While learning that you’re expecting another baby can be very exciting for you and your partner, it can often be an uncertain time for your toddler. After all, your little one is accustomed to being the baby in the family, and the center of everyone’s attention; the thought of having to share the spotlight may not be one that they’re all too keen on. It’s entirely normal for your other children to experience trepidation over the idea of a new baby, but the good news is that there are plenty of ways to get them on board so that you can all prepare to welcome your new addition together.
To Avoid Resentment
If you plan to move your child in to another room in order to use your existing nursery for the baby, it is a good idea to do this as soon as possible, perhaps even before you tell your child that you’re expecting. This will avoid any feelings of displacement, or resentment over the idea that your new baby is robbing your child of something that belongs to them.
Once you’ve shared the exciting news with your child, avoid using the term “new baby”. Instead, refer to the baby as “your little brother / sister”. Your child knows how they feel about new toys vs. old ones, and you certainly don’t want him to feel that he’ll be cast aside once the “new baby” arrives.
As wonderful as it is, it’s no secret that pregnancy can come with some rather unpleasant side effects. The two most common are nausea and exhaustion. Instead of telling your child that the baby is making mommy’s tummy upset, or making mommy tired, simply tell them that you aren’t feeling well and leave it at that. You are your child’s everything and if they think that Jr. is responsible for making you unwell or too tired to play, he could end up being pretty peeved at baby before he even arrives.
Do NOT plant seeds of doubt where there aren’t any to begin with. In an effort to avoid their child feeling insecure, many well intended parents have made the mistake of telling their toddler that Mommy & Daddy will still love them after the baby arrives. Prior to this, your child would never have imagined that it was even possible that you wouldn’t love them, and while it really is an absurd thought, making this statement could make them start question it.
Preparing For Interaction
While it’s fun to discuss all of the wonderful things your child will be able to do with their new sibling, you’ll need to let them know that the baby you bring home from the hospital won’t be the ball of excitement they’re hoping for right off the top. Let your child know that their brother or sister will do little else but sleep and eat in the beginning. It’s also a good idea to have a discussion about all of the crying your baby will do. Your child cries when they are hurt or sad, and hearing their new sibling cry all the time could cause them some anxiety if they don’t understand that this is the only way that babies are able to communicate.
Practice makes perfect! Pick up a baby doll at your local toy store and teach your toddler to handle the doll in the same way they will be required to interact with the baby. You can teach them to support the neck, avoid the fontanelle, and to speak softly. By the time the baby arrives, your child will be a pro!
Prepare them For Delivery
Keep your child in the loop about what will happen when you go in to labor. If a friend or relative will be picking them up or coming to stay with them, let them know. Tell your child that you may need to stay in the hospital for a couple of days (or possibly less if you plan to use a birth center), and that someone will bring them to visit you as soon as the baby arrives. Preparing them in advance reduces any anxiety they might feel on delivery day if they need to be uprooted or taken out of their regular routine.
When your child does visit, try to keep other visitors to a minimum. This gives you the opportunity to bond as family without other visitors making a big fuss over the baby and allows you to welcome your new addition together.
This is an exciting time of change for your entire family, and while there will be a definite period of adjustment, with some early preparation and a little tender loving care, you’ll soon discover that more really is merrier! Children are always a blessing to your growing family.
Happy Valentine’s Day Moms!
We want you to feel loved. Enjoy FREE Promise Belly Butter with your purchase + $10 OFF Promise Prenatal & Promise DHA.
Coupon Code: BEMINE (expires 2/17/2015)
Need some ideas for Valentine’s Day? If you’re anything like us, it’s usually the day before Valentines Day (or even sometimes that afternoon) before we start planning that “special” evening. Here is a list of 15 date ideas you can put together last minute and are easy on your budget.
1. Let the fun begin when you first wake up. Leave love notes in places for him to find throughout the morning (pillow, bathroom, by the coffee maker, next to the car keys and in the drivers seat of the car). He’ll be thinking of you all day!
2. Schedule a picnic lunch date to take him away from the office. Pack some romantic foods (strawberries and whip cream, chocolates, his favorite candy) and during your picnic walk down memory lane. Chat about your first date, best vacation, etc. *If it’s too cold outside for a picnic, set up a picnic at home in your living room.
3. Take a stroll on the beach or lake.
4. Make dinner reservations in a town 30 minutes or more away. Get out of town- even if it’s just for a few hours.
5. Go for a horse-drown carriage ride.
6. Have some selfie fun with your smart phone while taking a long walk.
7. Find out who serves the BEST desserts in town and go share a couple of “out of this world” desserts.
8. Hang out in a local coffee house and dream about your future.
9. Turn out the lights and use string lights or candles while you eat dinner or have a romantic evening on the couch.
10. Make a playlist, move some furniture out of the way and create your own private dance floor. (Be sure to include some Sinatra on your playlist).
11. Stop by a playground. Have a Nerf football or a frisbee packed in the car and have some fun together.
12. Make a fire in the fireplace and snuggle up.
13. Borrow your kiddos Wii or XBox and add some good’ol competition to the night.
14. Grab some massage oil and an old sheet and give each other a massage.
15. Do some star gazing. Take a blanket outside (or you may have to drive a bit to get out of the city). While you’re enjoying the star light show, find out more about each other. Ask questions and dig deeper to really connect.
We hope you take time to celebrate each other and from all of us here at Promise Prenatal, Happy Valentine’s Day!