Only Child to Eldest: Tips to ease the transition.
Having a second child is an exciting time for parents, but with it comes a whole new set of worries. You've already nailed the basics from the first time round – you can feed a baby half asleep, change a nappy on your knee and aren't scared of manoeuvring their tiny arms in to clothes. The real challenge this time round is how to handle it all with an older child. We've found that the best way to prepare your first born for being a big brother or sister is to include them, talk to them and make sure they know what's happening.
1. Bring out the baby photos – show your older child photographs of himself as a baby. This can help him understand that he was once a newborn too, and that he also needed a lot of Mum's attention. He'll get a better understanding that the baby will grow up, and get more interesting to him as it gets older.
2. Explain what a baby does – eat, sleep and cry. Explain to your child that for the first few months, the baby won't do much else. Let her know that the baby won't be able to play straight away, but will enjoy having her hold its hand and getting a kiss. Reassure her that the baby crying is natural and doesn't always mean that the baby is upset.
3. Ask for help – big brothers and sisters are great at helping out. Give them important jobs when asking for help with the baby, like getting a clean nappy and fetching a towel at bath time. This can make them feel very grown up and useful.
4. Open the baby's presents – it can be difficult for the older sibling when the baby gets lots of presents and she gets nothing. Get her to help out and feel more involved by opening up the presents, because it's too difficult for the baby to do.
5. Let them make a baby decision – it might not be a good idea to let your toddler choose the baby's name, but there are plenty of other important decisions that he can make. Why not take him shopping and let him decide what bedding the baby will have, or what they'll wear home from the hospital. If your child has eccentric tastes, you can always play it safe and get him to pick from a choice of two outfits.
6. Choose a toy for the baby – if you've kept baby toys from the first time round, get your older child to pick out what she's going to give to the new baby. Remember to explain that she's such a big girl now, and doesn't need baby toys anymore. This might help her to see the toys as being the baby's and not hers anymore.
7. Give them their own baby – your child might get jealous of you feeding and cuddling the baby, and having a baby of his own might help with these feelings. A doll can be fed, cuddled and put down for a nap. This is great for children who enjoying being just like Mum and Dad, and can help to teach him how gentle he needs to be with a baby.
8. Spend some quality time with your older child – it can be a difficult change, going from having your parents all to yourself to sharing them all of the time. There will be times when the big sister has to wait on the baby, so try to make up some time together by yourselves. This could be reading her bedtime story alone, doing some crafts while the baby naps, or going out to the park while one parent stays at home with the baby. Let her choose the activity she'll enjoy the most.
9. Reinforce good behaviour – there are bound to be a few tantrums and regressions along the way, but try not to focus on these and instead praise the good behaviour. Tell the baby about how good their brother is at tidying up his toys and eating his lunch.
10. Get the baby to bring a present home – in amongst all the gifts for the baby, it can make your older child feel a bit more special by getting one too. A big brother or big sister present is a great way to include them in all the new baby celebrations and can be a quirky way to make the baby announcement in a photograph. Some popular presents are t-shirts, teddies and our name frames for bedrooms.
Our personalised name frames have been designed and originally hand drawn by our Forever Bespoke artist, with each name being individually designed. They come with a white frame to suit any child's bedroom and are available for a range of occasions. We are giving you the chance to win one of these Premium Printed Frames!
ENTER TO WIN HERE
Big Brother Gift.
Children's Personalised Name Frame for Bedroom or Nursery
Becoming a big sister.
Melissa (Forever Bespoke Marketing Team)