While we talk a LOT about considerations for your cloth diapers and how to prepare them before your new baby arrives, we want to take the chance to talk a little about the rest of family life with a new baby. Especially life for your first little one(s).
Introducing our guest writer, Sarah, who will chat with you about preparing your children for the arrival of a new baby.
Your other children will benefit from some preparation before baby comes along. Life as you know it will never be the same, but the transition can be smoother by doing a few things with the brother or sister to be. Here are our top tips:
- Changes such as moving to a big bed, moving bedrooms, or new childcare arrangements would be better done well before the new baby is born. You can expect some regression of already mastered skills, like potty training.
- Spend special time with your other child and remind visitors to pay attention to the sibling and not just the new baby. Include sibling in pictures and other activities.
- Ask for your child’s help and involve your child in baby’s care. Even very young children can help by getting a diaper for you, picking out clothes, or patting burps out of the babe.
- Try to let go of guilt. There is no way to give both children equal attention. Do the best you can and create a support network.
- Remember that one of your gifts to all of your children is the sibling relationship they will have with one another.
- Consider allowing your child to participate in the birth of your new baby, if they are comfortable doing so. Please be sure to have a special support person on call for your child, as they can be as unpredictable with their feelings and needs as the birth experience itself.
Sarah Farhangi is the mother of three beautiful children. She teaches sibling preparation classes with her DoulaMamas partner, Bonnie Jarvis. Both ladies have a wealth of experience as early childhood educators, mothers of siblings and birth doulas.
-Photo Credit to Ben Grey