You may be excited about bringing home your new baby but your first born may not be as thrilled as you are when that new baby finally arrives. Firstborn children have become used to being the center of attention for quite some time.
They can often have a hard time making the transition from being an only child to being the older sibling of a new baby. There are some things that you can do to make this change an easier one for your first born child.
First Born Jealousy: Let Your First Born Know What’s Coming
No matter how young your first born child is it’s important that you communicate to him just what’s going to be coming.
Whether he understands you or not, suddenly arriving at home with a new baby won’t give him any chance at all to be prepared.
As you decorate and make room for your new baby try to include your older child as much as possible.
Let him get excited about picking out new blankets and clothes for his arriving sibling. This way he’ll be able to feel as though he’s participated in the event rather than being an outsider.
Making Time for Your First Born
Make sure that you find time to spend alone with your older child. He needs to be able to have you all to himself a few times each day.
This special time together will help you both to reconnect during what can be a very busy time in your home.
New babies are a lot of work and no doubt your first born will be somewhat affected by all the hustle and bustle that his new sibling is creating.
Spend time with him doing the things that he likes to do, such as going for a walk or taking him out for a treat.
He needs to know that just because there’s a new addition to the family that he’s just as loved and cherished as he was before.
Don’t Blame Your New Baby
Make sure that you don’t blame everything on your new baby. Telling your first born that you can’t go to the park because the baby is sleeping will only make him resent his sibling.
Find other ways to tell him that you’re not going to the park right now, such as “Mommy is busy right now but we’ll go to the park after lunch”.
You should also try not to tell your firstborn child all the time that he needs to be quiet because the baby is sleeping.
Just because you have a new baby doesn’t mean that your home needs to be still and quiet for this new addition to your family to sleep.
Let your first born continue to play as he always has. Your new baby will very quickly learn to sleep through all kinds of noise and disruption.
Involving Your First Born
Whenever possible have your first born child participate with taking care of your new baby. This can be as simple as having him help you put socks on the baby or letting him pick out an outfit for your new baby to wear.
You want to make him feel helpful and appreciated. Encourage and praise him often. The more he feels that he’s also a caregiver to his new sibling the less resentful he’s going to be about having a new sibling in the first place.
Teaching How to Play
Even though you need to protect your new baby from an older sibling you also need to teach your first born child how to play with his new sibling in a safe manner.
He’s naturally going to want to play with your baby the way you’ve been playing with him. Instead of telling him that he can’t throw a ball at the baby, show him a safe way to do this.
Get a soft stuffed ball and show him that he needs to gently roll the ball to the baby. Encourage him to engage in gentle activities with your new baby, such as singing a song or reading a book.
Be patient as your older child learns how to interact with your new baby. Whenever you see him touching and talking gently to your new baby, be sure to make a positive comment and let him know how great he’s being.
Be Loving and Supportive
The best thing that you can do to deal with first-born jealousy is to be loving and supportive at all times. Make sure that you tell him often that you love him.
Increase the hugs and cuddles that you give him so that he feels safe and secure even though there’s now someone else who needs your attention.
Let him know many times throughout the day that he’s important to you. When you let him know that he’s loved he’ll have less time to act out any feelings of jealousy that he might be having.