You are pregnant again - congratulations! Here are five tips to prepare your older child. Because this time round, there are three people awaiting the baby. And one of you is not so sure this is a good idea.
Imagine the following scenario: One day your partner comes home with another man or woman and says to you, "Be nice to my new wife (or husband), I love both of you the same. Just think how fun things will be from now on."
Jealousy is natural
Looking at it like that, some jealousy is to be expected. You can’t expect a child to be as happy about a new brother or sister as the adults in the family are.
Fortunately jealousy isn't the only feeling that the new baby will arouse amongst older siblings. They may also feel love, care and affectionate interest because of the younger child's complete and utter devotion to them.
Prepare your child
There are some small things you can do to prepare your child for the change that is coming.
1. Start by pointing out other families with babies, so your child sees it as normal and fun.
2. Introduce your child to babies, infants and newborns. That will help your child to realise how tiny and helpless babies are; that it’s not a playmate upgrade for the family.
3. Let your child come with you to your visits with your midwife, feel the baby move and look at the scan. If they feel part of the process, they can get excited and will probably feel less jealous when the new baby arrives.
4. Tell your older child about how the baby will need help and might do silly things like cry a lot. It will help them feel slightly superior and, hopefully, tolerant of the needs of a new baby.
5. If your older child is moving out of their cot, or making another change such as starting kindy, do this well in advance of the new baby’s arrival. Consider putting the cot away for a few months. Once it reappears, your firstborn will have moved on from thinking about it as their bed.
Do you have any more tips? Share them here.