Five Ways to Help Your Child Adapt to a New Baby
By now, you've probably seen this video of the 'exasperated' kid with an excellent vocabulary reacting to the news of a new baby in the family. No doubt this little walking thesaurus will learn to love the new baby but his initial reaction to the news isn't uncommon. Here's some helpful tips we gathered from around the web to try and help you prepare your little one for the stork's newest delivery:
1. Give them a 'sibling success story' from you or your partner's own lives. Do you talk to your sister on the phone every night? Have a great story of your older brother sticking up for you in middle school? Show your child how great it can be to have a sibling.
2. Have dad carry in the baby the first time they meet.
Research suggests children with a strong attachment to the mother might have a harder time adapting to a new sibling. If that's the case, showing the new child lots of mom love the first time she meets her new baby brother can ease some of the initial tension.
3. Get them psyched about babies!
Everyone likes to see pictures of themselves when they were younger, even toddlers. By showing your child pictures of themselves as babies, you can start to foster a more positive image of babies in their minds.
4. Make major moves before the birth.
If the new baby means big changes for your child, make sure these are done well before the baby arrives. For instance, if they are going to be changing rooms or sleeping in a new bed start the transition as soon as possible so they don't see it all as 'the new baby's fault.
5. Expect regression and don't push it!
Many experts agree that regression is a normal for a child trying to adapt to a new baby. Try and understand if he wants to drink out of a bottle once in awhile or pops in a binky. Some studies suggest child's natural personality might be the single most important factor in how he reacts to the baby so let him take it in his own stride. He'll fall into his 'big brother' role eventually.
Here's some helpful links with tons of great advice. Please share your own tips here or on the Facebook page. Happy Monday!
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