When you decide to have another baby, it’s easy for you to come to
terms with all that is coming…you chose the baby. However, if you have other kids in the house, it can be a difficult time.
While our kids seems to have adjusted to the idea of another sibling, I can see that there is some apprehension looming. I think this comes especially from realizing the reduction of attention they may receive.
To help the kids adjust to the coming baby, I suggest a few ideas:
- Have the kids help in the preparation for the baby. It’s easier to adjust to the idea of “baby” if you are part of the process. This could mean shopping for last minute items, helping to set up the nursery, etc. Get all the kids involved in helping. For example, I took Avery shopping to help pick out girl items for our upcoming arrival. She had fun putting “cute clothes” in the cart and I think it helped her embrace the fact that she wouldn’t be the only girl for long.
2. Spend quality time with each child. A new baby means less free time and less time you can give to the other children. While it doesn’t make up for time they will lose, make it a priority to spend some time doing something special with each child prior to the new baby’s arrival. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.
The summer made this one easier for me because we had LOTS of time to fill. I was able to spend some time with Chase sewing and baking. With Avery I spent some time teaching her how to apply make-up (6th grade is coming) and taking her places to shoot photography (a new hobby she is developing).
3. Do something special as a family. The family unit changes with a new baby. In line with #2, doing something as a family before the arrival of a new baby, has helped our family.
Last week we took the kids for a mini-break to
Madison. We made sure to allow each child to pick something they would like to do. It helped my husband and I to spend quality time with the children and to embrace our family bonds. Getting away as a family gets tricky in the first few months, so this was important to me that we had some time doing something special.
4. Let your current children know that this new baby won’t change their status. Kids like to know they are loved. This last one is important, especially in a blended family, where the children from previous marriages are watching more kids arrive with the same mom and dad under one roof.
Having open communication about the arrival of a baby is important. Allow your kids a chance to share their excitement or fears. For our family, a discussion between my husband and Avery allowed us to discover she was nervous about the attention she would receive with the arrival of another baby. However, talking openly with her, we found that it wasn’t the attention we thought. She was sad about the attention she was losing from ME. I wouldn’t have expected that. Here I had thought she was going to miss her “daddy time” and had prepared dates for each child to spend with their dad. It never occurred to me that they may also want time with Victory Mom.
Communicating allowed us to talk to those fears and also work in some extra time to alleviate her stress.
Overall, a baby means big changes. You can help older siblings adjust to the change before it even begins. A little preparation goes a long way in ensuring everyone makes a successful transition!