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The arrival of a new baby can make older kids excited or gloomy. If you take time to prepare your older children early, they are more likely to behave well and help out when the newborn arrives. Using the right preparatory tactics for each child can reduce feelings of jealousy and turn them into loving babysitters.
Here are some of the best ways to prepare your child for a newborn baby.
Make an Early Disclosure
Many mothers want to know exactly when to break the news about the coming of a new baby to their older child. The best time is when you start to tell your friends and family members.
Don’t wait till you are about to give birth. And don’t keep it as a secret. If you tell others, they may start asking your child if she’s excited about having a new sibling.
However, you need to be cautious about how you inform your child about the new baby’s readiness for intense activity. Your older kid may be shocked to find out the baby sleeps a lot and can’t talk shortly after birth.
Use Reading and Visits to Prepare
Plan some activities to help your child understand what will happen when a new child arrives. You can read storybooks that show that it’s nice to have new siblings. Visit friends that have newborns and encourage your child to relate well with them.
Involve your child in the preparations for the new child. Making your older child a part of your routine medical checks will create a strong feeling of happiness. They will discover how important these appointments are.
While they don’t need to know that you are keeping an appointment for prenatal ultrasounds to check for potential conditions, they will realize how important it is, when you return with a radiant face after an examination.
You will discover that your child is more willing to help you. This is great because while preparing for a new child, you are also training your older kid to help others.
Let Dad Put in More Playtime
As a mother, you will be greatly relieved if your husband starts spending more time with your child while you are pregnant. This will create a stronger bond between them.
If dad and child spend more time playing and doing a few special things together, there will be less shock when another child takes away mom’s attention. Dad and child can play indoor games, do school work, tell folk tales, or sing and dance together to create a new bond.
Tell Friends and Family to Give Your Older Child Attention
Giving your child adequate attention will help her to overcome feelings of jealousy. Jealousy is a natural feeling that comes up when your child notices that she’s getting less attention after you bring your baby home.
So you should tell friends and family members that come visiting to give the older child special attention. Let them fuss over your older child as they do to the newborn baby. Also, give your older child adequate one-on-one time daily. This should be done at a specific time in the morning and evening.
Set a Fixed Bedtime Routine
If your child is still sleeping in the crib, you need to move her to a separate bed. You should do this long before the new baby arrives. You need time to help the older child adjust to sleeping on a new, big bed.
Next, you must keep a constant bedtime for your child. If you need to adjust it, do so before the new child arrives. Don’t indulge your child in a long bedtime routine until you deliver your baby. It may be difficult to shorten it at that time.
Give Your Child Time to Adjust
Understand that your child will need time to adjust to your new baby. It may take at least three to six months. Don’t try to rush or force them to do so. Using force or getting irritable, will only make them cling to you and become more demanding.
Give your older child enough time to adjust even if you get upset once in a while. Once your child adjusts, you will enjoy taking care of your new baby together.
With these tips, you should be able to prepare your child for the arrival of your child. If you start applying them now, your older child should be eager to help you take care of your baby.