Monday, June 15, 2009

Preparing Your Baby For The New Sibling

I was just speaking with my sister about this blog... She's pregnant and has a younger daughter... a cute little one-and-a-half year old baby... When I thought about how will she feel when the little one has finally arrived... And so thought of sharing my views, ideas and tips on how to train your child to love and accept their little sibling...

I think no matter how many tricks we use, they are going to feel at least 10% jealousy in the beginning. Depending upon our attitude and methods, we can bring it down. Surely, at least for a couple of weeks, they are going to feel indifferent to the new baby, even though they might be so much in love with the new baby.

Involve your baby in the little one's activities. Like saying, "This is your little sister / brother." Tell the baby that being the elder one she/he has to look after the baby and praise them whenever they make a good effort to do so. Another tip: do not make any abrupt changes in your child's life. I know it's difficult, because a new baby brings up a complete difference in your life, in your routine, the time you spent for yourself or for your husband or other kids at home. But you can make these changes a gradual process starting from when you are pregnant. Like, for example: If your older kid sleeps with you, and you fear its going to affect the new baby when it comes like less space on the bed, or kicks from the older one etc, try to change that now itself, by training him/her to sleep on her bed now itself, rather than wait for the baby's time of arrival.

Don't keep saying "it will hurt the baby" all the time. Of course you have to, but keep it light, don't shout or scold when you child touches the baby roughly or squeezes etc. Yes, this is after the baby is born, but even before that, when he/she comes and just falls on your stomach, never say "It will hurt the baby" Instead say, "Mama got hurt when you kicked/jumped on me." You can even add: "Already the baby is hurting mama's tummy, but you won't do it because you are a big girl." (wink at the baby saying this) Do not allow or encourage your friends or relatives to affect your child's mindset. I have often noticed people around teasing the older child saying, "Your parents don't need you anymore, they have a new baby." Please be careful of these situations. Give kids the best reason why you are having the baby. "I am having another baby so that when you grow up, you can have someone to play with!" "You can take care of the baby, the baby is only yours" Give a chance for your child to play with other babies and younger kids even before your baby is born so that they start loving babies more. All the best all you Moms waiting to have another one...

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