How can I help my child adjust to the new baby once it’s here? – Healthy Positive Mind –
Expecting a baby is exciting, whether it’s your first or fourth. During your first pregnancy, you may worry about how it will affect your relationship with your partner. By the time you’re expecting your second, you’ll likely be more focused on the needs of your first born child. After all, that gorgeous little kid has been your entire world ever since she joined you not so long ago. You can’t help but feel a little worried about how the arrival of the new baby will affect your first born.
Let your child to help: Your first goal is to protect the baby. Your second, to teach your older child how to interact with his new sibling in proper ways. You can teach your toddler how to play with the baby in the same way you teach him anything else. Talk to him, demonstrate, guide and encourage. However old your child is, there are ways she can get involved with caring for the new baby. For younger toddlers, this could simply be passing you things when it’s time to change a nappy. For older kids, they can help with bath and bedtime
Compliment your child: Comment on your older child’s positive behavior, and make sure she knows when she’s doing something sweet or kind for the new baby. Don’t fall into the trap of only commenting on bad behavior, because this means you risk your child acting out for attention.
Watch your words: Don’t blame everything on the baby. “We can’t go to the park; the baby’s sleeping.” “Be quiet, you’ll wake the baby.” “After I change the baby I’ll help you.” At this point, your child would just as soon sell the baby! Instead, use alternate reasons. “My hands are busy now.” “We’ll go after lunch.” “I’ll help you in three minutes.” Be supportive: Acknowledge your child’s unspoken feelings, such as “Things sure have changed with the new baby here. It’s going to take us all some time to get used to this.” Keep your comments mild and general. Don’t say, “I bet you hate the new baby.” Instead, say, “It must be hard to have Mommy spending so much time with the baby.” or “I bet you wish we could go to the park now, and not have to wait for the baby to wake up.” When your child knows that you understand her feelings, she’ll have less need to act up to get your attention.
Your older child isn’t always going to be the new baby’s biggest fan. In fact, sometimes she’s not going to like the new baby at all, and she won’t shy away from telling you that. Remember, it’s ok for her to feel that way, don’t try to tell her how she should feel ‘You LOVE the baby.’ Instead validate her real feelings, and explore the reasons why she’s feeling that way.