Welcoming a newborn into your family can bring so much joy and excitement to the entire family members. Most especially if this is your first-ever newborn baby, then everyone and most especially the new parents will feel so ecstatic for having a new family member. This will also serve as the opening of a new chapter of their married life – to become lifetime parents. Becoming new parents can be challenging since you’ll be facing everything for the first time.
Eventually, the new challenges will become a routine as both you and your spouse will become used to being parents, and you’ll slowly figure out everything that comes with it. Then, as your first baby grows up, you finally decide on having your second baby.
Some of you may think that bringing home your second newborn baby will be the same as the first one. But doing so will bring new sets of challenges, and that’s preparing your firstborn child about the idea of having a new sibling. You probably have seen some reaction videos on social media wherein older toddlers react bitterly and sometimes even cry for days about knowing that you’ll be giving birth to their younger sibling soon.
Fortunately, that shouldn’t always be the case. Before you go ahead and think of baby girl and baby boy names right away, here are four ways to help your firstborn child make the necessary adjustments and prepare them first for the coming of their younger sibling.
Tips for Welcoming a Newborn Into the Family
Share The News As Soon As Possible
It’s a very common excuse for some parents to say that they don’t tell their firstborn child many details about their pregnancy or their upcoming baby birth because they think they’re still too young to understand. But imagine this, you tell your friends and families all the details of your pregnancy. Then, once they visit your house, they’ll automatically approach your firstborn child and ask the question, “Are you excited about your upcoming new baby brother/sister?”
This may not be the best way for the firstborn child to hear the news for the first time about having a younger sibling. Thus, as soon as you tell the news to everyone, make sure you also include your first child. You don’t need to be too detailed about sharing the news, especially if they’re below five years old, as they probably wouldn’t get it. The point is to include them when you’re sharing the most important news.
Include Your First Child Throughout The Pregnancy
Ensure your first child doesn’t feel isolated or neglected, even if you’re occupied with your pregnancy preparations. Take your toddler with you to every doctor’s appointment you attend. It’s even better if you let them hear their new baby’s heartbeat, show them pictures of the upcoming baby in your womb, or let them feel the baby’s kick.
Moreover, don’t forget to involve your child when you and your spouse choose names for the baby. Hear their ideas about baby girl names if they want a girl sibling or baby boy names if they want a boy sibling. The more you involve your child in their new sibling’s life, the more they’ll look forward to the role of becoming a big sister or brother.
If your first child is under three years old, it may be best to show them their newborn pictures. Use these pictures to explain to them that they were also a newborn once, and this new baby will need more cuddling and holding, just like they went through before. That way, they’ll know what to expect when welcoming a newborn into their home and daily lives.
Get Them A Newborn Doll
Another way to prepare your firstborn child for the arrival of their younger sibling is by giving them a newborn doll, especially if your child is three years old and below. Through the doll, you can smoothly introduce to them what it’s like to be having a newborn baby, how to hold them carefully, change them, and feed them.
Make sure you also handle the newborn doll as if it’s a real thing. A child may observe and remember how you interact with the doll, and most likely, they’ll be copying you. You can even take the doll for walks in a stroller, read it with bedtime stories, or placed it in a baby car seat as your due date is getting closer. This way, they’ll be familiar with what it’s like when there’s a newborn baby in the house.
Focus On The Elder Sibling
Most importantly, don’t ever lose focus on your first child. Be mindful as sometimes, you might be too wrapped up with the preparations for your nearing due date that you unintentionally forgot about them. Keep in mind that some children and toddlers can be self-centered for their age because they’re still figuring out their place in the world.
When you prepare and decorate the newborn baby’s sleeping area or nursery area, make sure you also do some decorating and changes to your elder child’s room. Likewise, if you’re buying some toys for the baby, don’t forget to also buy something new for your elder child, such as their favorite toy or a new t-shirt. The point is, never let them feel that you’re slowly losing interest or focus in them.
A new sibling will indeed change your family’s routine and lifestyle, which would require some adjustments, especially to your firstborn child. Even so, make sure you show your firstborn child your love, care, and reassurance with these tips above. Most importantly, remind them that they’ll soon have an important role to play when welcoming a newborn, which is becoming a big sister or brother.