I have been doing some readings on preparing your firstborn for a new sibling..
I think that this is an important topic to be prepared.
Imagine being the only child and the golden child afer 2 years and suddenly there is a new arrival.
Kids might see this as a competition when it shouldn't be seen that way.
Every wrong step that a parent has taken might scarred the first born for a very long time.
So as parents, we need to understand the psychology of our children to handle them better.
What are the things we need to do..
1)Tell them that there is a baby coming;-
I waited for a baby bump to tell Isabella that she is getting a baby soon.
I found this easier as she can see the growing bump.
She started kissing the bump every night saying 'muuuuaahh baby'.
She also like to gently pat my tummy as well as if she is patting her baby.
I make sure to emphasize that this is her baby so that she feels involved and responsible for it.
2)I let her be around other babies as well.
She loves babies.
I guess she finds them cute and lovable.
She would smile and point to the babies, 'Baby mommy, baby hehehe'.
I would say something nice regarding the baby such as ,'cute baby Isabella'.
'Isabella must love baby, okay honey', I would repeat this.
She has to understand that she has to be nice to the baby, she has to love the baby.
3)We got her a baby doll to be responsible to.
She takes care of that baby, hugs her, feeds her, changes her clothes and put the baby to sleep.
She shares her food and milk as well.
She also kind of protective towards the baby doll.
Which means no one can take the baby for long.
Seeing how she handles the baby, I think she has the making of a big sister this one.
4)I let her feel the fetus kicking.
She was surprised at first but she found it amusing or ticklish.
5)Showed her baby's clothes. While packing for newborn's clothes, Isabella wanted to try them.
As you know they couldn't fit her.
So I explained that they aren't hers but for her baby.
6)Let her socialize with peers. I find this very important for characters building.
Kids who play alone don't know how to share an how to play together.
That is why I send Isabella to playschool.
I also encouraged her to spend time with her cousins.
Whenever, she tends to get bossy, I would remind her to share things, to be nice and to treat her cousins better.
It is very simple gestures like a shake of your head and emphasize the word,' Don't do that darling, be nice. Play together. Go say sorry'.
So she would say sorry and shake hand with her cousin.
I think good behavior has to be instilled at an early age.
It is never okay to let our children hit others.
7)Once the baby comes, show her the newborn as early as possible. Tell her that this is her sister/brother and explain how she has to be nice and to love this newborn.
8)One parent has to be with the older sibling whenever another parent attending the newborn. This is to prevent her from feeling left out. It shows that she will always get the love and attention. Nothing changes.
9)Include her in the chores. Let say you want to change the baby's diapers, you can explain to your 1st child and ask her to help.Kids at this age just love to lend a hand.
Isabella likes to help me getting things. I can use her energy instead of getting up to pick things from the floor or the room.
Give her praises when she completed the task.
'Thank you honey. You are so clever. Good job sayang'.
Give a kiss, or a hug or a high five.
It makes kids feel very important.
10)Be patient. Once in a while, children will throw tantrum.
Probably because they are frustrated, or tired or feel neglected. We as parents cannot be perfect all the time.
When that comes, retrace back our steps.
'WHat did I do wrong?'
Be patient and try to console the child.
I know we can get frustrated but the more frustrated we are, the more we lashed out, the worst they will behave.
So try to hold the frustration and console gently.
11)Try spending as much time together with the first child whenever you get the chances.
For example when the baby is sleeping or when the father is taking care of the baby.
The point is to try minimize changes as much as we can.
12)Once the baby is bigger let say 3 months and above, you can let them play together.
I know Isabella craves for companion.
She is very playful.
I know she will love having a friend to play all the time.
They are going to be the best of friends.
That is why I should try to instill good friendship
and bonds between the two.
I showed them to Isabella for her to understand siblings love.
Okay guys, that's all for now.
See you later.