For first-time parents, sibling rivalry is not an issue of concern. However, those planning their second child would know how important it is to prepare their first child for the arrival of a new member. A newly-born child brings in lots of happiness as well as additional responsibilities. Amidst all this, it is often seen that parents are not able to devote as much time to their first child as earlier, making him/her feel unsecured and unloved. This results in a feeling of hatred and dislike for the new member, in the mind of the older child. It is, then, that you realize the importance of preparing the child for a new friend, a playmate, in the form of a brother/sister. In the following lines, we provide some tips to help you prepare your child for a sibling.
Preparing Your Kid For A Sibling
- The first attempt to prepare your child for a sibling would be to tell him/her about your pregnancy. It is not good to let your child know about it from someone else.
- If you want a change in the regular living style of your child, like shifting him to a new place, weaning him, giving toilet training or putting him in preschool, do it before the second baby arrives. If you do it later, the older child might feel that the younger child is the reason for the changes.
- Sibling preparation classes are held in the hospital as well in playschools. Check on to see when they take place and try to attend a few of them, with your first child.
- While going to the hospital for regular check-ups, take your child along with you. This way, he/she will meet your birth attendant prior to the birth of the baby and be familiar with the whole thing.
- Explain your child as to what will happen when the new-born arrives. Give him/her a realistic scenario - you would be tired, the baby will take much of your time and he/she will only eat, sleep, poop, pee and cry in the beginning. It would be only after sometime that you would be able to give your first child proper time and the baby will be his/her playmate.
- Make sure to tell your first-born that you will be spending much more time with the newly-born only because the latter is so small and incapable of taking care of himself. Assure your first child that since he is intelligent and responsible, you can rely on him for acting wisely all the time, even when you are not around.
- If you have friends who have just had a baby, take your child along with you when you visit them. This will give him/her an early experience of what it would be like in future.
- Read books on pregnancy, birth, newborns, and baby siblings, to your first child. If he/she has any questions in this regard, answer them. Give him/her a chance to tell how he/she feels about the whole thing of having a new member in the family.
- Let your child have a look at his/her own photographs as a child. Tell him/her how excited everybody was when he/she was born and how everybody wanted to take that little baby in their arms.
- Teach your child how to hold a baby, how to touch the new born and how to take him/her in arms.
- Let your child take part in the preparations of the homecoming of your child. This way, he/she would feel a part of the family and also develop a feeling of love and care towards the new-born baby.
- Make sure your child is with a relative/caretaker while you are in the labor room, who further assures him about the newly-born.