Handling Sibling Rivalry
It is but natural for your firstborn to feel that pang of neglect when you have your second child. With everyone hovering around the new tiny bundle of joy you can expect the first born to do things that will attract everyone’s attention. This behaviour is nothing but a kind of insecurity that will manifest itself in the form of jealousy towards the new born baby.
Handling the jealousy can sometimes be a very trying time for parents, especially the mother, because she would be the one spending most of the time with both the kids. Here are some tips that we suggest that could help you in reducing the heartache between the new born and the first-born.
Build the excitement
Inform your first born of the pregnancy as soon as you can. Build an excitement. Let your child feel your stomach. Tell her about the new brother or sister who is waiting to come out and meet them. Share books and pictures of babies so that they know what to expect.
Plan for the changes
There is bound to be some change in your set routine when the new baby arrives. To ensure that the changes are not drastic, you need to start preparing early, For ex, if your first born is still sleeping with you and you plan to move your older child to a new bedroom, do so well before the baby arrives. Phasing out the changes will ensure that the changes are acceptable and not sudden.
Let your first born participate
Involve your child in some decisions relating to your newborn. Let them participate in the act of welcoming the baby. Let them pick up clothes or maybe a pack of diapers for the new baby. Involve them in the setting up of the new nursery or choosing toys for the new baby. Participation will build the excitement.
Make them responsible
Let them know that as the older child, they will have to take special care of the new baby. Tell them about how vulnerable the new baby would be and as an older sibling how they could protect the baby. Once the baby is born you can ask your child to watch over the little one to ensure everything is all right.
Give them attention
When the newborn has arrived, ensure that you pay attention your first born. The new born will be fussed over by other relatives and family members and it is likely that the first born may feel left out. Set aside time for your older child. It is amazing how even a ten minute uninterrupted attention time meted out can make the child so happy.