Being acceptable of a sibling is not easy for every child and it is our responsibility as a parent to prepare them early before the baby is due.
When I completed my first trimester, me and my husband talked to Eira that we were expecting. She was on top of the world but I still knew I had to prepare her for all the changes she is gona see in me and after the baby comes.
Ways I prepared Eira during pregnancy,
✓ Sharing the pregnancy news together as parents. The child should not come to know from someone else.
✓We read about the baby’s development together every week. So there were no surprises when my bump started to grow and she knew exactly what was going on inside me.
✓ I involved Eira in my pregnancy announcement.
✓ Reading books about being a big sister and how the baby will be.
✓ Talking about her also being responsible for the baby and that the baby wil learn more from her.
✓ Reading to the bump together. Since her reading skills had developed she read more stories to the baby and made some of her own.
✓ Some kids expect that when the baby comes, they wil be able to play right away, so we talked about how she can be involved with the baby by reading, singing, playing her guitar, changing diapers, helping during bath time, etc.
✓ Some kids expect a certain sibling like Eira wanted a sister. We talked about how nature takes its course and a healthy and happy baby is what we should be looking forward too.
✓ We also shared stories about when I was expecting her and she used to find them very interesting.
Some kids are well prepared but once the baby arrives, everyone’s attention seems to shift and that can change the elder child’s mind.
We started the connection between them right at birth. When the baby was taken to the family, I had asked the doctor in advance to let Eira be the first one to see and hold the baby. Of course their Dad was there. I cannot express how happy and special she felt and how she talks about it till date. At that moment itself, the big sister feeling had taken over.
Ways to avoid jealousy between siblings:
✓Make sure there is an alloted amount of time for the elder child everyday.
✓They should be included in the daily chores of the baby showing that even they are needed by the baby. Reading, singing, baby exercises, fetching diaper essentials, helping during bath time can be done together.
✓ Try to avoid conversations where family and friends talk about how parents love little ones more.
✓ When the older sibling needs a parent, it just might not be patient enough to understand that the baby is crying or feeding, etc. That is a great time for Dads to step in and take it ahead. For kids who need their mothers the most, this step needs to come in practice during pregnancy phase itself.
At the end, we also need to understand that they are kids themselves. We need to cut them some slack. Give them a little time and they will definitely come around with our love and support! 😊