How would you feel if you had been basking in the undivided and loving attention of your Mommy and Daddy until suddenly, one day they bring home a new little attention-getter and call it your baby brother or sister?
Everyone knows that we need to ensure that older siblings are carefully prepared for the newborn baby’s arrival into the family, but there is more to it than just talking about the new baby who is coming to change the entire structure of the family. In fact, Ann Douglas, mother of four and author of ‘The Mother of All Pregnancy Books’ and ‘The Mother of All Baby Books’ advises that over-talking about the new baby could work against you.
One of our favorite selling points to older sibs is that the new little brother will be fun to play with, right? Then the lumpy blob of a newborn is brought home and placed on the toddler’s lap. The new baby can’t talk back or even smile at the big sister’s friendly overtures! If she tries to lift the baby up to play, there are suddenly cries of distress from the parents hovering nearby! Big disappointment!
It will be a smoother transition if the older child knows what to expect immediately, not two or three years from now. Taking him/her to visit a friend with a tiny baby would be a fun and comforting idea.
Regression in your toddler’s activity is a normal response to seeing Baby get a majority of your attention at first. Bed wetting, asking for the pacifier, etc. are common revisits to baby-life. The experts suggest avoiding the temptation to give in to these requests in order to keep the peace. Lavish praise on your child’s “big kid” accomplishments. Set aside some time to spend with him/her one on one where there is no attention competition.
We have a collection of wonderful ‘Big Sis/ Big Brother’ Gift Sets that would delight any child. You can even order some with the older sib’s name in colorful wooden letters! What a great way to help the first-born feel as special as he or she is!