In our last post we spoke about the kind of changes you and your spouse are likely to experience with your second pregnancy. However, there is one other person who will experience a very big change when you get pregnant for the second time – and that's your first child.
Ever seen those videos on social networks about children who react to the news of having a sibling joining their family soon? If you have, then you know how very dramatic the news can be for children, when you tell them that they are about to have a sibling. Some may feel excited about having a little brother or sister, or some may feel betrayed by the news and start to feel concerned that their parents may not love them as much with the arrival of a new baby in the house. But the good news is you can help your child not feel this way. In fact how you prepare your child in the months running up to the baby's arrival will be crucial in helping your little one make a smooth transition once the baby arrives. So here are some handy tips to help you get started.
Reading Time: This is the first step towards helping your child learn about the role of another baby in the family. You can pick some books that talk about the birth of a baby in a family of three. This will help your child associate with the situation in her life more easily and help her see it as a positive change. There may be some books that also help the child identify feelings of anxiousness and worry about the second child and how they can deal with those feelings.
Doctor's Visit: The next time you have an ultrasound scheduled make sure you take your little toddler along too. Seeing baby blip on the screen and sharing the experience with you will help her feel more involved in the whole journey.
Ask & Share: It's a good idea to engage in a conversation with your toddler about your expected baby. Ask her how she feels about mommy's growing belly. How she will spend time with the new baby. Would she like to help you pick a name for the baby? Would she like to help take care and if so what are the things she can do. These conversations will help your toddler feel like she has a lot more control over the situation and feel more welcoming about the new baby's arrival
Shop Together: While you prepare for your baby's arrival it may be a good idea to take your toddler for some of the shopping trips where she gets to pick stuff for the baby. Using her help and making her in charge of certain decisions is the best way to win your tot's confidence as you prepare her for this family event.
Memory Lane: Go through baby pictures and videos of your toddler's birth, time at the hospital and others of the first few weeks with your toddler. This will help her visualize what she can expect when the baby is first born. Make sure you also use this time to prepare her for the time when mommy will be at the hospital and inform her about who will be looking after her at that time
Stock Up On Gifts: Once the baby is born and you are in the thick of things you may not have time to shop for gifts for your older child, so prepare well in advance. This is an important step to help your child not feel a sting of jealousy. When people arrive to visit the new born and come bearing gifts for the baby only, you can simply pick one from the gifts you have stocked up for your toddler and request the guests to hand over a gift to your toddler too, congratulating her on becoming the older sibling. This small step can help you tide over the first few days and ensure that you have one happy tot on your hands while you settle the newborn in your house.
These are some tips that we had to help you get started, but we would love to know how you have handled the sibling's transition. So write in and let us know how you spent one on one time with your child and also helped her prepare for her little baby sibling's arrival.