The introduction of a new baby can be an emotional time for both mum and babe! The night before your new baby is born you will look at your older child and think that he is so small and is still your baby. But the moment the new baby comes home, your older child looks so big and you will expect so much more from him. Since this transition can be challenging for your older child. Try these 5 tips to smooth the transition for you and your older child:
- Each day set aside 15 minutes of time with your toddler on his own. Do this when your baby is sleeping or being cared for by someone else. Just 15 minutes of undivided attention will go a long way to help your older ‘baby’ feel really special again.
- Give your older child a gift from the new baby while you are still in hospital, so that he feels an affinity for the little person who is coming home.
- Breastfeeding is a very intimate time and your older one may feel excluded and end up exhibiting attention seeking behavior while you are feeding. Take three of his favourite books with you each time you breastfeed. If he plays the fool or becomes needy, ask him to cuddle up to you and read a book with you while you breastfeed.
- Share the load – dads and grannies are wonderful to distract and care for the older child when you are coping with the basic necessities of the early months.
- If your toddler is sleeping in your bed try to get him into his own bed or at least onto a mattress on the floor in your room, well before the new baby comes. If you shift him out of your bed days before the new baby arrives, he will feel a sense of loss, losing your attention and the close sleep space.