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Arrival of a New Sibling
You often think that your child will adjust to a new baby quite easily. But it is very common that conflict of some sort will occur at the arrival of a new baby. Parents should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. They should be open with their children about how different life will be after the arrival of the baby. There should be ongoing conversation between you and your sibling, starting around six or seven months of pregnancy (earlier with school age or teenage children). The parents should reassure the child (especially preschoolers and younger) that they would be loved as much. Take them to friend’s place who have babies in their house. Then remind them that their friends play with the new babies, and sometimes even get to help take care of them.
Arrival of New Sibling
On the arrival of the new sibling the older kids always get insecure so the parents have to reassure them that their mothers will still read stories to them, pay attention to them, take them places, play with them, etc. This is a way to reassure them that makes sense–on their level. And, of course, tell them often that you love them. Show them that you love them even more by reading to them, holding them in your lap, singing to them, rocking them to sleep or just doing fun things that they love to do.
Some Questions a typical 3–Year–Old might have about his new baby brother/sister.
- Will mother and father love him more than me?
- Where will he sleep?
- How does he come out of your tummy? Does it hurt?
- Will I still live here when he comes home?
- Why doesn’t he talk?
- Why won’t he stop crying?
- Can I hold him?
- When will he learn to walk?
- Will he tear up my toys? Will he take my toys?
- Will he play with me?
Parents should talk to their kids about the details of the baby’s arrival. This conversation should take place toward the end of the pregnancy so it stays fresh in their minds. Of course the amount of detail will vary depending on the age of the child. With preschoolers or younger you explain that “Mummy will go to the hospital. While Mummy is at the hospital Anusha will stay with Daddy. Then you will come and see the baby and Mummy at the hospital. When the baby comes home Mummy will need help in taking care of the baby”. Then you can talk about specific ways that Anusha can help take care of the baby.
Arrival of New Sibling
You should involve siblings in the preparation, this helps them feel more positive towards the newSiblings baby. Take them on shopping trips to buy clothes and supplies for the baby. Let them pick out some of the babies outfits or special toy. Then buy something special for them, too. Or take them out for lunch afterward and have a talk about the upcoming event. Be sure to show lots of love and affection during this time. Include your child in your preparations such as folding the baby’s clothes, go with you for your check–ups, draw a picture for the baby’s room, help pack your suitcase for the hospital.
In the last months of your pregnancy you should try and make plans for grandparents, friends, other relatives or babysitters to take care of your other child (ren) so you can get some rest or just catch up around the house. You will have that free time to develop a sense of what your baby needs from you, and to work on getting the baby on a feeding and/or sleeping schedule, if possible. Spend some time thinking all specific situations you will go through before your new baby comes. Don’t wait until you’re so busy with your children that you can’t really think clearly. Prepare your mind for an older child’s negative reactions to the new baby well in advance.
Some Signs of Jealousy or Insecurity in an Older Child
- He hits the baby or is rough with him.
- Doesn’t let you feed the baby.
- Whenever you hold the baby he becomes angry and wants to sit in your lap.
- Starts having major behavioral problems at school and/or at home.
- Becomes very moody.
- Becomes clingy–won’t let you out of his sight.
- Loses his appetite.
There are other ways that a child may demonstrate his feelings about a new baby. It is very important to realize that these are normal reactions and you should not overreact. If you have prepared your child before the baby arrives, you can avoid many of these problems. But you also must monitor your child closely after the baby comes. Communicate with them openly. Continue to ask the questions that you think they are afraid to ask themselves. If you have a problem that you can’t deal with, ask a friend for help or seek help from a professional. Finally, the best preparation is to convey through your words and actions that you have enough love for him and the baby too.