooth welcoming of the new baby, you must prepare the elder sibling to meet his younger brother or sister-
Before you go into labor.
Daily Routine: From your last experience as you know labor does take a while. Therefore, make sure you have grandparents or family members, a close friend, or babysitter to look after your child while you are at the hospital. This would reassure the child that the arrival of a new one does not affect his daily routine and he can still have his favourite dinner or snack like ever before.
Timeline the Meet: Let your child know the duration when you will be at the hospital. How and when will he be meeting you again – separation from you might bite him big. Also ensure that someone takes him to the hospital everyday to meet you, if that is feasible.
Pack your hospital bag with your firstborn in mind: Tell your first-born that you will miss him, so you’d be taking a picture of him to keep at the bedside. Ask him to share a toy so that Mummy doesn’t feel alone there. Let him draw something for you.
Pick a baby present: What would be the best way to welcome the new born? Let your child pick a gift of his choice to welcome the sibling. He’d be more than excited at the prospect of gifting! Help wrap it and let him give it to the sibling.
Leave a note when you head to the hospital: When you leave the house to go to the hospital and your oldest not available, do write a message so that someone will read out later, mention in it that you are at the hospital and new baby is ready to come and meet and you can’t wait to see him at hospital!
When they First Meet
Welcome the elder first: Let the first born know that he is always on priority, welcome with hugs and kisses and give your full attention. If the new born is in your arms, quickly hand the baby to Dad or a family member near you and greet your older child with open arms before you introduce to the new baby. This would reassure that you’re the still same old mummy.
Give a gift: Since you helped wrapped a gift for the new born, make the moment special and surprising by giving the elder sibling a gift from new born, mummy and daddy.
Introduce: Make sure you call the baby with a name or say “our baby” or “your baby sister or brother.” Tell him to talk to their sibling and say “your brother or sister wants to hear you; he recognises your voice as he has always heard you from mummy’s tummy.”
Time to celebrate/party: Throw a party to welcome the new one! Let elder child participate completely in it blow some balloons, blow out candles, cut the cake which will make them delighted that they can do so many things the baby can’t do yet.
You never know it might be love at first sight when both siblings meet or could be a cold shoulder! Be patient, understanding, prepare yourself and hope for the best!