The arrival of a new baby is an exciting moment for everyone, but siblings don’t always take it well at first. They may be confused, get jealous, and feel threatened by the baby’s arrival.
Some feel like they’ve lost their parents’ love and attention to the newest family member, but with your help, the child can get over the insecurities and learn to love the baby.
It helps if you start preparing the older sibling in advance for the new arrival. Tell her that you are having a baby but reassure them that they are still loved, and nothing will change that. How else do you do it?
1. Don’t Neglect the Older Child’s Needs
It’s very natural for parents, especially the mum, to be wholly engrossed in the new baby and forget other children need her. This builds resentment, anger, and jealousy between siblings. To avoid this, take care of all your children’s needs. If you used to bathe or read bedtime stories to your toddler before the baby arrived, don’t stop. If your child tells you she needs new school shoes or books, make time to go shopping or send someone. This reassures your child that you still care and love her despite having another baby.
2. Do Things Together
Immediately after the baby’s arrival, take the child out, buy her a toy, and then talk. Reassuringly hold her and let her know nothing will change. Let her know that the baby may need a lot of attention from you, but you are still there for her. The conversation will depend on the child’s age and temperament. Older children understand easily, but they can also get jealous when they see you spending a lot of time with the baby or ignoring them. Make sure you have at least one meal together and know how her day in school was and help with the homework.
3. Hire an Assistant
It’s not easy taking care of a newborn and an elder sibling. Both rightfully need your attention, and you also need time to rest and recover. Get a family member such as your spouse to help with the house chores or hire an assistant. You may have to go slow for the first few months after delivery, and having fewer responsibilities means you have more time to spend with all your children.
4. Have reinforcements
When mum is busy with the baby, dad can spend more time with the older sibling, which creates a balance. The roles can interchange, but also make sure you spend quality moments together as a family. This will help the siblings bond ending the rivalry. When you cannot be there for the older sibling, let them do something they love. Have toys they only get to play with during these moments or have a select show they can watch. They won’t miss or disturb you as much.
As the baby grows bigger, your schedule becomes more manageable. The siblings will bond, and soon they will be inseparable.