A new baby will bring lots of changes for your first born child. It’s normal for them to feel somewhat unsettled in the run up to the birth and for a few months after, but keeping them involved with preparations and helping them understand how life will change can benefit them hugely.
Here are some points I found useful to consider when I was preparing my children for their little brother and sister.
Getting them involved
Try and get them as involved as possible with all of the planning. For example picking out baby names, and baby clothes. Your little one may get excited feeling your baby bump. Make sure you have lots of fun together whilst getting organised and preparing for new baby so they feel as included in the process as possible.
Be realistic about what to expect
Realistically the baby won’t be able to do much for themselves for the first few months, they will cry a lot, eat sleep and poo! This means they won’t be much fun as a playmate for the first few months. Get your little one to practice holding baby with their dolls. Teach them how to support the babies head and how to be gentle with the doll. This is a great way of helping them understand what to expect, and can also help with getting them excited.
In order to keep your child as settled as possible, make any major changes months before the new baby comes so that they don’t feel as confused by a new routine when the baby comes. For example if they are changing bedrooms. Or perhaps it will be Daddy getting up with them in the morning or taking them to school once baby comes, try and get them used to these changes first too. This way they won’t feel as pushed out with lots of sudden strange changes to their routine when baby arrives.
Encourage curiosity and stay upbeat
Whilst pregnant, it is likely you will feel stressed, tired and sick, however try to stay positive and upbeat in front of your child. If they feel like things are changing for the worse then they might start to resent the new baba. Encourage all of their questions and curiosity about the new baby to keep everything as exciting as possible.
As long as you provide them with lots and love and cuddles throughout your pregnancy everything should be absolutely fine! My personal advice to all of you mummies is to make the most of this time you have together, and try to relax and enjoy these final weeks before your new baby arrives.