It’s easy to forget that you’re older child will have had you all to themselves for a number of years and it can be difficult for them to adjust to sharing your love with a new sibling. This can be completely heartbreaking for parents because we want our children to love each other, but jealousy is completely normal.
Experiencing a major transition, like the arrival of a new baby, it’s very common for young children and toddlers to regress. This can take many forms such as waking up in the middle of the night, wetting or soiling themselves, sucking their thumb or trying to steal babies dummy or wanting to be held like a baby again. This is is normal and wont last forever.
2- Hold off
If your older child is just about to transition from things like a cot to a bed, being weaned or potty training, it may be best to either leave these for the time being or get them done within plenty of time before baby is born. If you try to do these at the same time as introducing a new baby your toddler will inherently blame the baby for it. But getting it done ahead of time they can embrace the fact that they are a big boy/girl rather than having their little little world turned upside down by the new baby.
3 – Special time
It’s so easy when you have a new baby to get caught up in the endless feeding and exhaustion that your unintentionally forget about your older child needs. Try scheduling special time which can be as little as 15 to 20 minutes with your older child to do things that they enjoy. If you start this a few weeks before baby’s arrival your child will then know that they will have the uninterrupted time with you every day.
4 – Bump bonding
Getting your older child to bond with the baby can be done before the baby has even arrived. As your baby moves and kicks let your older child feel and cuddle your bump and talk about the new baby.
Use a doll or a stuffed toy so they can practice holding the baby, rocking them and singing or reading to them. This helps them to feel like the baby is part of them too.
5 – Hands free
By using a baby sling or carrier it give your newborn exactly what they want, constant snuggles with mamma whilst freeing up you hands to take a walk holding hands with your child or even using an arm to snuggle up on the sofa with your toddler.
6 – Helping hands
Children like nothing better than to help the grown ups so consider setting up your changing station so they can help you. Keep it low to the ground and give them little tasks to do like passing wipes and nappies. You can also give them a little reward for helping. This way they see the time the you are spending changing the baby a fun time for them too.
7 – Sibling gift
After the baby is born you will get lots of influx of visitors for the new baby, all of which will bring gifts for baby. As this may cause jealousy in the older child ask people if they would consider brings a small sibling gift too.
You can even do this for your own child too. When they meet the baby for the first time, give them a gift and say that their brother/sister has brought them a little something to say how much they love them.
8 – Photos
You’ll be taking loads of photos of the new baby once they are here but remember not to leave the older sibling out. I don’t just means taking the photos of them together, make sure you turn the attention on just them too. Kids love seeing themselves in photos and if they’ve gone from you taking lots of photos of them to only taking photos of them with the new baby, they my start to feel jealous.
Getting them involved in your newborn shoot will also make them feel a little more secure too.