Welcoming Baby, and sharing Mommy!
Enough love for all!
Just as future moms and dads have their own fears and expectations before a new baby comes along, so can any siblings the new baby will have. Becoming a big brother or sister can be a mixed experience. There is the anticipation of having a new baby in the house and the fear of sharing their parents up until now undivided attention. It’s important to be sensitive to the potential jealousy and anxiety that may come with it.
There are ways to soften the blow for these siblings. If you’re shopping for the new baby, pick up something for big sister. By giving them a gift, you’re reinforcing that they’re still special and it will help them see the new baby as a positive in their life. It can give them a sense that the new little one is cause for celebration on becoming a big sister or brother. Let them know that it’s an important job and a big honor. Understanding what the new baby will mean to their lives is a great way to fend off any future problems. If old enough, help them see what an important person they will be in the new baby’s life.
- A ‘Big Brother or Sister’ shirt is a way for them to show the world where they fit into the new dynamics.
- A good book to read to them is Harper Collins, ‘I Used to be the Baby’, a book that gives explanations and answers to some of their questions.
- Give their room a big girl or big boy makeover. Let them pick out the new color, furniture and decorations. It lets them see that moving up to older sibling status has it’s perks.
- Let them taste test baby food. It will take some of the mystery out of what the baby’s eating.
- Give them a little disposable camera so that they can take pictures of the new little one themselves.
In special circumstances, a baby shower is held for the second baby. This occasion does not have to add more sibling angst. At the baby shower itself, invite other children their age for a mini shower of their own, with banners, hats, their own little cake made especially for them. To make it extra special, give them a gift from their new baby brother or sister. Plan a simple food menu of finger foods instead of the usual shower food. Add hot dogs, hamburgs, and little chicken chunks with cut vegetables and fruit. For games you could have card tournaments, children’s board games, relay games with the winner getting little bags of goodies from a dollar store.
Have them sit next to you in a special seat marked just for them while unwrapping presents making it their job to read the cards out loud, collect the bows, or let them make a list of the received gifts for thank you notes later.
With just a little effort you can make this a pleasant experience for the whole family and my just ward off any potential issues with the older siblings.