I was 5 when my mom brought my little brother home. The feeling of being a big sister was amazing and I was excited to play with my brother. But, wait a minute. What? This cranky, red faced, always crying baby is what my parents waited for whole nine months. And why is he getting so much attention and love. Where am I? He is getting all the attention and this is supposed to be fun?
Firstborns often go through these weird thoughts. Try the following ways to make them feel loved equally.
1. Make them feel special: Newborns are attractive, but avoid comparing both of your babies even on small topics like who crawled first, who had more hairs and etc. Children are sensitive and they may take these comments as criticism. Be calm and take deep breaths.
2. Give them love: Increase your attention towards your firstborn. Say extra I love yous, hug them more, shower more kisses. Find time to play games and read books with them.
3. Be supportive: Acknowledge feelings of your child. Keep your comments mild and gentle. Don’t ignore their complaints regarding you loving the little one more. Assure them that you trust them and understand their feelings.
4. Teach soft touches: Teach your older kid how to give soft touches to the baby. Teach them to calm the baby by rubbing her back. Let them learn the lesson of being physically soft with the baby.
5. Get them involved: Let your first child get familiar with the newborn. Involve them in baby’s shopping, changing diapers, managing toys. Let him put on the socks and sprinkle some powder. Praise and encourage them whenever possible.
6. Act quick and calm: When you watch your older baby harming or hurting the little one, act really quick. Say gently, “no hitting” and ask them to use their hands in a right way. You can also ask them not to come close to the little one until they learn to be soft with the baby.
7. Demonstrate: A mother is a child’s first teacher. Teach your older child by demonstrating how to hold a baby, how to calm the baby and how to make the sleep. This way he will gain the practical knowledge of handling the little one and will not get rough in actions.
8. Keep an eye: When both the children are together, keep an eye. If you find your older kid acting roughly, distract him by singing a song or playing with a toy or munching a snack. This thing will save you by saying constant strings of “Nos” and will protect your child as well.
9. Watch your tongue: Don’t let your older one feel that your life now revolves only around the new baby. Don’t say, “we can’t go to play” or ” speak slowly,you will wake the baby up” instead use ” I am busy, we will play after some time” or ” Let’s have a quick nap till the baby is sleeping”.
Arrival of a newborn is a time of adjustments for everyone. Reduce going on outings and pay attention to your new family size.