Bringing a new baby home is always a time of excitement for everyone, that is, until there are some adjustments to be made.
While your older child would have been informed of the new addition prior to the baby’s arrival, nothing prepares her for the actual shock of seeing the baby real.
This can be a difficult time for her and make her feel like she has been de-throned, especially in the coming weeks when most of the attention and love will be focused on the new baby.
If you notice your older child starts to struggle with this new development, there are ways you can make her adjust and accept the new development.
1. Talk with Your Older Child about What to Expect
You should have a little talk with your child before the baby arrives about what to expect. Make her know while there will be some changes, it doesn’t in any way mean she’s been replaced.
Assure her there’s lots of love in mommy’s and daddy’s hearts to go round. Reassure her of your love often and continue even after the baby arrives, until you notice she’s calmer and more accepting of the situation.
2. Involve Your Child in Taking Care of the Baby
Make nursing a bonding time for the family. Get your older child involved while you nurse or take care of the new baby and this will make her feel more like a big sister.
3. Schedule Some Time Alone with Her
It is worthy to note that even with the constant reassurances you give your older child, she just might still feel a tad bit neglected. She’s used to getting all of your love and attention and now has to share this with a new sibling.
To correct this, schedule some alone time with her and make this a time for you both alone. During this time do things she loves and is used to to bring a semblance of the old back into her life.
4. Expect Some Developmental Regression
You should expect some regression from your child in certain key areas and be prepared for them. To reduce this, again give your older child lots of love and kisses and ensure she has some space or items of her own she doesn’t have to share with the new baby.
No matter how much effort you put into your older child’s transition to an older sibling, it won’t be as easy as you expect. You’d need to exercise some patience – lots of it even – while they make the adjustment.
Understand that the new change is quite overwhelming for your older child and it will take some getting used to. You should continue to play your part and know that sooner or later, the acceptance and adjustment will happen.