Preparing a child for a new sibling

Some women claim to be pros after the first baby because apparently the first one is the toughest. I doubt that –you could be a pro at things like changing diapers, feeding and taking care of a cranky baby. But, there are a few hurdles to cross, like preparing the first born for a new sibling.
Children need to feel they are not being sidelined by the arrival of a new sibling Net photo.
Children need to feel they are not being sidelined by the arrival of a new sibling Net photo.

Some women claim to be pros after the first baby because apparently the first one is the toughest. I doubt that –you could be a pro at things like changing diapers, feeding and taking care of a cranky baby. But, there are a few hurdles to cross, like preparing the first born for a new sibling.

Some women get so caught up in preparing for the arrival of a new one that the first born starts to feel left out or abandoned. Naturally, your primary task is to attend to your newborn, but do not forget to take into consideration your older kid’s needs and concerns.

When breaking the news of your pregnancy to your older kid/s, you may get a myriad of emotions, from being ecstatic to nervous, to downright hostile. In some funny case, you might not get a reaction at all because to some kids, there is nothing so alarming about it. I bet every mother would wish that was the case!

The most important thing is sharing the news yourself. Save from a cat, nothing beats the curiosity of a child. They want to know everything, and your explanation will come out a lot easier if they do not find out about the ‘on- coming’ bundle of joy from somewhere else. 

Seeing as it will be their first time to see you pregnant, there is a very high chance they will ask you where the baby comes from. The most appropriate answer by far is ‘mummy’s tummy’ and not a word more. Be prepared for the initial reaction for it might not be true happiness, probably resentment at its best. You must understand, that to that child, a new baby means they are no longer the center of attention.

“I make it a point to involve my kids whenever I am preparing for a baby,” said Nancy Mutetsi, a 36 year old mother of 4. “This makes them feel special and important. I also ask their opinion when I choose items like clothes, a crib, and even baby names for that matter! The youngest is always the most hostile but they eventually come around.”

Some women have gone as far as taking the child to their prenatal visits and have them hear the heartbeats or view the ultrasound. “A friend of mine suggested the whole trip to the prenatal clinic with the kids and at first I wasn’t so sure. But I tried it, and it worked like a charm. They seemed to be very interested in the little being growing inside of me,” Mutetsi said.

My three year old niece finds it very amusing when her mother lets her feel the baby kicks. At 3, she might not know much but she definitely knows there is something in mummy’s stomach. The fact that the baby is already named, makes it easier for her to understand that it is not just something, but someone!

A new baby definitely calls for lots of gifts! Arrange for some special “big brother” or “big sister” presents from the older child to the baby, and vice versa.

We all know kids are suckers for gifts so however mad they might seem, that gift will surely put a smile on their face.

 

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