If you have a second baby on the way, then it can feel a little unsettling for your eldest child. Regardless of their age, they have been the center of your world for a long time. And suddenly, there is a new baby in the house that is making a lot of noise! Your eldest child might deal really well with a new baby. But there could be some acting out because they don’t know how to deal with it all. So here are a few tips to help the two of them bond.
Stick to routine as much as possible
With a newborn, it can be pretty hard to have any kind of routine at first. But after the first few days, it is easier to get into an established routine. Try to stick to the routine that your eldest is used to. Try to get out of the house to do one thing each day. Even if that is just going to the store. If you went to toddler playgroups, then try to keep those up too. Keep the bedtime routine as you normally would too. When things stay as normal as possible for the eldest child, it makes it easier to adjust and get used to having a sibling. For more about toddler routines, you could read this article: www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/social/toddler-routines-schedules/.
Get them a gift from the baby
Getting your eldest child a gift ‘from the baby’ is a great way to encourage love and bonding right from the start. It sort of says that the baby is here to stay but isn’t going to take over and does love them. Plus, having a new toy or gift can be a good distraction for the child. There are some super cute sibling shirts that you can get, that I think would look good for a new baby and their sibling. If they match in their shirts or onesie, it is a great way for them to bond, and I don’t know many kids that wouldn’t appreciate looking the same, especially if it was personalized with their name on, for example. You could look somewhere like www.ZoeysPersonalizedGifts.com if you want some inspiration for personalized sibling gifts.
Encourage them to help
The whole process of a new baby will be so different from what your eldest child is used to. They won’t remember being nursed or feeding from a bottle. So it is good to get them involved where possible so they can learn about it and help. They could help fetch diapers and wipes, as well as help to hold the baby, depending on their age. Have them sit with you when you feed the baby, and you could read a story together. Then they can feel part of it all, which will lead to them liking the baby sooner. If they are left to do their own thing, then it doesn’t help bonding at all.
It is also a good idea to not make too many changes in your child’s life. Don’t try to potty train right before the baby is due, for example. Too much change can lead to acting out as they are learning to cope with lots of new things. So just bear that in mind.