What if my first child resents the baby? What if my first baby doesn’t feel loved? How do I make sure my son is still a big part of my life after I have baby number two?
Motherhood is messy whether you have one child or ten.
I had four children in four years… so believe me when I say I can feel your anxiety and unsure feelings.
Here are some tips to ensure your older child(ren) are involved when baby arrives.
After baby’s big arrival:
- Be sure to greet your child first. Prior to introducing your child to the baby make sure to say, “hello” and give them a hug or however you greet your child. This way they understand that you remembered them (yes, some children think you forgot about them), and that you came back FOR them.
2. Thank your child for their help. This is huge!! Thank your toddler or child when they do anything helpful for you and baby. When they grab the pacifier to place in baby’s mouth… when they turn the swing on or bring you a diaper. Thanking your child makes them feel special… they not only hear “thank you for…” they hear “mom or dad like that I did that” or “they do care”.
3. Ask for their help. Especially if they are at a young age, they will be willing and wanting to help you with baby. Pouring that scoop of formula into the bottle or helping you close the bedroom door when baby is sleeping. As the baby gets older, it is still important to get them involved if you can. You WILL need their help anyways… (trust me it’s easier with help… even if you don’t think a toddler will be much help, they are).
4. Spend one-on-one time with your child. Now, I totally understand that this is easier for some then it is for others and that’s okay. This one-on-one time doesn’t have to be every day, or every week but have some time scheduled to get out of the house with your child. This will for sure make them feel special.
Okay okay, so there are things that you can do on a daily basis with your child such as, read them a book when baby is sleeping… take time before bed to talk to them (just you and your child) … play ball in the yard while baby sleeps.
5. Big Brother/Sister gift. We all know that the baby and sometimes mama receive gifts when there is a new baby in the house but what about the big sibling? This is a great opportunity to congratulate them on the new role they received and how important this role is.
The gift can be items to help prepare them for their role as a big sibling such as; a Big Brother/Sister shirt, a crown to go with the new duties as assigned, or anything else that may make your child feel special in their new role. Or this gift can simply be a toy that they would enjoy or something to keep them cozy at night.
These are some ways that can help your child get accustomed to the new baby in the house. Keeping in mind that the baby may not remember if you had to leave him/her cry for a couple minutes while you cut up your toddlers’ grapes but your toddler may feel a little resentful if mom is always with baby.
Alright mamas, so I am not saying always neglect the baby because the toddler needs something. Your toddler WILL learn patience throughout this process and understanding that mommy will help me when she’s done with baby (be sure to tell your child these things so they know).
Remember, you got this mama. There will be tough days ahead but remember to give yourself grace!
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