Preparing Your Child for a New Sibling…

The arrival of the new baby causes many changes in the family suddenly. Before the baby is born, parents use most of their energy and attention for preparations. Even after the baby is born, most of the attention and attention is directed towards meeting the needs of the baby.

All these changes can be difficult for the older child to cope with. In this case, it is not uncommon for the older child to display inappropriate behaviors, to be aggressive or grumpy, or to behave in an infantile manner in order to attract attention again.

Preparing the older child for all these changes will ensure that the problems to be experienced will be minimized.

during pregnancy

  • There is no right or wrong way to announce that he will have a sibling. However, the timing of this is important. It is necessary to inform the child during the period when the mother’s belly gradually begins to become clear or when you announce it to your environment. The child should hear from his parents the news that he will have a sibling.

  • It is best to tell when your sibling will be born using terms your child can understand. The concept of time has not yet been fully established in preschool children. For this reason, a child at this age cannot understand that his sibling will be born after 9 months and often asks when the birth will be. After a while, he gets bored of waiting. When you explain the time using terms that the child can understand, for example by showing it on the calendar, it will be more understandable for the child since you have embodied the time.

  • Preschoolers often ask where the baby will come from. Here the child is not interested in sexuality, but really where babies come from. In the face of this question, there is a prepared place in the mother’s womb for babies to grow; When the time comes, it will be enough for the child to say that he will come out of a hole in the mother. Saying that in case of a cesarean section your belly will be cut and the baby will be taken out, it will frighten the child and cause him to think that the baby is harming you.

  • If you are thinking of moving your child to another room or bed, you should do this well before the baby arrives so that the child does not feel excluded because of the baby.

  • Take it with you for prenatal checkups. So he can track the time of birth.

  • Talk about what will happen when the baby first gets home. In the first days, you may be tired and the baby will take up most of your time; explain that they will do nothing but feed, sleep and soil their diapers, and that they need to grow up so they can play together.

  • If possible, go visit friends who have a new baby.

  • Read books about pregnancy, childbirth, newborn babies with your child. Ask about her feelings and thoughts about the baby, and give her the opportunity to ask questions and share.

  • Watch photos and movies of your child’s birth and infancy with your child. Tell him about his birth and what kind of baby he was. Tell her how excited you were when she was born and that everyone wanted to see and hug her.

  • Show how to hold the baby and how to behave with the doll.

  • Have him participate in the preparations for his brother. For example, choosing the hospital exit kit together, helping you prepare the hospital bag, finding a name for the baby.

When planning the birth

  • As the due date approaches, set how long you will be in the hospital and who your child will stay with while you are away, and let your child know.

  • Ensure that the child’s routine remains as unchanged as possible while in the hospital and after returning home.

After the brother came

  • Make time for the big one. Parents should spend one-on-one time with the older child separately.

  • Listen to your child’s feelings about his sibling and the changes going on at home. Let him know when he expresses negative feelings. Help your child verbalize their feelings. Never deny or ignore your feelings.

  • Make it clear that you do not allow harmful behavior in any way. Teach him ways to express his anger. For example, she can express her feelings through dolls or puppets.

  • You can prepare “sister” or “brother” gifts that your friends or relatives will give. Thus, when the baby receives a gift, your older child feels not excluded.

  • Remind those who come to see the baby not only to take care of the baby, but also to pay attention to the elder.

  • Reassure the older child that he or she has a private space and items that they won’t have to share with the baby.

  • Ask your older child for help with housework and babysitting, give him special tasks (it is important not to force the child in this matter, your child will guide you).

  • Have the baby participate in care (such as washing, dressing, pushing the stroller).

  • Talk about the benefits of being an older kid (choose what he wants to eat, go to the park to play, make friends).

  • Your older child may not show any interest in the baby. In this case, do not force him to take care of the baby. It will take care of time.

  • When your child behaves inappropriately, do not punish him immediately, try to understand his feelings. This may be a sign that your child needs more one-on-one attention. Help her express her feelings appropriately.

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