Pregnancy week by week

Baby

Toddler

A new baby in the family


                               

Coping with two children is very different from coping with one. It can be tough at first, especially if your first child is not very old. When it comes to dealing with the baby, you have got more experience and probably more confidence too, which helps. But the work more than doubles, and dividing your time and attention can be a strain.

You may find that your first child shows some jealousy or attention seeking behavior. This can be dealt with by ensuring you focus on him too. It takes time to adjust to being a bigger family and caring for more than one child. Your older child, no matter what his age, has to adjust too, and some children find it difficult. The following suggestions may help:


Before the birth
  • Tell your child about the baby as soon as possible

  • Involve your child in the planning

  • Read your child stories about babies and explain them the pros and cons of having a small baby in the family

During the birth

        Make sure that your child is well cared for and nurtured with special treats.


After the baby is born

  • Involve your toddler as much as possible with the role of a big brother or sister. Children don’t always love babies, but they do find them interesting. You can encourage this, by talking to her about what she was like as a baby and the things she did.

  • Teach your child how to be helpful. Encourage your child to engage with the baby. Try to turn looking after the baby into a fun game and encourage your child to talk to the baby.

  • Praise your child for all positivity towards the baby

  • Give your child plenty of personal attention regularly without the baby so that she doesn’t feel as if she has been pushed out. Be prepared to cope with extra demands as your older child may want and need more attention.

  • Keep your child occupied and active- do things with her too

  • Give your child plenty of love, cuddles and treats, reassure her that the baby will never replace her like saying you’re the best girl in the world and the baby is special but not the same as you.

  • Try to keep up old routines and activities. Going to play group, visiting friends and               telling a bed time story might be difficult in the first few weeks, but sticking to established routines will help reassure your older child.

  • Your first child might not love the baby at first. She may not feel the way you do. It’s lovely if they share your pleasure, but it’s best not to expect it.

  • Provide distraction during feeds. An older child may well feel left out and jealous when you are feeding the baby. You could find something for him to do, or use the feed as an opportunity to tell him a story or just have a chat.

  • Be patient with baby behavior. Your older child might ask for a bottle, start wetting his pants or want to be carried. This is completely normal behavior so try not to let it bother you and try not to say “no” every time.

  • Expect some jealousy and resentment. It’s almost certain to happen, sooner or later. If you and your hubby, or you and a grandparent, can sometimes give each other time alone with each child, you will not feel so constantly pulled in different directions.



     

 



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