++++By: Lacey Blackwood
But like those expectant parents that are going on their second child—there is something else to consider when bringing in your new bundle of joy: telling your once only child that they’re going to have to share.
Yes, actually share.
What’s extremely funny is the fact that many parents or mothers believe that it shouldn't even be addressed: your child may be “too young” to even understand. However, they understand more than you think. They've been used to your attention only for a period of time, and now they have to give up on some of that.
Not that I’m trying to scare you off—it’s a no brainer. I have a couple of simple ideas and advice to give, that’ll better prepare your oldest, for the newest little one to arrive.
Your child (depending on his or her age) should be seeing signs in the changes of you, and the household. Talk to your little one, and explain that a new family member will be joining soon, and that they’ll be the older brother/sister. Usually parents give a gift (like a necklace or a shirt they can wear, like one of these big sister shirts) that says their new title. This can help them feel more connected to what is happening, and is giving them a sign of responsibility.
At the hospital
Hospitals can be scary for a young child, so make sure whoever the baby sister is for your oldest that special day, is someone that your child feels very comfortable with. Usually these visits are brief, since your child may become bored, or frightened. Have your baby sister plan a special outing after seeing you, as to make it easier to leave you when the time comes.
When your oldest first arrives in your hospital room, it’s important to make sure your hands are free, so you can give the attention your daughter or son needs. Hold them, and tell them how special they are for waiting, and that they get to be one of the first people to see their new younger brother or sister. Usually, children are very interested in a baby, so let them see him or her—either by holding him, or just holding their hand or foot. You can also plan out that your child brings a new gift or blanket to your new baby, as a sign of friendship.
The days to come
Your oldest will have times of “fits” and “temper tantrums”—but that is to be expected. As long as you explain to them as best you can that there will be love shared, your child will soon begin to understand.
Have your oldest be involved as much as possible with the new baby the first days of arrival. Babies loved to be entertained, and toddlers love to entertain: a win-win for both parties. Ask your oldest to sing a song or tell a story to your newborn.
Ask for help when changing the diaper or giving your newborn a bath. These could be simple steps like holding the towel, or going to grab an extra diaper; having your oldest become a part of the new change, will help him or her better adjust.
Enjoy the ride
There will be bumps throughout the learning process of having children—just learn to accept them! Having your oldest understand and become a part of this new chapter in your life will be an easier transition in the long run. Accept the mistakes along the way, and learn that love will conquer everything.
By: Lacey Blackwood