Are you expecting for the second time? Did you make the big announcement to your family? If you already did, you know the reaction. Happiness and joy is in the air and you are being showered with care and blessings. You must be feeling so lucky to be going through the splendid 9-month journey once again. The joy of motherhood will be replayed and you will have the chance to love and care for another tiny baby. You have already experienced a slide show of memories of your previous pregnancy. But how will your little one react on the news of the upcoming new bun from your oven? Will he be angry or disinterested or curious or confused? The solution to a big problem of preparing your child for a new baby is here and it's worth a read!
Breaking the News
This is the hardest part, especially if your baby is around 2 years old. It can be tricky to explain how a baby got into his mommy’s tummy! It's not necessary that you have a curious little mind in your den ready to shower you with questions. You could wait till your second trimester till it starts showing and maybe it is easier to explain when he starts noticing changes in your body. You could use old pregnancy pictures or story-book pictures that are age appropriate to break the news!
Let Him Express
Its natural for your baby to feel jealous of the newcomer as your precious time and attention will be now be shared. Let him express whatever he feels, don’t try to suppress his emotions no matter how hurtful they are. Once he has said it all, make him understand how the little baby needs you more but you in no way will neglect the elder one. Encourage him to participate in the care-giving process and not see the new one as a competitor! Set aside some time alone with the elder one as well!
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Do Belly Bonding
Once you start to feel the baby inside involve your older child in the touching and feeling sessions. Allow your toddler to touch your belly and feel the baby moving inside. If he is older, get him to do some belly talking as well. The kicks of the unborn can give him a kick in being the elder one! Bonding with the baby before birth will strengthen their relationship and he will be more open to his arrival!
Involve Him Throughout
The entire journey from conception to delivery will be cherished for years to come. Make it more memorable by involving your tiny tot in it which will enhance his bonding with the newbie! You could take his suggestions for short listing baby names or take him out for baby shopping. Let him choose the color of the new nursery or take him to the doc to hear the baby’s heartbeat! You may even refer to the new one as our baby or your sister/ brother to establish a bond between them!
Sibling Birth Classes
Though he will now be the elder child but is still a baby and would need some training in baby handling. It's for your baby’s safety and better bonding of the siblings. You could do it yourself or ask an expert to teach your child some basics about the newborn. Things like the process of child-birth, babies cry a lot, sleep too much, want attention, are delicate, etc need to be taught to improve their relationship with each other!
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Part of Birth Process
If your child is old enough and you think he is ready you may take him along for the delivery. Though keep a backup option at hand, just in case your child seems scared there should be someone to take him away. To take this decision you could show him some child-friendly birth movies well in advance and note his reaction. This will be helpful in deciding whether or not he should accompany you to the hospital. If he is strong, he may hold your hand through it and bond with the baby instantly!
First One to Visit
In case he is not a part of the birth process, you would still want him to visit you before other people. Arrange for his coming there and greet him with joy and not be too occupied with the new one. Also allow the elder one to hold the baby though you need to supervise it. Did you know a newborn’s head releases pheromones who make us fall in love with him when inhaled? Thus allowing him to snuggle the baby will help to increase their bonding!
You might be sailing between two extreme emotions at the moment, bliss for getting to experience it all over again and scared about your elder one’s reaction. A complete family will have love and care for each other and jealously needs to take a back seat for a healthier family life. These tips may put you at ease and will enhance sibling bonding. Walk down the aisle of motherhood with compassion and love residing in your heart and not a speck of doubt in it!