Every parent who’s about to have a second baby has one concern always lurking in their mind – how is it going to affect their firstborn. And rightly so. You and your partner have experienced having a child once, but your elder child is not used to sharing space with another kid in the family. Thus, it is important that you begin preparing them for a sibling a few months before. Here are a few ways that will help you prep your firstborn for your second child
The best time to tell them is before you start telling your loved ones. This will avoid any slip-ups on their part when they visit and shock the child with something like “Are you excited for your sibling?” So, it is ideal to tell your kid when you feel it’s time to tell your near and dear ones. This also gives the child enough time to prepare mentally, ask you questions, and understand what is going on. Plus, it gives you enough time to slowly explain to your first child how their life is about to change, give them enough of your time, and ensure your child is supportive when you really need them to be i.e. around and after your delivery.
Most of your time post-delivery will be majorly dedicated to your newborn. Until that happens, spend plenty of time with your first child. Take them out for activities they enjoy, such as parks, visiting grandparents, relatives, and shop for them, etc. These outdoor activities are important before the second child comes in, since your outdoor excursions will grow restricted later. Also, include them in preparations for the second child, so that they feel like they too are a part of this new event that’s got everyone excited. How you spend time with your firstborn depends largely on their age. Rope your partner in to take care of your firstborn while you ready yourself for the second. Be open to new things. This is a great time to create new experiences and strengthen the bond you share as a family!
When you’re packing and getting ready for that big trip to the hospital, make sure your and your kid’s needs are taken care of too. It isn’t ideal to leave him alone or without the care of a loved one. The best people to look after your child around this time are the grandparents, your sibling or a really close family friend. Your child may feel overwhelmed with confusion to see mom being rushed to the hospital, and there’s no better person to comfort them than someone they’re close to.
This is one of the most important things in your child’s day. An underslept kid is a cranky, moody kid – and that is the last thing you want once the newborn has arrived. Moreover, if the kid sleeps late, they’ll wake up late, which might blow your already-busy day out of the water. Try to maintain the same sleep routine that you had all this while. If you were the one who would put them to bed all this while, you may want to switch roles with your partner before the delivery itself. So that there are no sudden changes that they can’t cope with.
It is extremely helpful to let the new older sibling know how important they are and what role they’re going to play in the new baby’s life. Like mentioned earlier, one of the ways is to make them feel included in any prep for the newborn. Include role play in every day play time. Give them a doll that they can care and nurture, to slide in the sense of responsibility. Teach them things like how babies act and why they do what they do, how to hold the baby etc. Keep things fun and lighthearted, so your older child actually looks forward to their new role!
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