A New Addition to the Family Blog from Elissa & Debi

A New Addition to the Family Blog

Excited.. nervous.. happy.. scared.. grateful…jealous? These are all emotions that may be going through your child’s head when they hear another baby is on the way.

Children, especially first born, will most likely at some point during the pregnancy or after the birth, have a difficult time adjusting to all the changes that take place within a family when a new addition arrives.

    Each child depending on temperament, age and gender will respond differently to the new baby. In general, preschool aged children will understand better what’s happening, compared to a toddler or infant. Most likely preschool aged children have seen other pregnant women, or small babies and have a sense of the pregnancy process. Now this doesn’t mean they won’t have a difficult time with the adjustment, it just means that if you chose, you will be able to talk with your child and involve them more in the pregnancy and birthing process. Once the baby is born, the most common reaction amongst preschoolers is regression. Children may want to start using a bottle or a baby seat again. If potty trained, they may have more accidents and possibly even ask for a diaper. This is normal, just continue to support, love and include them during this adjustment period.

    There are two completely different times during this process. First comes the pregnancy. This is the time to prepare your child for the new baby. Second, the birth and after, which completely changes their life as they now know it!. Helping your child adjust to the changes in the home or less time with Mom are just a few of the issues that may arise. As always, these are thoughts and ideas that we have found many families have had success using, but adapting and doing what you feel is best for your family is most important.

Pregnancy and Preparing You Child for New Baby;

  1. Decide on a time to tell your child the news- make sure they hear the news from you, and not someone else. Make this a special time, maybe give them a book (see #5) and give them the time they need to process, by answering their questions.

  2. Allow them to be part of the process- bring them to a doctors appointment, encourage them to talk to the baby or tell a story while in the womb. Make a tee shirt or bib for the baby, or pick out the baby’s first outfit.

  3. Show them their baby book- showing them pictures, outfits or any memories you have saved from their newborn/baby stage will help them understand how “growth” and change takes place. Explain that at first their baby brother or sister won’t be able to do much, but they will grow up quickly just like they did!

  4. Sign them up for a sibling preparation class- most hospitals offer this and many are actually quite fun! Check with your doctor or local hospital for further information.

  5. Read books- there are lots of books out there that will help prepare a preschooler. “I’m a Big Brother” or “I’m a Big Sister” by Joanna Cole is a great place to start. Visit your library for more titles.

  6. Practice- let them pick out a “special doll” from the toy store. Make sure this doll is close to the actual size of a newborn. Practice holding, feeding, and dressing the doll before the actual baby is born. This is their baby to take care of, just like how Mom will have their baby brother or sister to take care of soon.

After the Birth:

  1. Have alone time every day- whether it’s five minutes or thirty minutes, make sure Mom and Dad are setting aside alone time with the older child every day. Reading a book, playing a game, whatever it is you and your child want to do, but give them your undivided attention during this time.

  2. Celebrate the baby’s birthday- have a birthday cake celebration when Mom and baby come home from the hospital. This helps your child relate birthday celebrations to the actual birth of their baby brother or sister.

  3. Have a small stash of gifts- lots of people will probably be visiting Mom and new baby and bringing gifts. The child may start to get jealous of all the gift giving, store little gifts like a box of crayons or toy car to give to them once the visitors leave.

  4. Let them help- as mentioned above, let the child be part of the process. Once the baby has arrived, there are lots of tasks a preschooler is capable of doing. Bringing diapers to Mom and Dad, picking out clothes, washing the baby with Mom or Dad, are all little jobs that will help the older child feel important and part of this exciting time!

  5. Encourage play with their doll- especially during breastfeeding or diaper changing; children might experience a little bit of jealousy. This is a perfect time to encourage them to spend time with their baby, changing their diaper, feeding them with a bottle etc..

As always, we are here at ifnotyouwho.org to answer any questions you might have and thanks for stopping by Word of Mom Radio!

Meet Debi Dutton and Elissa Sungar

Mother/Daughter Debi Dutton and Elissa Sungar bring us a powerful company making sure our children are ready for  school.  Only half of the 4 million children entering kindergarten each year are actually ready to attend. Life long consequences often follow those children unprepared. If Not You, Who?  is a free website that includes over 300 easy to implement activities, which only take about 10 minutes each and use common household items.  The activities are focused on developing the 5 crucial learning areas kids should be familiar with when they enter kindergarten. Available in over 30 languages, almost any adult can now quickly learn how to positively impact a child’s future!

About Dori DeCarlo

Word of Mom Radio ~ the place MOMpreneurs and Business Women meet, share, empower and inspire each other. Join your host, Dori DeCarlo at http://blogtalkradio.com/wordofmomradio on Tuesday"s and Thursday"s ~ sharing the wisdom of women.

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