Your family means everything to you and you’ve decided now is the time to go up one and introduce a new sibling into the mix. Whether you’re pregnant, planning to be or looking at adoption, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is explaining to your first child how they’re no longer going to be the centre of your world and that they’re going to have to share you both.
Transitions in any form can be tough and often children don’t respond favourably to change, whether that’s a new school, water bottle or when it’s time to put a toy down and get ready to leave the house.
Explaining this major change can be a real challenge, so we take you through some ideas to help your younger child get used to the idea of becoming a big brother or sister.
Image from Pixabay
Read together
Start the process earlier rather than later and consider introducing the idea with a book that talks through the changes you’re child will witness throughout pregnancy, as well as their role when the baby arrives. Read the book regularly with your child and ask them some fact checking questions to make sure they understand the concept before you explain that they too will be have their own story to tell when their mummy and daddy have a baby.
Be prepared to answer questions endlessly, giving lots of reassurance and cuddles. Explain that while they have to share your attention it doesn’t mean they’ll be loved any less.
Assign jobs
If your little person loves a little responsibility, then they might thrive on being your chief nappy fetcher or being in charge of picking out baby’s clothes for the day. Older children might enjoy helping baby with a bottle or helping with a nappy change.
Explain changes
Set out exactly what’s going to happen once the baby is born, reassure them that things will remain broadly the same. They will still go to nursery or school and continue to spend time with their friends and family members, you’ll just have baby with you sometimes.
If you work, you’ll need to explain that you’ll be taking some time off as you’ll be looking after baby and will be at home a little more than perhaps they’re used to.
Let’s face it, change can be difficult. Whether you’re moving home with the help of 2 Men And A Truck, facing a breakdown in your marriage or preparing for a new arrival, the success of making the transition easier on your child depends on being prepared and keeping the channels of communication wide open. You’ll no doubt be tired, no doubt feel your patience tested and have a million different things on our mind but if you can allow time for those questions to be answered and spend some quality time reassuring and being with your little person, you’ll be glad you made that investment of your time.

Change isn’t easy for anyone but with a little preparation it can be your best decision yet.

*Collaborative post 

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