Tips On Helping Older Siblings Adjust To Life
With A Baby
|Bringing a new baby into the home is exciting
for most, but it can be troubling to an older sibling, especially when they have
been an only-child for a time. The following is a look at how you can help older
siblings adjust to life with a new baby:
1. Include them in the care of the baby.
Let them help you bathe the baby, feed the baby, and dress the baby. The more
involved they are in the care of the baby, the easier it is for them to
understand and accept the baby's presence in their life.
2. Still spend one on one time without the baby there. Your child will
adjust far better if you still help them feel important and not always second to
baby. So get a sitter, or trade off with your spouse and spend some one-on-one
time with the older sibling without baby there, to help them see you still love
and care for them.
3. Talk to them about the baby and the changes there will be, so it is
not a shock. If you want your child to adjust well, you have to prepare them for
it, so spend a lot of time before the baby comes talking about the baby, and how
things will be different when the baby arrives. This gives your other child or
children a chance to adjust to the idea.
4. Have them get to know the baby. Babies can seem like nothing more than
crying, stinky lumps to other kids, so help them see that the baby has a
personality. Help them get the baby to laugh, smile, etc. Help them interact
with the baby so that they get to know its unique personality traits.
5. Get stuff for the other kids too. If you have a baby shower, or buy
things for the baby, your other child may be resentful of all of the attention
and stuff the baby gets. Help them adjust and accept the baby better by having a
few things for them as well. If you have a shower, include a few gifts that they
get to open and that are for them.
6. Read books or watch shows about babies! There are a lot of books and
even kid shows out there that introduce the idea of new babies and a new sibling
to kids in a fun, entertaining way. So, buy some books, and read to your child
about other kids who have had a new baby come into their home.
7. Involve kids in making plans for baby. As you prepare for the baby,
and their birth, and their life at home after, do not exclude your other
children. Let them help you plan the room for baby, the plans for when you go to
the hospital, such as who they will stay with, even let them pack themselves.
The more involved they are, the more excited they will be.
8. Let them get something for baby! Babies require several items and so
chances are you will be visiting a store and purchasing things for baby. So, let
your other child or children pick a gift for baby. This will help them feel like
they have a special bond, and will help them be more excited for life with baby.
9. Let them touch the baby, don't be too weird about it. While germs are
a risk factor for babies, if you want your older siblings to adjust to life with
baby, you can't make them feel like they are excluded from baby. So, allow them
to touch the baby, sing to it, kiss it, etc. The baby may not like it, but it
goes a long way in helping the other child feel good about having a new person
to compete with for attention.
10. Make it a non-issue. Do your best to keep life for your other
children as normal as possible. If too many things in their life change, the
adjustment will be far harder. So, if you know they will have to go to bed
earlier once baby comes, or if dad will have to get them ready for bed, or
whatever the case may be, start it before baby comes so that it is not such a
shock, or so related to baby in their minds.
by Beverly Frank
http://www.surfnetparents.com for more For more
parenting advice and ideas.