Your family is growing. A newborn baby appears at home, for whom parents and siblings have been waiting impatiently. How to involve an older child to help?
If your child has so far only had parents to himself, the arrival of a younger brother or sister will be a real revolution for him. Everything will change, and the unknown causes fear and anxiety. How to help an older child find a new role?
When a toddler learns that he will have younger siblings, joy is mixed with fear. It is a mixture of feelings that several-year-olds have to face. The parents’ job is to prepare them for the expansion of the family. It’s best to do this as soon as possible so that you can have your pregnancy together.
When informing an older child that they will have siblings, do not overwhelm them with too many details. Also, be prepared for numerous questions (also embarrassing) and answer them honestly. Do not resort to lies and half-truths. Show me the ultrasound pictures. You can reach for fairy tales in which the topic of the appearance of siblings is discussed. Allow your baby to be actively involved in preparing for the birth.
I have siblings. It sounds proud!
When your newborn arrives in the world, be prepared for a whole host of emotions from your older child. They can be both positive and negative. For him, this is a completely new situation in which he has to find himself. He must not be scolded for being angry or crying. Such reactions may occur especially in the case of children who have been the youngest to date.
When you return home with the newborn, do not put the older child aside – on the contrary, encourage them to look after them together. A three-year-old can switch to changing a newborn baby by giving them a nappy or clothes. It will also be happy to accompany you during bathing and feeding, because here too, its help will come in handy.
A five-year-old may also become involved in caring for the newborn. It is worth going to the store together to buy baby diapers and other accessories. Let him decide which towel or bedding color to choose for the new family member.
On the other hand, a seven-year-old can take on the role of older siblings with even greater commitment. However, we should remember not to force him to anything, because we will achieve the opposite of the intended effect. Such a large child, who for many years was the only child, will feel especially strongly when a younger brother or sister appears.
Nevertheless, it is worth including it in your daily duties. Caring for a newborn baby with a 7-year-old can be much easier. He can even dress the baby or change it, of course, under the watchful eye of its parents. Allowing him to perform such serious tasks will positively affect his self-esteem. A few-year-old will feel that his relatives trust him.
Much changes when a new family member appears in the world. Time for a child must be divided, and there is no need to hide it – a newborn requires a lot of commitment and constant care. Nevertheless, it is worth finding at least 20 minutes a day, which we will devote entirely to the older child. It will only be your time.
Also, ask the relatives who will visit you not to focus their attention only on the newborn baby. Let them not ask their older ones only how they feel as a brother or sister. It is worth discussing neutral topics with him, for example what is happening in kindergarten or what fairy tale he has recently watched.
Do not forget to assure your children of great love each day. An infant needs it just as much as a three-year-old or seven-year-old. This need becomes greater when the next child appears at home.