- Preparing for the New Baby
- The Likely Reactions from Your Child
- What Affects their Reactions
- When to Share the News
- Tips for Preparing Your Child for their New Sibling
- 1. Share the news
- 2. Remind them they were once a baby
- 3. Listen to their take and advice
- 4. Making them aware of the science behind it
- 5. Give them attention
- 6. Get your child a doll to train them on how to handle a baby
- 7. Visit a friend or family member who has a baby
- The Way to Go
- About the Author
Preparing for the New Baby
Guest post by Laura Casey
There’s a lot that goes on during the pregnancy, and sometimes we get caught up in situations and forget to attend to the essential issues.
As a Mum, you have to eat well to ensure that your little one inside of you also gets the necessary nutrients required to keep him/her healthy.
However, preparations may be beyond you as there is a lot to deal with before the baby comes. Some preparations include:
- Get the essential stuff required by both you and the baby. This includes buying things like your postpartum care kit and the yet to come baby’s essentials.
- You’ll have to adjust to a new diet as instructed by your doctor to keep both you and your baby in perfect health condition, and this stretches to after giving birth.
- You’ll need an extra room for the expected little prince or princess, and there’s a lot required to ensure that space fits well.
- You’ll at some point have to change your ordinary schedules to sync in well with your situation.
- Since it is not all on you, family involvement will come in, and that includes your partner and another child if you have one.
The Likely Reactions from Your Child
If you have another child still at the young stages of life, how you share this news is of great importance.
As you are preparing your child for the coming baby, pregnancy itself might be confusing to your child because little children have this perception that babies are bought.
However, there are three probable ways in which a child might react when you inform them of your condition. Their reactions will help you determine how you will prepare your child for their new sibling;
- Joy – children might feel happy because they feel like they will no longer be alone probably if it is something they were wishing for from the stories and experiences of their friends.
- Anger – this might be as a result of the insecurity of knowing that all the attention will divert from them to the new baby and that will make them uncomfortable.
- No response – Out of confusion. This is the most probable reaction to expect from a child as they don’t know what to say or do since they are less informed of the situation.
Thank you, mama!
What Affects their Reactions
For such reactions, different factors might affect how your child will respond to the news.
These reasons might remain long after the birth of the baby when things begin to add up. These factors include:
- Age (younger children will be more jealous and confused compared to older ones)
- Gender (a girl might be more excited for the new baby than a boy will be because they tend to be more nurturing)
- Bond with parent (if you are really close with your child, that bond might come out positively in the sense that the child is willing to help out or negatively out of anger of the expected divided attention)
- The character of the child (children are different, and the news will be heard differently depending on the character of the child, which in turn affects their reaction)
The timing of sharing the news of a new baby has to be precise if you want to influence the reaction of your child. The best time to inform your child that they will have a new family member is about three to four months before delivery so that there can be enough time for them to learn the new things and adjust.
Tips for Preparing Your Child for their New Sibling
Having mentioned all the considerations to go about with giving the good news, the most important part is how you will end up preparing your child for the new baby.
Remember that this is a new experience for the child, and if not, every pregnancy is different so getting the proper prepping is essential. Here’s our how to prepare a child for a new sibling to-do list:
Transparency with your child is very important as you get to make them know what family is all about which is a step to prepare a child for a new baby.
In this case, don’t wait until you deliver before you announce the upcoming changes in your child’s life. Share the news on time and be wise enough to use words such as ‘we are having a new baby’ or ‘mama is expecting your baby sister/brother‘.
2. Remind them they were once a baby
For a child to know what they are dealing with, some education is very necessary to prepare them for the new child.
Bring back the memories of them as a child which can be in the form of photos or videos so that they can understand that growth began from a point. These memories also lighten the mood, and they eventually look forward to seeing a glimpse of themselves in the expected baby.
3. Listen to their take and advice
In the process of preparing your toddler for a new sibling, one thing that babies never lack is a series of questions as you introduce them to something new.
Your child will have their take and opinion, and it is important to listen to what they have to say. For the ones who are more informed, they can line up some amazing advice for you especially if they have been in such a situation before.
Following their advice is important to your child – within reason of course. You can, of course, ignore their advice when they ask you to take their baby sibling back to the hospital.
What’s important is to understand and acknowledge their feelings. It’s not that they will never love their sibling. It’s simply that they want their life to return back to what it was pre-baby. This is a common and natural reaction to a new baby in the house.
4. Making them aware of the science behind it
Your body is going to go through a lot of changes when you’re pregnant and informing your child of these changes is important.
Let them know that babies are not bought but born. Teach them what babies eat and how to feed them, how to carry them around and what they will need from mama and what mama needs.
This will put them in a better position to learn that there are a lot of changes coming. The urgency of participating will eventually grow.
5. Give them attention
When preparing an older child for a new baby, it’s important that you do your best to maintain the bond you have with your child during your pregnancy. The moment you begin to detach from him or her, the distance will create conflict and they will blame the baby for this.
Try to spend time doing things you normally do, throughout the pregnancy if possible. This will help them to not see the baby as a distraction, a being who steals you from them.
6. Get your child a doll to train them on how to handle a baby
Practice makes perfect and if you want your child to get involved with the baby and eventually form a bond, then began to show them how to handle the child.
Getting baby feeders, kitchen utensils and a doll will be a starting point of preparing siblings for a new baby as you will train them on how to carry the baby and how to feed them, which gets more interesting by the day.
7. Visit a friend or family member who has a baby
The best way to learn is from seeing the actual situation at play. If you have a friend or family member with a baby, taking your child to visit them will expose them to the situation. This will help them know what to expect and help prepare them mentally for the sibling to come.
The Way to Go
As you share the good news, you should be prepared for some rather disappointing reactions, which are normal. Expect moods from your child since they are still in the process of digesting the information and thinking of how it will affect them. Please don’t rush into forcing them to accept the situation as that will bring more bad reactions from your child.
It all comes down to the take of your child and how you share the information with them. That is why it is vital to ensure you do it right. Plus, if you have your child on board in the pregnancy then you have an extra pair of hands in the house to help raise the new baby.
How long have you pregnant? Have you prepared your child for the new baby? What was their reaction? Leave a comment.
About the Author
Laura is a blogger, mother, and housewife who shares her vast experience in all aspects of motherhood and parenting. She writes articles on the difficulties and challenges all mothers face every day. Motherhood is her source of inspiration. She recommends her readers to take a look at https://mykitchenadvisor.com/. The Blog which helps busy moms every day.