There are many things that make having your second child a lot easier, from already having all your baby supplies to knowing what to expect with their sleep stages and development. However, one thing that’s not always so easy is introducing your first child to a new baby. While there is the possibility of jealousy or feelings of being left out on the part of your first child, you can avoid sibling rivalry by following the guidelines outlined below.
Tell Your Child About the Baby Right Away
You don’t have to tell your child the moment you tell your partner, but you should inform them before anyone else that they have a new sibling on the way. You’ll want to do this to give them time to wrap their head around the idea mentally and because you don’t want the news coming to them from any other source. We all know grandma can be a bit of a blabbermouth!
Go Baby Shopping Together
If your little girl or boy loves picking out clothes or toys, have them help by shopping for the new baby together. From stuffed animals to swings for babies, there are many things to shop for, and your first child will definitely have an opinion. Then when they see the baby sleeping with the blanket they chose or wearing the booties you bought together, they will feel proud rather than jealous, knowing they had a hand in making the baby happy. You can also give your older child a gift “from the baby” when they are born.
Teach Your Child About Siblinghood
No matter what age your child is, there are certain things you can do to prepare them for a new brother or sister. One is to stock up on books about siblings — there are plenty that are designed just for the purpose of helping older children through this transition. You can also invite friends over who have multiple children and let your child know that soon, they too will have a sibling.
Schedule Daily One-on-One Time with Your Older Child
The most common thing that can happen with a second child is that the baby takes up all of the parent’s time and energy, and the older child feels left out. Of course, this is never intentional; it just happens because newborns need so much care. To keep your child feeling like they are still special and in the loop with everything, schedule a one-on-one session every day with mom or dad where they are the center of attention.
Get Your Family and Friends Involved
Moms have a lot on their plates and getting help from others can really boost confidence and energy. Before your friends and family come over to see the new baby, let them know that they should also pay lots of attention to your eldest. Many people even bring gifts for the older child to make them feel special and included and help them recognize that being a sibling is a great thing!