I know what you are thinking, how will I ever love another baby as much as I love my first born? It’s a common question and I promise you will be able to find space in your heart for both. Being a mom again is an amazing experience. I remember feeling “I got this!” instead of “What do you mean I have to take this baby home soon with no call bell for the nurse?” You will get through it, but your child might have a harder time. Here are some tips to help with the transition.
- Prepare them for what is to come
The New Baby from Usborne books was very helpful in our home. Preparing your child for what to expect before, during and after is very important. https://www.usbornebooksathome.ca/catalogue/catalogue.aspx?cat=1&area=EY&subcat=EYFE&id=3918
- Give them one on one time
Parents will say they are with their child all day, but are you emotionally connected or physically in the room. It’s really hard to connect and be present when you are tired, but be mindful of setting time aside for your older child or they will start to take or demand it. Ask someone to come and sit with the baby so you can hang out with your older child. When you send them away to see relatives or friends, they can feel as though they are being replaced or not wanted.
- Talk about how much the baby loves them
Being mommy’s little helper wears off quickly. When you comment on how much the baby loves them and smiles when they enter the room etc, that will give them more incentive to get to know the new little person in their lives.
- Be prepared for regression in behavior or difficult behaviour
Change is difficult for a child, even if the change is exciting and fun. Acknowledge the struggle and give them extra support and love. Depending on the age of your child (under the age of 4) some children don’t feel secure in their place in the family. So a new baby can feel like a threat and bring up emotions, and as you know emotions evoke behaviour.
- Give it time
This new situation may take some time to get used to for everyone involved. Depending on how needy the new baby is this may be harder or easier for some people to do. They are only children, they are very emotional beings. Be patient, it will get there.