Welcoming a new sibling can be tricky, but if you prepare your child well, the transition can be easier. Read this mom’s tips on how she helped her firstborn adjust to the new baby.
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Welcoming a new sibling – Mommy Jane’s tips to help your firstborn adjust to the new baby
How soon should you prepare your older child for the arrival of his sibling?
When I was pregnant with my youngest child Heaven, I was worried about how we could teach our eldest child Sky to adjust when his new baby sister comes on the scene.
We want him to understand what to expect when his sibling arrives and to make him acknowledge that they are both equally important to us. We want Sky to feel that we love them evenly and there are no reasons to feel jealous and have hard feelings toward his little sister.
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Welcoming a new sibling
Based on our experience, these problems are usually short-lived, and there are ways that can help an older child adjust to the idea of welcoming a new sibling. These are some of the practices that we made:
We read stories that will help Kuya Sky understand what’s happening in the family. I and my husband also bought books written just for toddlers about growing families; let him watch YouTube videos about siblings who love and enjoy each other’s company.
My husband and I told Sky how happy we were that he will soon have a baby sister, a playmate, and a best friend.
We let Kuya Sky help us pick out items for baby Heaven’s new things like baby clothes, toys, pillows, etc.
Me and my husband let our Kuya Sky observe the ultrasound result and watch the ultrasound video. And, we explained and described to him what a baby inside a mother’s womb looks like, and asked him to join me whenever I’m using the baby Kick Counter at theAsianParent mobile application so he can also feel baby Heaven’s kicks and jabs.
We asked Kuya Sky to pick old things that he can give to baby Heaven as “hand-me-down” toys, books, onesies, and bibs. Buying new things and rewarding Kuya Sky for sharing his old this with her baby sister
We taught him that sharing is caring, that he must look after her baby sister, and a simple sharing of his toys, everyday hugs, and kisses will make baby Heaven happy and feel loved by him.
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I arranged a special time just for me and my firstborn with simple activities like coloring during our homeschooling session. My husband helps me by taking care of baby Heaven during these times.
We talked with Kuya Sky about what to expect as soon as baby Heaven comes home. Also, we explained that a newborn cries, sleeps, and needs a lot of diaper changes as like what he did when he was just a baby. I and my husband assured our eldest child that although our baby needs a lot of attention. There will still be plenty of time and love for him.
We informed Sky of his new role in the family. When we told him that he was going to be a “big brother” to the new baby, we started calling him “Kuya.”
Lastly, we thought of ways where Kuya Sky could be a part of baby Heaven’s care such as getting a diaper or a burp cloth when we need it. Help in picking out the baby’s clothes for the day, helping with the bathing, singing and dancing around in front of baby Heaven when she is cranky.
How we felt
Because of these things, we felt that we were successful in helping our firstborn transition to his new role and welcoming his new sibling. We noticed that Sky was very excited to see, play and be with baby Heaven. He also feels that he is responsible for his younger sister. That he needs to protect her at all costs.
I believe that our eldest child will play a very special role in our newborn’s life. So, we must make sure that we don’t leave them out of the decision-making.
Giving too much attention to our newborn will make it easy for our eldest child to feel overlooked, neglected, and not dearly loved which may lead to jealousy, insecurity, and rivalry between the siblings.
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Let’s make our firstborn feel that he or she will not be left out even though there will be a new addition to our family. Teaching our children how to love and care for each other in their younger years is key so that as they grow up. They will be having a good sibling relationship.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jane Domingo is a happy wife and mom to two amazing kids. She’s an accountant by profession but she also aspires to become a successful content creator. “Aspire to inspire” is her powerful motivation in life.