Having a new baby in the family is a disturbing matter for the first child or children less than three years old.
Actually, I’ve been there..
At this age each of them prefers to be the only one for his parents, so he does not want anyone to share their affection and concern with him.
Especially the first child who used to be the focus of everyone’s attention without any competition. Yep!
That being said, Mommy…
Do not be surprised if you see your little one strapped to his brother’s baby’s crib, and he returns to it whenever you push him away.
It’s not surprising…
His hand may extend to him out of curiosity and exploring this new creature, which raises the anxiety of this bouncing little child..
More Kids, Same Thing…
The matter may be different for the second or third child who used to share the attention and affection of his parents with his older siblings.
..this does not mean that the second or third child does not feel a competition towards the newborn!
The feeling is there anyway,
… but what is important here is how the parents deal with this situation, alleviate his feelings of jealousy towards his brother, and turn him into a positive feeling.
The good news is that you, Mommy, can notice the new behaviors from day 1..
That’s why in this post I’m sharing with you a few things to pay attention to when you have a new baby meets his siblings:
7 signs that your child is jealous of the newborn
There are a set of behaviors that stimulate jealousy of the new baby and the family does it before the birth process…
Let’s say, for example, your child used to sleep next to you for a long time…
.. and now, you are moving him to a separate (new) room in preparation for the new baby!
At this point, the fear of the newborn begins..
When you go to give birth and leave him with his relatives, he will start feeling anxious and confused…
.. and when you come back home, tired, exhausted, and holding a new little one, he will definitely be nothing but stressed out. uh-huh!
Yes, you read that right…
Don’t expect him to be friendly or welcoming at all. He might turn out to be a totally different child with totally new behaviors…
Worry not, we got you!
At this very moment, I’m going to reveal to you the main behaviors to pay attention to, so you can control the unpleasant situations..
Here are some of these behaviors:
- He asks to feed the baby from a bottle.
- Sleeps in or on the new baby’s crib.
- Pees in his clothes.
- He insists that his mother carry him and refuses to walk or pretends to be sick.
- Hits or pinches the newborn.
- Tries to feed the newborn by himself.
- His tantrums increase and he becomes annoying and makes noise
What can I do to help my first child accept the idea of having a sibling?
A child’s age will affect his reaction to having a new sibling.
Older children are often excited about meeting a new sibling, while younger children may feel overwhelmed or upset.
Now, Mommy, you might be asking, how exactly should I react to these behaviors?
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered,
Here are a few tips that will help your child cope with new norms:
If your child is under the age of two years:
It is expected that he doesn’t even understand what it means to have a brother…
Talk, talk, and talk more about it…
Communicate with your child about the new change in the family.
For example, you can look with him in picture books on children and families.
If your child is between the ages of two and four years:
Kids at this age bond with their parents and may feel jealous about sharing your interest in a new baby.
Nothing beats an honest talk…
Explain to your baby that the newborn will need a lot of attention and encourage your baby to be a part of the action.
Read to your child about newborns, brothers, and sisters.
It works like magic, trust me, I’ve been there!
You can try to offer your little one a doll to make him feel like caring for someone who is little and needs love and care.
Oh, and most of all,
Show your baby pictures at birth and tell him the story of his birth and how he was so little and needed so much care and attention..
If your child is of school-age:
Older children may be jealous of the great attention a newborn gets.
It’s not surprising…
Tell your baby what the newborn needs! Make it simple as much as you can…
Draw your baby’s attention to the benefits he will get by being older, such as going to bed late.
Ask your child to help with preparing for the arrival of a new family addition!
… and of course, don’t forget the huge after-work appreciation.
Yep! They might be waiting for it..
All things considered, regardless of your child’s age, make sure to give the child special attention when the newborn arrives.
This means, for example, If you take photos or videos, make sure they appear in them.
Don’t forget to take pictures of him alone, too…
Make sure you have small gifts on hand for your baby in case friends give gifts for the new little one!
Keep in mind, though,
… you should do your best to make your older child love the new little baby, and here is how:
Things To Do To Encourage My Older Child Be Gentle With The Newborn:
Sometimes older children may express their frustration on the newborn.. In any way and at any time!
If your older child starts to harm the new baby, it is time to talk about the proper behavior to follow.
Pay extra attention to your older child as well..
It may be hard at the beginning, but you have to do your best, Mommy!
If possible, try to involve him in activities that involve the newborn, such as singing, bathing, or changing diapers.
Praise your older child when he acts lovingly towards the newborn baby.
A key point to remember…
Even if your child seems to adjust to what is going on, supervision is essential.
Don’t leave your little baby alone with a sibling or close person under the age of 12..
What about having TWINS..?
If you have twins, the time requirements are even greater for parents.
Twins attract the attention of family, friends, and even strangers.
Your older son may feel neglected or jealous… Which is normal!
Your older child will need a special time with you.
You can also think of ways to reward your child “double rewards” for helping him play with the twins..
A new baby will undoubtedly change your family.
… you should reassure your eldest son about the love you have for him until he adjusts to the new norm.
And you must make it clear that now, he has a new role to play in the family as well…
The role of being the big brother!
And, remember, that you can always seek help from other family members if you see that you cannot control the situation..
Dema JS is the founder of newbabysmell.com and a mother of two little kids.
Dema had her MBA from St. John’s University- NYC in dual concentrations: Executive Management and Marketing Management.
Contact: Email firstname.lastname@example.org