The husband knows about pregnancy, the parents on both sides – too. But how to tell an older child that he will soon have a sister or brother? How to prepare your growing baby for the fact that soon mom’s love, room and toys will have to be divided in half with that screaming lump brought by mom “from a stork”?
Don’t worry and don’t panic – even in this case, there are simple and clear instructions.
The content of the article:
How and when is it better to tell the child about the mother’s pregnancy?
If your baby is very small, then you should not rush into explanations. For him, the process of pregnancy and childbirth is too strange, distant and frightening in terms of timing. This you can navigate in time, and your little one will be nervous and languid in anticipation. For him, 9 months is something unimaginable.
Put your story aside until the moment when the tummy is already noticeable enough, and the movements of the brother in it are tangible.
The smaller your crumb, the later inform about a future important event.
- Be sure to tell us about the upcoming addition yourself… It is from you that the baby should hear this important news. Not from your caregivers, friends, grandmother, or neighbors.
- Mark an approximate date on the calendarso that the child does not pester you with daily interrogations “well, when is it already, mom?” It’s great if childbirth falls on a month of any holiday – in this case, the waiting period becomes more meaningful. For example, “right after your birthday” or “after the New Year.”
- After informing the child about the little toddler in the belly, do not go straight into explaining the details. Just leave the child alone – let him “digest” this information. Then he himself will come to you with questions.
- Answer only those questions that he asks. No need for unnecessary details, the child does not need it.
- From an older child, 7-8 years old, you can not hide anything: boldly tell him about your pregnancy, about the happiness that awaits him, and even attacks of nausea can not be covered with a fake smile, but honestly – mom is not sick, and nausea is natural. Of course, it is better to report pregnancy after the 4th month, when the threat of miscarriage decreases, and the tummy is noticeably rounded.
- A future event cannot be reported “in between” in the course of everyday affairs. Take time and talk to your child so that he feels the importance of the moment and that the mother confides in him her big secret.
- Breaking important news? Do not forget to regularly talk with your child about this topic. Cartoons, songs, neighbors and friends to help you – let the kid see everything with specific examples.
Preparing a child for the birth of a brother or sister – how to avoid childhood jealousy?
First, the baby is jealous of you for the growing belly, then for the baby itself. It `s naturally, especially if the child is still small, and he himself needs constant care and affection.
Jealousy is different. One silently “sulks” at his mother in the corner of the nursery, the other is demonstratively capricious, the third even shows aggression.
But all these manifestations of jealousy (and herself) can be avoided if to properly prepare the child for the appearance of a newborn in the family.
- If your baby gets angry when you stroke his belly and sing lullabies to him, explain to the child that the little brother inside is sometimes afraid or worried, and he needs to be reassured. Let the child feel the heels of his brother (sister) with his palms and take part in this process of “calming down”.
- The child does not know who is in your belly. For him, this is an unknown creature that requires mandatory visualization. Show your child the ultrasound images, or at least find them on the Internet and demonstrate who exactly settled in your stomach.
- Visit your friends who have already had a 2nd baby. Show your child what a baby looks like, how sweetly he sleeps, how funny he smacks his lips. Be sure to emphasize that the older brother is the protection and support for the younger one. It is he who is one of the most important family members for a weak and defenseless newborn.
- Show your child cartoons or films about brothers and sisterswho play together, bully and help each other in everything. From the very beginning of pregnancy, the child should perceive the baby not as a competitor, but as a future friend with whom they will move mountains.
- Tell us how great it is to have a brother or sister. Give examples. And be sure to take the child into your “adult” conversation if he is talking about a baby.
- Encourage the child to choose things for a brother or sister. Let him help you choose a stroller, new wallpapers for the nursery, bedding, toys and even a name for the baby. Whatever the baby’s initiative is, welcome it with joy and gratitude.
- No matter how hard it is for you at first, make every effort so that the firstborn does not feel abandoned and deprived. – share the love for everyone. When reading a story to a younger one, hug the elder one. After kissing the younger, kiss the elder. And do not forget to explain to your child that he is your most beloved oldest child, and a baby is your most beloved youngest.
- Do not shift even part of the care of the baby onto the child. It is one thing if the child himself wants to help you in bathing the newborn, playing, changing clothes, etc. (this should be encouraged and allowed). And it is quite another to make a nanny out of an older child. This is definitely unacceptable.
- As your kids get older, stay absolutely neutral. You do not need to immediately shout at the elder if the younger screams from the nursery. First, understand the situation, then make a decision. And raise the spirit of mutual help in children from the cradle, they should be tied to each other, like 2 halves of one whole, and not sit in different corners, sulking at the injustice of life and mom.
- When celebrating the 1st and subsequent birthdays of the baby, do not forget about the older child. Always please him with a gift. Let not be as global as that of the birthday boy, but such that the first-born does not feel lonely and deprived.
- Any changes that are expected in connection with the birth of the 2nd child must be carried out even before the birth. The first-born should not think that the move, regime change, rearrangement in his room and a new kindergarten are all the “merit” of the newborn. Change your child’s life carefully and discreetly so that he does not lose a sense of stability and calmness.
What not to do and how not to tell the child about the expected birth of the second – taboo for parents
Parents make a lot of mistakes while waiting for their second baby to be born.
Of course, it is simply impossible to list everything, so we recall the most important “taboos” for dad and mom:
- Do not break the traditions that have already developed in your family. If the first-born went to SAMBO, then he must continue to go there. It is clear that the mother is tired, that she has no time, but it is categorically impossible to deprive the child of this joy due to the busyness of the mother. Did you put your baby to bed with a bedtime story and after fun bathing in the bathroom? Don’t change the schema! I got used to going to the site in the morning – take me to the site. Do not destroy the baby’s world that was already built before the baby was born.
- Do not move the firstborn’s crib to another room or corner after delivery. If there is a need for this, then do it in a clever way and long before childbirth, so that the child has time to get used to sleeping far from his mother and then does not blame his newborn brother for the new “dislocation”. Of course, a new place to sleep should be as cozy and comfortable as possible – with new amenities (a new night lamp, beautiful wallpaper, maybe even a canopy or other mom’s ideas).
- Don’t forget about tactile contact. After 2 births, many mothers can no longer also squeeze, hug and kiss the grown-up first child, like a new baby. But the older child greatly lacks your hugs! Remember this constantly!
- Do not swear if the firstborn tries to sit on the potty bought for the baby., sucks on a pacifier or defiantly switches to gurgling instead of words. He just shows you that he is still small and wants to be cuddled.
- Don’t take your words back. If you have promised something, be sure to do it. Going to the cinema – go ahead! Did you promise a toy? Take it out and put it down! Never forget your promises. Children will remember them, unfulfilled, with resentment even when they grow up.
- Don’t force your child to share. He must want it himself. In the meantime, you don’t need to ask him to share his toys, his rightful seat on the couch, and so on.
- Don’t be categorical – more gentleness and cunning! You shouldn’t tell the kid that now the brother will sleep in his personal old crib, ride in his stroller and wear his favorite jacket. It is necessary to convey these facts exclusively in a positive way, so that the child himself feels the joy of “sharing”.
- Don’t put your responsibilities on the older child. And if you have already decided to treat him like an adult, hanging on him to look after the baby and other joys, then be kind enough to provide the child, in addition to new obligations, and new bonuses. For example, now he can go to bed a little later, play with toys that he was too young for, and watch cartoons a little longer than usual.
- Do not deprive the child of the usual pleasures. If you previously read books to him, drew and built fortresses together, dressed dolls and sledged, keep up the good work. Or at least support, as a spectator, if there is no way to physically participate, for example, ice skating or playing football.
- Do not tell your child that as soon as a baby appears, he will immediately have a friend and play partner.… Be sure to explain that you will have to wait a little while the little brother (sister) gets up on his feet. But here’s how it will get up – you will need an adult assistant who can teach the baby to build houses and draw.
- Don’t delve into the physiological details of the process of childbirth and conception. Explaining to the firstborn where his brother came from, focus on his development, and leave the subtleties for later.
- Don’t tell your toddler about something that he may never ask about. You don’t need to tell him that you still have time for him, or that you will love him as much as the baby. This is another reason for the child to think about this topic.
- Do not show the child how bad you are. Toxicosis, dizziness, bad mood, depression, edema – the child should not see this and know about it. Otherwise, he will associate the birth of your little brother with your poor health (“ah, this is because of him, the parasite, Mommy suffers so much!”) And, of course, such emotions of the child will not benefit the general climate in the family. The same applies to your refusal to raise your first-born: do not tell him that you cannot play with him, jump, etc. due to pregnancy. It is better to quietly introduce dad to this or suggest something more calm and interesting.
- Don’t leave your older baby unattended. Even at the time of arrival from the hospital. After all, he was very much waiting for you and worried. And guests (relatives, friends) warn that you cannot give gifts to only one baby, so that the first-born does not feel deprived.
- Do not drive the child away from the baby’s crib. Let him hold the brothers (but insure), help you with the child’s morning toilet (if the elder wishes), sing him a song and shake the crib. Do not shout at the child – “move away, he is sleeping,” “don’t touch, hurt,” “don’t wake up,” etc. On the contrary, welcome and encourage the desire of the first-born to take care of his brother (sister).
Two kids is happiness multiplied by two. The secret to living without jealousy is simple – maternal love and attention.
Have you had similar situations in your family life? And how did you get out of them? Share your stories in the comments below!
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