The World of Pregnancy

How To Prepare Your First Child For The Arrival of the Newborn At Home?

Having a second child is always a great experience, but it also involves things that might take you by surprise, like preparing the first child with the idea of having a “little brother.”older child meets newborn

How to Prepare the First Child?

Start by telling him about the new birth of his brother or sister. Show him your abdomen which grows and ask him to help you prepare the room of the new baby or to gather some of the things the newborn may need.

Explain to him that his new brother will eat, sleep or cry most of the times, so he won`t be able to play with him at first. To reduce the stress that your older child may feel along with the arrival of your newborn at home, try to anticipate some of the new situations and prepare yourself for them. If he`ll need to change his room or give up his bed he was used to sleep, do these changes before birth. If it`s possible, try to teach your first child to use the toilet before the arrival of his brother, so you won`t then have to wait a few months to resume this process. In addition, plan ahead who will take care of your older child while you`ll be in the hospital giving birth. – More info!

How to Present the Newborn to the Older Child?

After birth, ask your partner or some close in the family to bring your older child to the hospital for a short visit. Offer him attention, hug him and offer him a gift from his new brother, like a t-shirt upon which says “Big Brother.” When you`ll get home, invite him at his favorite restaurant so celebrate the arrival of his new brother home.

You may want to read more on Why Men Usually Want a Son, Not a Daughter?

What to Do to Help the First Child Adapt More Easily?

The way your first child will react depends on his age and level of understanding. The lower is his age, the more confused or upset he`ll be.

  • Children smaller than 2 years old. They probably won`t be able to understand what it means to have a new brother. Tell them that a new member will arrive in your family who will live with you, and watch books with pictures that include babies and families.
  • Children between 2 and 4 years old. At this age, the child may have a degree of discomfort due to your attention be divided between him and his brother. Therefore, explain to him that his little brother needs more attention and care because is smaller than him. Encourage him and involve him when choosing the things your newborn will need, either by taking him with you shopping, either by asking him to pick something suitable from his things. Read him about babies, brothers or sisters and offer him a baby doll as a gift that he can take care of. Watch pictures together with him when he was little and tell him how his birth was. – Check this out!
  • School-age children. Bigger children may be jealous of how much attention the newborn gets. Therefore, talk to your older child about your baby`s needs and show him the advantages of already being big, like being able to walk with no help, going to bed on his own or playing with toys. You may put drawings or other things made by the big brother in your baby`s room, or ask him to help you take care of the baby. Ask him to hold him in his arms under your supervision.

No matter the age of your first child, make sure he receives enough attention from both you and his father or other close family members. If you take photos of the baby, include his big brother in them as well, both aloe and with the little one. Keep a few small gift around so that when your friends will bring gifts to the baby, you have something to offer to his big brother as well. – Read more!

To get your attention, your older child may break some rules, even if he knows this may lead to a punishment. To stop this behavior, praise him when he behaves well. If you suspect him of bad behavior only to get your attention, ignore him. This may encourage him to find new positive ways to get your attention. It`s good to know that sometimes, along with bringing a new child into this world, bigger children may regress – for instance, they may pee on themselves again or start using the bottle again – to make you pay attention to them. You shouldn`t punish this kind of behavior, on the contrary, show him love and understanding.

How to the First Child to Take Care of His Little Brother?

Sometimes older children, stressed because of the changes around them, may unburden upon their little brother. If he tried to take away the bottle or harming him in any way, it`s the perfect time to talk to him.  Explain to him that there`s no way you`ll let him harm his brother. Involve him in various activities of baby care, such as changing diapers, taking baths, or singing, and praise him for his behavior when he acts with love and care for his little brother.

Even if your two children may seem to get along well, it`s essential to continue to supervise them. Don`t ever let your newborn alone with an older child, unless he may be over 12 years old.

How Will my Older Child React on Breastfeeding the Newborn?

If you decided to breastfeed your little one, you probably ask yourself how will his big brother react when he`ll see you and how you can keep him busy during your breastfeeding sessions. Don`t worry! It`s possible for him to be curious and at the same time hesitant when he`ll first see you. Explain to him what you are doing and answer any questions he may have. If you once breastfed him as well, tell him that you`ve done the same thing for him once, and prepare yourself with toys or books related to breastfeeding to help him understand better. If your older child will ask you if he can feed his little brother, it`s your decision whether this is a good thing now or not. A lot of children may come to the conclusion that it`s something strange and they may become bored soon.

How to Explain your First Child that his Brother Is Sick?

If the newborn has healthy issues, explain to his big brother that his sister or brother is sick and this may concern you. If you`ll need to be hospitalized for a longer period of time, ask about the hospital`s regulations regarding visits in the case of brothers and make photos with your baby to show them to his brother. Even if you decide to avoid letting your older child know about these health problems, he may sense something is wrong. Therefore, it`s recommended to give him a few information about all of this and do everything possible to show him that you are there for him as well.

Without a doubt, a new brother will change the life of your first child. While he`ll adapt to the new situation, show him your love and explain to him that from now on he has a very important role – to be a big brother or sister.

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