It is always exciting to welcome a baby into the family. Children can find the transition difficult for them and may be more challenging. Particularly toddlers may find it difficult to share their attention with their parents and might feel jealous of the baby.
It is crucial to establish a positive relationship right from the start. These are five tips to help children feel comfortable with adding a sibling.
Talking about the birth of a baby is a great way for children to be prepared. Be positive and include your child in all the exciting pregnancy milestones, such as scans or finding out the baby’s sex. Encourage the formation of new friendships and special bonds. Talking about the care of the baby and the tasks involved, e.g. Preparing older children with nappies and bottles, is also a good idea.
Reassurance is something older children will seek out when they are faced with unfamiliar situations. Be sensitive and listen to their concerns. Assure them that they are equally important as the new baby and play an important role in the family.
Your children should be involved in the care of your baby. You can give them special tasks to make sure they feel valued. They will be interested in the new baby. Instead of keeping them apart, let them interact with the baby and touch it. Include older children in the selection of decorations for the baby’s room. This will make them feel valued and involved.
It is important to spend time one-on-one with your children. Ensure they are involved in activities they love, so they don’t feel like the baby is getting all the attention. While you will be busy as new parents, ensure that your time with older siblings is not rushed.
Examples of challenging behaviour include crying, throwing tantrums and being clingy. This can often be a cry for attention or jealousy at the extra focus and time given to the baby. Be patient. Be patient.