Are you feeling fear? Worry? Anxiousness? Having a 2nd baby brings on those feelings among so many more. The number one reason after talking with several moms, is the fact that they will not love their second born as much as their first. They feel as if there is not enough love to go around.
Newsflash, there’s plenty… and then some. You, mama, have a heart that has the ability to grow and hold as much love as infinity. It might not feel like that right now being that you’re probably pregnant with number two and your hormones are going insane.
So, number 2 is coming. So now, how do you soak up those last minutes with your firstborn and yet prepare them for the amazing (yet scary) change that is about to come. I have 5 primary tips for you on how to do this.
But let me be honest… it is a big change and adjustment for not only mama, but for dad and for your firstborn as well. There will be jealously and there will be some acting out. Let’s talk about how to minimize this (from my own experience).
How to get your first born ready for a younger sibling
TALK ABOUT IT! TALK TALK TALK! It’s time to talk about the baby, and read books about babies and siblings. “When you’re little brother/sister/baby get’s here, they will love it when you have story time with them!”
Integrate the new baby into everything you are doing or saying. Explain to them that there is a baby coming, and the baby in mama’s belly will be here soon. They will sit with us at dinner, they will sleep in the crib, and so on!
We found that explaining everything did really help with the adjustment. If we just kept it quiet and did not try to explain anything, our firstborn would have felt blindsided (he is a very emotional boy).
Which brings us to the next point, involve them in everything baby!
Set the baby stuff up, and have the older sibling help! Get the crib ready, hang pictures in the nursery, and even have them help put diapers and wipes away or go through the baby clothes. (they LOVE seeing the teeny tiny clothes that they USED TO wear).
Find those old baby toys, and bond with your first born by playing with those toys and explaining how baby will love playing with them just like they did! Get that swing out, the rock and play and pack and play.
Read baby books and stack them on the bookshelf in the nursery. The ideas are endless, we all know that getting ready for a baby is overwhelming. So we might as well make it fun and enjoy the little helper while we can. You’ll have to baby proof all over again! Enjoy it.
Remember that children are far more resilient than we think and can handle things better than we do. Yes change is hard for everyone, and your first one might get jealous or be upset for a short time. But that’s just it, it will be a short time. Before you know it, your oldest will be asking where their younger sibling is and they will soon experience a entirely new world of emotions of love (some times anger) with their new baby sibling!
Won’t seem like that when baby arrives and both are screaming for attention. A little screen time is okay mama, it’s definitely okay. We set up a movie for our oldest if the little one is too cranky. He loves it, he thinks it’s the best treat ever! You’ll get into a routine soon enough.
Routine is another way on how to get your first born ready for a younger sibling. It is so important, especially now that there will be two babies to juggle! Give your oldest a little more credit. They enjoy helping and when baby 2 arrives, they’ll quickly understand how great it is to have a baby sibling.
A routine will fall into place with a little consistency. Put the kids down at the same time and follow all of the steps that you did with the first! It will be different, and I talk about that here, that ALL kids are different and we need to treat them as so. But that does not mean that a routine can’t be followed!
One last note, please don’t forget about your significant other. Lean on each other. One takes one kid, the other takes the other. Give each other frequent breaks and make sure you spend some time together too. Kids are hard on marriages, it’s the honest truth! Especially in the beginning stages, but there are ways to get through it. And you will!
Get your first born ready for a sibling, and not to mention you get ready for that second baby yourself! Have fun doing it.