Pregnancy Siblings

New Sibling On The Way

sibling arriving soonIt’s mine!! No, it’s mine!! Stop it!! Leave your sister alone! Don’t hurt your baby brother!   Don’t stick your finger up your brothers nose, why do you always have to take your sister’s dummy, stop pulling the blanket, stop pinching your sister, ENOUGH!!!…go to your room…
 
Dreaming of your children playing together in blissful harmony, sharing their toys, patiently waiting their turn whilst you are busy with the new baby, is exactly that… a dream. There may be times when things are wonderful and peaceful so enjoy those moments because they don’t always last very long.
Sibling relationships are complex at best and it is a love-hate relationship that will follow them throughout childhood, for some even into adulthood.
Children don’t see their new brother or sister as an -addition’ to the family but rather they see it as a -replacement’ of them. Everyone is giving the new baby a lot of attention and it is only natural for your older child to feel left out. It is so important to spend time with your other child/children and remind them how important they still are to you. You need to let them know that you don’t love them any less because of the new baby.
When to start preparing your older child about the pending arrival depends on their age. If your child is still a toddler wait until you are showing, if they are older and you’re starting to tell other people then you need to tell your older child/other children, you don’t want them to find out from someone else.
Get some story books about -a new brother or sister’, your young toddler might not understand completely but it is a good way to start getting them prepared for the new baby that is about to -rock’ their world. It will also help older children learn to deal with issues of confusion and jealousy of a new sibling.
Some examples of lovely books available online through Kalahari.net:
  • The Adventures of Jake and George – Jake gets a new brother. Author: Karen Swift
  • My new brother or new sister.   Author: Linda Staeley
  • Michael and his new baby brother.  Author: Sarah Ferguson
Your new baby has arrived! Wonderful… only things are not really so wonderful. The next few weeks will be a bit of a blur. You’ll find yourself feeling overprotective of your new baby and at the same time you’ll be feeling guilty about how little time you’re spending with your older child.
Remember you can’t do it all, so don’t be afraid to ask for help, especially during these early days. Even just getting someone to help you with bath time can be a huge relief.
A few things to keep in mind during the first rocky weeks;
  • Take one day at a time, hormones can wreak havoc on your emotions
  • Spend some one-on-one time with your older child, perhaps when your baby is sleeping, reading him or her a story, do a puzzle or snuggle up on the couch and watch a movie together
  • Let your older child hold the baby and let them feel proud to be the big brother or sister. Just grin and bear it, they won’t want to hold the baby for long
  • Try and include your older child, even if he or she is a toddler, let them fetch the nappies or bath towel. Praise him for his efforts, he or she will be so pleased to be of some help
  • Try not to scold your older child if they touch/wake/hurt the baby, rather distract them. They will quickly learn that touching/waking/hurting the baby is a great way to get attention from mum or dad, even if it is negative attention.
Of course there will be moments when you just want to scream at your older child, surely they know better, but you have to remember that their whole world has changed. They used to be the centre of your universe, always in the spotlight, the one and only and then a little baby had to come and interfere. Be patient, everyone needs time to adjust, including you.
It is perfectly normal for a child to regress when a new sibling arrives. They see the little baby wearing nappies and drinking milk and getting lots of attention and they think that if they do the same they will also get more attention.
Don’t say to your child, -stop acting like a baby . It could cause your first born to direct anger towards the new baby.   Instead you could let your child have a bottle and say, -Oh you want to act like a baby now, that’s okay, then later we’ll go back to your big girl things .
Your potty-trained toddler might have a few accidents, but don’t react negatively as this could only make things worse. Your child might also feel very clingy, in a sense they feel like they’ve lost you and they just want to make sure you are still there for them.
Eventually things do settle down and your dreams of blissful harmony will be a reality.
Enjoy your babies – they grow up so fast.

“A baby will make love stronger, days shorter, nights longer, bankroll smaller, home happier, clothes shabbier, the past forgotten, and the future worth living for.”  Author Unknown

 – Lucy-Anne Monastursky

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