Preparing your child for a brother or sister
A second pregnancy for young mothers can be as exciting and exciting as the first. You have probably already learned how to cope well with some things: changing diapers, feeding a baby, reassuring him when he cries, as well as caring for him when he is sick. However, now you will face new challenges, for example, to prepare the child for the appearance of a brother or sister. The first few months after the birth of the baby can turn out to be very difficult, because now you need to take care of two children at once. First of all, you take care of the newborn, but do not forget that the older child has its own needs and anxieties. When you first tell your child that he will soon have a brother or sister, you may encounter a lot of emotions – from joy to complete hostility. It’s funny, but in some cases, the child may not show any emotional reaction at all. But even in this case, do not worry. Children love the established order of things, and the advent of a new child brings changes to their normal lives. Adults also need time to get used to something new. It is not surprising that young children do not immediately get used to changes in the family.
How to prepare your child for a brother or sister
How to tell your child the news
tell your baby about your pregnancy before he learns it from other people. Children are very curious, so your child will definitely ask you how the child is born. No need to go into the smallest details, just say that the baby appears from the belly of the mother;
it’s best to ask your child not to talk about your pregnancy until you yourself are ready to tell people about it;
Be prepared for the fact that the baby is not necessarily happy about the news about your pregnancy. The child may not perceive this news. And this is normal, because now it is no longer the center of attention for parents. Recognize the emotions of the child, do not neglect them. The appearance of a younger brother or sister can be an emotional shock for a child, especially if he is less than five years old. Therefore, do not panic if the child reacts negatively to such news.
Talk to your child about children as often as possible. Read books about newborns to him, but remember that such books should be appropriate for the age of the child. Encourage him to share his concerns and doubts with you;
if you have to teach a child some important skill, postpone it until the youngest child is several months old. For example, if you need to accustom a child to a potty, transfer him to another school and help adapt in a new team, this may require full attention from you. If you want the elder to live in another room after giving birth, move him during the first two trimesters of your pregnancy. So the child will have time to get used to the new room and learn how to sleep himself. Otherwise, put it off until the youngest child is a few weeks old. Do not relocate the oldest child immediately after the birth of the youngest – this will make him feel abandoned.
Preparing for a baby
When preparing for the appearance of the youngest child, involve the eldest in all matters. This will give him a sense of need and significance. Consult him when choosing clothes, a crib, and even when choosing a name for a child. Ask him to help you pack your bag when you are going to the hospital;
if your friends have two small children, go to visit them so that the child sees with his own eyes what a family with two children looks like. If your friends do not mind, let your child take care of the newborn under the supervision of adults: hold him in his arms, feed him or play with him. So your child will understand what to expect when he will have a younger brother or sister;
if possible, take your child for an examination. Let the child hear how the heart of the future baby beats and see it on the screen of the ultrasound machine. So the older child will feel connected with his future brother or sister;
when the baby begins to move in the womb, call the elder and let him feel the blows. But do not force the child if he does not show interest in this;
buy a doll and play “baby” with the baby. Show him how to hold the newborn in his arms. Let your child practice this.
After the birth of a baby
the oldest child should see the newborn first of the family members, after the parents. When he meets the eyes of a newborn, he will react more naturally if there are not many people around. This moment can cause violent emotions in the child, so be prepared to support him;
guests will give the newborn many gifts. Invite the older child to give a present “from an older brother or sister”;
Involve your child in daily activities for the care of the newborn: let him help you change his diapers, play with him, etc.