Having your second baby but worried how your first-born would react to the new addition to the family? First-borns, before the new baby is born, are the centre of attention of the family. They get all the undivided love, affection, and care. For them to understand the birth of their sibling is not easy. It means they would now have to share their parents with someone else.
Moms-to-be have this biggest concern that was not present when they were having their first baby. Their concern isn’t the morning sickness, baby essentials, or nursery decoration anymore. But it is how their firstborns would feel about a new baby in the house.
Sibling rivalry is inevitable, and at some point, it would happen, but as parents, it is your job to make each feel loved and appreciated in their ways. Take steps early on to ward off the rivalry between siblings; they will help you once the baby is born.
If your firstborn is still in toddlerhood and not mature enough to understand this addition, then here are a few ways and simple steps you can use to help them become best friends.
Common Reactions When Only-Child Turns Into Siblings
Postpartum is in itself a difficult time for parents, and a tantrum-throwing toddler is not what they are looking forward to. Your Baby Club has other helpful tips for new parents.
It is normal for young children to throw tantrums when they feel like something is changing in their surroundings and not getting the attention they used to before. Tantrums are their way of demanding attention.
In addition to that, the older child may also have a meltdown during the baby’s fussy period at night to get their parents’ attention. More so, they would adopt a forbidden activity that they know you would react to. Here are a few ways to limit and prevent these reactions from your firstborn.
Adapting to New Babies
- Don’t Keep Your Pregnancy a Mystery
Kids, even as young as 18 months, can feel things changing around them. It is best to let your child know about your pregnancy and explain the new addition to the family coming soon. Talking to your baby ahead of time helps prepare your child for their sibling.
Use a positive tone and tell them they would now have a baby sister or brother to love and take care of. However, don’t prolong this discussion; otherwise, your firstborn will start feeling left out and become even more competitive with the new baby.
- Create a Little Helper
Children like to feel included, so while expecting your new baby, let their sibling help you with a few things. Ask for their opinion on names, or you could even take them shopping when you look for baby clothes and accessories.
When the baby is born, let your first child help you feed, bathe and dress your little one. For example, they could help you with dressing the baby up. They can choose which bodysuit their little sibling would wear and pair it with socks and a hat to complete the look. Toddlers enjoy this and assisting you would make them feel included and important. However, if your child does not want to help, don’t force them to; they can get rebellious and throw tantrums.
- Encourage Friendships
Studies show that kids with friends can easily adapt to new siblings even if they were once the only child. They have better relationships with the new little one at home. Having someone their age teaches them how to share and build relationships which is an important factor in building a relationship with a baby. Parents should let their toddler play with kids their age; who knows; they might end up making good friends for life.
- Don’t Blame Your Belly
When you’re pregnant, taking care of and spending time with your child can be difficult. With your growing midsection, many can’t sit on the ground and play with their child. If your child asks you to play with him on the floor, don’t blame your belly or the new baby for not playing. Instead, give another excuse, or your firstborn would develop resentment before your little one is even born.
It Will Be Alright!
With these tips and the right parenting, your firstborn would soon start to love your little one and eagerly wait for them to be born. The key is to make them feel included and important in the process. Don’t worry; the two will develop a companionship for life!